Oct 26

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Do You See The Opportunity Right In Front Of You?

The follow up to our little experiment has been abandoned. My concreting buddy has been flooded with government contracts and has pulled his advertising so we will revisit this again in the future.

I could easily say that it had the desired effect and got him more work but I am not sure that the two events are related because he was negotiating the contracts before we started the advertising experiment.

So in the meantime I would like to tell you a little story about opportunity.

It All Started With A Problem…

Recently I had the need for a replacement clutch for my car. As I am pretty handy with the tools and all things automotive I thought it would be fun to tackle this job myself. After removing the motor and gearbox from the car, I set about finding a suitable supplier.

I confess that I was completely price driven on this crusade and searched high and low for the components at the best possible price.

The search was frustrating because I found a lot of sales people had absolutely no idea what I was asking for and I ended up with a myriad of part numbers and no confidence that any of them were correct.

The Discovery!

Then one day while trawling ebay I discovered a manufacturer of clutches selling direct. I called them up and had a chat with possibly the most knowledgeable sales person I had ever had the good fortune to talk to.

After our chat I was so much more enlightened. Finally, someone who was interested in what I was after who had intimate knowledge about my particular combination of motor and gearbox. I was ecstatic!

I realised once I got off the phone that I had forgotten one reasonably major question, so I thought I would send them an email thanking them for the sales person’s response and knowledge and ask the question.

They responded very quickly and asked for my phone number so that he could speak directly with me. Their email also disclosed their own admiration of this sales person and commented on their concern as to how hard things were becoming in the online world.

The realisation!

Even though this was just a crack I could see daylight and I thought maybe I can value add here. I responded by discussing the online marketplace briefly and encouraging them to stick with it. I then gave them a few statistics about the use of the yellow pages and then gave them a few tips.

Here’s what I sent to them:

  • Make sure you collect the email addresses of the people that use your service and send them email newsletters, interesting articles related to your business and associated events, etc. You can advertise specials here too.
  • When you send your emails to your list, try to use their name in the subject line. Really improves the open rates.
  • If you can get their postal address, send them a thank you card. Big surprise getting an unexpected card in the mail.
  • Always make sure you look after your previous clients and they will promote you for free. Best advertising ever.
  • Try to work out the lifetime value of your clients and then decide what percentage of their overall spend you would put back into marketing back to them.
  • And finally, here’s the clincher. Under promise and over deliver. For instance, include something useful with their order like a discount voucher for their next visit.

This little list of suggestions worked like a charm. They went and checked out my copywriting website. The reply email from them was a request to quote on a rewrite of their about us page at their website.

Now my emails did not promote my business other than my email signature which lists my website and email address.

It was the value I was offering them without them asking that made the difference. They took it upon themselves to investigate me and saw value.

How many opportunities do you let slip through?

How many times has there been a fantastic opportunity disguised in such a way that you just didn’t see it?

This story illustrates that you can make an income from out of thin air. You just need to be aware of the possibilities.

Open your eyes and look at who you are meeting during the course of your day. Ask yourself “How can I add value to their experience of me?”

Remember, you never know who you are speaking to. They may just be your next employer.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.buzzmatics.com/2011/10/do-you-see-the-opportunity-right-in-front-of-you/


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  1. Konrad

    Hi Gary, Awesome post! This is the first time I have had a read over here,its amazing how our perspective on things changes when we find out about Emotional Direct Response.You and Sandy really are an “Inspiration” to me and I am encouraged by your help.The opportunity for a long lasting relationship with customers,I would say is the most under used strategy in business,no one wants to do it, but those who do win every time.As a matter of interest what make of car are you working on?
    Looks like I have a bit of reading to do on your other posts.
    Cheers Konrad

    1. Gary

      Thanks Konrad, we are in the grip of some fantastic momentum at the moment. Since Pete’s Copywriting Intensive and also the MOC conference we are soaring. The account I have shared here happened yesterday! I have just finished writing their about us page and will get back to the negotiation tomorrow. It was an absolute pleasure to write because their attempt was originally quite passionate. Just kinda clunky is all. I restructured it and was a bit more promotional in the conversation. Oh, and the car is a VK Commodore. Runs a V6 Ecotec and a T5 manual gearbox. Yeah I’m a bit of a petrol head. 😉

  2. steve

    I have to ask the obvious question did you get the clutch

    1. Gary

      In the affirmative Steve. Just working out the fine print. Thanks for asking.

  3. Gary

    Thanks for the compliments. The theme is freely downloadable. I customised it with a scene from my home city in the mast head.

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