I have a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid. I bought it new on April 25, 2008, and it has run PERFECTLY every day since.
I initially drove it for a few years. Then various ones of my kids have driven it for the last several years.
Last July, at about 110,000 miles, the Hybrid battery light came on… literally the first problem with the car I ever had.
So I hauled it down to the dealership—they confirmed the hybrid battery was dead and wanted something like $4,400 to put a new one in.
I’m cheap, so I said no way and got the car back. It was still drive-able, so I was able to get it home.
I found a company online that installs refurbished hybrid batteries; it was going to be $1,700—still a lot of money, but cheap compared to $4,400. The company had to come up from Houston to install it (on my property), and they gave me a one-year warranty.
My son drove the car to college in Utah in September, and it worked fine.
Then he flew home for Christmas to Texas and left the car at the airport. When he got back, it wouldn’t start. It was completely dead.
I immediately started cursing my decision to get the refurbished battery.
I paid $200 to have the car towed to a dealership in Provo, about 45 minutes from the airport near where my son lives.
It took them 10 days to figure out that “we can’t pinpoint the exact problem but the hybrid battery and the electric system that controls it is definitely bad.”
So I called the battery company to see if they would honor their warranty; they said they would—I could either have the battery shipped up to Utah to do the work, or I could haul the car back to Texas to get it done here.
I tried to find a mechanic who could do the install there (the battery company would pay for shipping of the battery, but not the install). The dealership wanted $495 to install it. I found a guy who would do it for $200, but I’d have to arrange a tow truck to get it to him.
Meanwhile, I ended up buying my son a whole new car—I was so frustrated with that Camry that I just wanted to get rid of it. I asked the dealership what they would give me on a trade-in… they said $500—the car is worth about $5,000 with a good hybrid battery, but with a bad battery, almost nothing.
So then I tried to find somebody to haul the car to me from the Provo dealership. This is a whole other mess I’d rather not talk about… but I finally found a guy who would do it for $800.
So my choices were:
- Pay the dealership $495 to install the replacement battery that would be shipped from the battery company
- Pay a guy $200 to install it, but have to pay another $50 to $100 and the hassle of arranging to get it towed to him
- Either way, I’d have to get the running car back to Texas so I could sell it—either haul it or fly up and drive it down… either way probably $500 to $800
- Give it to the dealership for $500
After much tribulation and delay, I finally paid a guy $800 to haul it to my house. It would normally be about $600, but it costs extra to haul a non-running car.
Today, the car finally got to my house.
The guy pulled up in front of my home and knocked on the door. I asked if there was any way to navigate his car hauler onto my driveway, so the Camry wouldn’t be on the street. He looked at me funny and said, “I don’t have to do that. I’ll just drive the car.”
I said, “What do you mean? The car doesn’t run.”
He said, “Yes, it does. I drove it up on the car hauler.”
I said, “What the heck are you talking about. The hybrid battery is dead.”
He said, “No, I think it’s just the regular car (starter) battery. I haul these hybrids all the time. The dealership always says the hybrid battery is dead, but lots of times it’s just the regular battery.”
He drove it off the truck and onto my driveway. He showed me that he had connected a portable jump charger unit to the battery—with that it started and ran fine.
The entire time, it was just a garden variety dead battery. $79 at Wal-Mart.
I paid $200 (tow) and $110 (diagnostics at the dealership) and $800 (to haul the car) to get it to my driveway. Two months—MONTHS—worth of unnecessary aggravation.
Sound familiar, contractors?
Tons of Marketing Companies and SEO/PPC Consultants take advantage of a contractor’s lack of marketing knowledge to squeeze more money out of them. It happens ALL THE TIME… and most contractors don’t realize it. (It’s probably even happened to you!)
At MYM, we hate that crap.
We’re always honest. We always play by the books. And we never sell you stuff you don’t need.
We know you’re no expert. You come to us because you NEED an expert. And we take that responsibility seriously.
In fact, we regularly turn down contractors we feel wouldn’t be a good fit for us (or us for them).
Sure… we could take them on as a client—even if they aren’t a good fit—to collect their monthly payments and fatten our bank account. That’s what a lot of companies do.
To us, that’s wrong. We have these things called “morals.” And we adhere to them uncompromisingly.
We’re the kind of company that tells you a $79 dead car battery is a $79 dead car battery… not a $4,400 dead car battery.
If you want confirmation we’re the straightest of shooters, click here for our free Lead Generation And Marketing Audit. We’ll candidly tell you where your marketing is succeeding, where it’s failing, and EXACTLY how to fix any problems. No money or obligation required on your end.
P.S. I should warn you… our marketing audit doesn’t pull any punches. We shine a 1,000-watt spotlight on your marketing to expose any and all warts. Only apply if you can handle tough love.
So yesterday, I came across an amusing video by Mike Rowe from television’s Dirty Jobs. Not only is it hilarious, but it’s enormously relevant for contractors looking to improve their marketing.
In the video, Rowe reads an email his friend received from his friend’s daughter, Charlotte, who is an 11-year-old Girl Scout. She was looking to sell a certain amount of Girl Scout cookies to take a trip.
Charlotte heard from her dad that his friend was “rich.” Within the hour, she emailed the rich friend a powerful and persuasive sales letter. (If you have a daughter who is a Girl Scout, you know they get cutthroat about meeting their sales quotas.)
Before you go any further in this email, watch the video below to hear Rowe read the sales letter (he starts reading it around the 40-second mark):
Watched it? Good.
Did you count the number of persuasion elements in the letter? There’s a whole bunch. And you can use them all in your own marketing.
Let’s break down Charlotte’s powerful sales letter…
- Credentials (“I’ve sold the most boxes in my troop.”)
- Speaking directly to the prospect’s needs (“I heard you were looking to donate cookies to our soldiers…”)
- Specifics (detailing the taste of each cookie)
- A call to action (“I do hope you’ll purchase a few boxes from my website; the link is below.”)
- An honest, respectful, no-pressure sales approach (being truthful about which cookies she doesn’t like and which ones the prospect may like)
What stands out most to me about Charlotte’s sales letter is that last bullet. An honest and low-key “pitch” can often be THE most effective way to close the sale.
After all, who LIKES the feeling of being pressured into something?
After Rowe read this letter to hundreds of thousands of people on the internet, Charlotte’s little landing page was flooded with cookie orders. She met her goal the same day the video went viral.
That brings me to my point.
When you’re talking to potential customers, are you honest with them? Or do you just tell them what they want to hear?
If it’s the latter, it’ll come back to bite you.
Sooner or later, you’ll get exposed. Those empty promises will lead to unsatisfied customers, bad word of mouth, negative online reviews… the whole nine yards.
But if you’re honest with folks, they’ll reward you. Not just with their money, but with referrals, positive feedback, and repeat business.
At MYM, we use the “Charlotte” approach to selling. We dish the straight facts to potential clients. No fluff. No nonsense.
If the prospect likes what they hear, then we proceed. If not, then we wish them well. Strong-arming prospects into partnerships just isn’t our style.
It’s why we offer invaluable complimentary services to prospects like our Lead Generation Audit.
We’ll unleash thousands of dollars worth of resources—at no charge to you—to determine the effectiveness of your website, SEO, PPC, and internet marketing as a whole. Then we’ll give you the 100% honest truth about where you’re falling short… and what needs to happen to fix the problem.
If you’re interested, get a FREE Lead Generation Audit.
P.S. MYM’s Lead Generation Audit uncovers problems that aren’t even a blip on most contractors’ radar. So if your sales are lagging or your growth has stalled—and you just can’t figure out why—take advantage of our audit. It could be the catalyst that propels your business to where you WANT it to be.
Do you ever wonder how the heck some people can be so non-self-aware?
For example, I have a friend who says he hates complainers.
Two minutes later, he’s complaining about work… how he’s always tired, how his boss is terrible, how he’s not appreciated, yadda yadda.
He’s totally unaware of what he’s doing. It’s incredible.
Incredible, but common.
We humans sometimes have a hard time seeing ourselves—our weaknesses as well as our strengths.
This is why if you’re creating your own company Identity—the marketing message that demonstrates what makes you different, special, and better than the rest—you do so at your own peril.
Here’s what I mean…
I once had an Identity Kickoff call with a new roofing contractor client. He was particularly oblivious to his company’s strengths.
When I asked him what he thought made his company special, he responded, “Uh… well… gee… um… I don’t know… great customer service? Quality workmanship?”
He spewed these types of contractor clichés for the first 40 minutes of the call.
(I have a newfound respect for dentists because now I know what pulling teeth feels like.)
Finally, the client said in passing that he doesn’t charge his customers a dime until the job is done and the customer is satisfied.
I nearly fell out of my chair.
ME: “Whoa, back up. What did you just say?”
CLIENT: “Uh, we have great customer service?”
ME: “No, after that.”
CLIENT: “We have quality workmanship?”
ME: “No, after that.”
CLIENT: “We don’t accept money until after we complete the job and the customer is satisfied?”
Ding! Ding! Ding!
How many quality roofers—or contractors, period—require zero upfront deposit, let alone refuse to accept any payment until the entire project is completed AND done to the customer’s satisfaction?
One out of every hundred… if that?
And here this client is, not even remotely thinking it’s a big deal.
Talk about being blind to the obvious.
If you’re a homeowner in need of a roof, the promise of not paying a dime until YOU say the project is done is just too good to pass up.
(And if you’re thinking this is an easy way for the client to get stiffed on payments, think again. This guy has run a successful business with “payment upon completion” since he started in 1990!)
Basing the client’s Identity around “You Don’t Pay Until You’re Satisfied” also dovetails beautifully into the other great things about this client. It shows the client is confident in his work, that you can trust him, and that he’ll ensure the job is done right from start to finish.
And there you go. This client’s Identity was right under his nose, and he never even whiffed it.
The Bottom Line: Unless you are a marketing expert, there’s a 90% chance you’ll fail to capture your true Identity in your marketing.
But don’t worry—MYM has your back.
Contractor marketing is ALL we do. Get in touch with us, and we’ll evaluate your company’s current Identity (or lack thereof) and provide you with ideas to make it more powerful and persuasive.
We’ll sniff out what REALLY sets your company apart from the competition, and what will truly make homeowners want to line up around the block to hire you.
It’s all part of our free Lead Generation Audit package. We dig deep into company identity, website, SEO, PPC, and much more.
If you want $3,500-worth of valuable insight into every aspect of your online marketing—for $0.00—hurry up and get your Lead Generation Audit here.
P.S. If you want a crash course on creating a powerful Identity, watch this webinar I held two years ago. Fast forward to 54:20 for a concise, three-step method to producing a marketing message that generates loads of leads.