5 Around Marketing
Spring has arrived and no doubt you have your marketing strategy in full force. When I first started my business in early 2000 I didn't have much money for marketing. I was relying on word of mouth for the most part. However, the speed at which word of mouth was working to ramp my business wasn't happening as quickly as I wanted. I started doing what is now termed as 5 Around Marketing and it remained one of the most effective methods of marketing we ever did.
This approach has been talked about on forums, in books and even now with the popular SendJim app. However, 5 Around Marketing is very effective for very specific reasons and if those reasons aren't appealed to it looses it effectiveness real quickly. Let me explain first that when I say 5 Around I am specifically referencing the illustration you see at the top of this article. Let's talk about the approach first.
The approach is that you must knock on the door and meet the two houses beside and the three houses across the street from the house you have attained as a job. A postcard or door hanger is fine if you didn't catch them but it looses the effectiveness that I will describe later.
How is it done?
This can be intimidating to many but remain focused on why your doing it, to grow your business. On the 5 houses we have identified you simply ring the doorbell and hope they answer. When they do you simply say something like this- "Hello my name is Mike with ABC Window Cleaning and we are cleaning Mrs Johnson's house across the way and I wanted to introduce myself to you and give you a card". Keep it very brief. I know some of you work in gated communities and soliciting is a no-no. So don't solicit make it a security issue. Change the approach to this- "Hello my name is Mike with ABC Window Cleaning and we are cleaning Mrs Johnson's house across the way. I just wanted to inform you so if you seen people walking thru the yards or in between the houses you would know what's going on. Here is my card have a great day."
Why it works?
Some very powerful things are at work here whether anyone knows it or not. The very reason this method works is the likelihood that these 5 people know Mrs. Johnson is extremely high. Think about your own neighborhood isn't it true you know the two neighbors beside you and the three across the street? However the further you go down the street the less likely it is you know your neighbors. Since the ones your talking to probably know your client a couple things happen.
First of all neighbors even good ones are nosey and they are going to wonder what's going on over at the Johnsons. This is good for you because even it doesn't happen that day, sometime in the future maybe at the mailbox the neighbor will inquire about the work you did. If Mrs Johnson says you did a good job, the stage is set and they already have your card.
Now the second thing comes into play. The Jones Factor. Whether anyone will admit it or not the neighbors are envious that Mrs Johnson had her windows cleaned and they want to be able to do the same. The fact that Mrs Johnson used you is going to play very well and they have met you and have your card. The chances of them calling anyone else is slim and none. This reason here is why I only believe Five Arounds are the houses as illustrated above. It is also why a postcard or door hanger isn't as effective. The connection between the Window Cleaner, Mrs Johnson and prospective client is lost. It just becomes an advertisement which isn't bad but it is nowhere as effective as what just went on above.
Why do this?
One very important reason to do this is that you have spent "X" in marketing dollars to try and attain the home your working on. If you stop there the acquisition cost of that job is quite high. However, if you can get the neighbors to jump onboard now the cost of acquisition starts to come down. It also helps fill in neighborhoods with clients. Who doesn't want 50 clients all in one neighborhood? The way I always viewed it was I spent money to get to Mrs Johnson now I am going to do all I can to maximize my advertising dollars. This method always proved fruitful for us and we seldom did Five Arounds where we didn't pick up work.
You will need to decide who will do this and when. If it is the employees make sure they understand that their appearance is important. It might be their third job of the day but it will be the first time that potential customer sees them. So make sure they have a clean shirt and the image of your company is represented the way you would want it to be.
Also there may be times that the prospective client isn't home if that is the case make sure you do have a door hanger or something to leave behind. Again it is not as effective as face to face but if they are not there it is the only choice.
Five Around Marketing in my opinion is highly effective and it always proved fruitful for us so much so 14 years into the business we were still doing them.
- By Michael J Draper
Clearly Holdings Inc.