What Worked For Me
As Told to AGRR
THE MULTI-TASKED BUSINESS CARD
When Dee Bergť-Morse, president, of Deeís Wind-shield Repair Inc., in West-minster, Calif., gives a customer or a potential customer a business card she is providing more than the name of her company and the phone number. AGRR spoke with her to ask how she developed this successful marketing tool.
AGRR: Where did you get the idea to have the business card be more than just something which had your name, address and phone number on it?
DB-M: Spending money on advertising! It seemed to me that instead of buying advertising, why not give customers an incentive to pass the card out or use it themselves to win $100.
AGRR: This $100, can you tell us about that part of the card?
DB-M: Yes, on the back side, there is a $100 Referral Giveaway. I use QuickBooks for all my invoices; every customer has his or her name and the last four digits of the phone number as their ID number, so I can look them up in the computer database. So when this card comes back, either through that person or someone else, whoever brings it in will get $5 off [coupon on the backside of the $100 Referral Giveaway] and that card gets put into a jar for a drawing at the beginning of the new month. The winner of that drawing gets $100.
AGRR: You take the card whenever the person comes in to get a job done whether it is a referral or the person is using the card personally?
AGRR: How did the $5 coupon come about and how does that work?
DB-M: Weíve always given some sort of discount. Our newspaper advertising included a $5 discount. Weíve used coupons in mailers, but we have found that having it on the card is more successful because there is double incentive. One, you get $5 off. Two, you get a chance to win $100. It is less expensive to advertise this way than it is in the newspaper, and you get more people coming in.
AGRR: What methods do you use to get the card out to people?
DB-M: I give each customer four cards and tell them to either give them out to people they know who need repairs or to keep it for themselves and theyíll get the $5 off and be included in the $100 cash drawing. Then what happens is the first customer of the first day of the new month pulls a card from the jar and that is the winner. I donít touch the cards except to put them in the jar.
AGRR: Does the customer who pulls out the card get any additional bonus?
DB-M: No, but they get the four cards and they see the incentive of it. They see that this person got $100 so it gives them incentive to pass out cards and use them. So, you can see that at $100 a month, in a year thatís $1,200 which is what it costs me
to advertise for one month in a
AGRR: Do you do any other form of advertising?
DB-M: Yes. We do newspaper advertising and phone books.
AGRR: The business card also has a map showing where your business is located.
DB-M: Yes. This lets a new person know how to find us and [with the front of the card] also the Web site.
AGRR: How many cards do you estimate you give out in a year?
DB-M: Four per customer, 3,300 repairs a year, thatís about 13,000.
AGRR: How many cards do you get back?
DB-M: Usually 75 to 80 a month.
AGRR: About 1,000 a year.
DB-M: The good incentive on this is that the card is being passed out by someone who has had a repair and is thrilled and excited about it. Theyíre ready to tell everybody. In the newspapers and phone books, people donít necessarily know about windshield repair. Iíve been in business for 15 years, and some people still donít know that a windshield can be repaired. This means that the word of mouth by that excited customer who just had a repair has saved me $200 or $1,000 or whatever it costs me to advertise to someone who doesnít know the service exists. Thatís the bonus of having someone saying, ďItís great; you can get it repaired, you donít have to get it replaced.Ē Iím different. I only repair so there is no incentive for me to replace. If the repair doesnít hold, I have to give them their money back. I canít replace it.
AGRR: Any other thoughts on the card?
DB-M: Itís a great way for your customer whoís been here and is thrilled about your service and your company to tell other people and when they come in they say, ďOh my friend loved your company and the work it did and he referred me.Ē Itís another way to track where business comes from. Since Iíve been in business for so long [15 years] and in this same location for 13 years, Iíd say that 90 percent of my business is repeat and referral business. This is another way of not going through the insurance companies, and you get whatever amount you charge for the repair.
You get all the money. No one is taking a cut.
AGRR: Youíre repair only in a cash market?
DB-M: Correct. As the insurance companies are pulling out of repair, Iím in a good position because Iíve been advertising and marketing all these years to the general public.
Replacement companies refer people to me. The business card is a critical part of my marketing effort.
What Worked for You?
What little secret to success have you discovered? What worked for you? Share your secret for success with readers of AGRR. Drop us a note and let us know what worked for you, and weíll let you tell your story so that your experience can help others. Contact Charles Cumpston (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be featured in our What Worked for Me department in a future issue.
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