Can customers find you when they need you?

Can customers find you when they need you? When you have a toothache, you call your dentist? Right? When your drain won’t drain, you call your plumber? Correct?

But what if you don’t have a dentist or a plumber? Who would you call? Why would you call them? How would you know if they were reputable? That they could do the job?

Would you call a friend and ask for a recommendation? Would you consult an on-line service such as Craig’s list or Angie’s List?

If you have the time, yes. But if your tooth aches badly enough…? Or if your drain is overflowing and you are knee-deep in…?

Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters?

Seth Godin has, as always, a very good post on this topic – “My tooth doesn’t hurt.”

Plumbers and dentists usually don’t have trouble attracting customers – as long as there are lots of “aching teeth” and “overflowing drains.”

“…On one hand, dentists have no trouble whatsoever getting business from people with toothaches. They hardly have to try. Just show up, I’ll find you. On the other hand, when my teeth don’t hurt, you’re invisible. No amount of signs, service and wonderful marketing is going to get me to pay you to drill my teeth when they don’t hurt. ” – Seth Godin


Increase your visibility

Are you invisible? If you sell a product or offer a service, how do you gain visibility? How do you let potential clients know about you and what you offer?

  • How do you gain “top of mind share” with your target audience?
  • How do find ways to stay in front of customers and clients when they don’t need you?

If you are visible enough, you will increase your value.  And the probability that customers will call you when they need you. But… your visibilty must offer value. Visibility, alone, is not sufficient.

  • Billboards and radio ads? – Not enough value. Recognition, perhaps.
  • Yellow Page ads? I doubt it. I throw mine into the recycle bin as soon as they are delivered.

Can you create new products or services – for those times when your customer’s teeth don’t ache? Or when their drains drain? Seth Godin cites the “Teeth Whitening” services that dentists now offer. 

What additional services can you offer? 

What services can you offer? How can you get clients to come into your store or to visit your website? At times when they don’t need your products or services?

Blogs are one way – to get customers to learn more about you. And for you to offer something of value to your customers and potential customers.

As I develop my training and speaking business, I am finding that offering short, free, and focused video lessons is a great way to build awareness of what I offer – and how I offer it. I have also started posting these Excel video lessons on YouTube. I’ll also open up MySpace and Facebook sites soon.

People ask me, “Why are you giving away something for free?” Because I believe that by doing something good to others (offering something of value with no expectation of repayment) you will end up doing good for yourself.

Increase your value. Increase your visibility!

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