Publisher’s Letter – January 2020

In a marketing book I recently read, ongoing communication about the value of a product is essential to tell people why your product should be chosen over another.

Another important aspect of effective marketing is asking customers what they like about your product so you can share positive feedback with prospective buyers via testimonials. Testimonials are great because no one tells a better story about your products than customers. You may know your product or service inside and out, but it’s generally a customer’s experience that consistently sells others.

When I was a contractor, I regularly had an early morning coffee or breakfast with fellow contractors. We constantly talked shop. These super reliable guys were the same ones who taught me my trade. Although we did similar types of work, competition was never a concern. What made our bond so strong was we were always comparing notes and helping each other. We even gave each other job leads when our plates were full.

We trusted the information we shared because we knew a lot about each other and the standards we guarded for the sake of our business reputations. We had an air of confidence in our customer communications because we knew best products and best practices, and they were backed by the group’s practical experiences.

If a customer called us back on a product application, we were all talking about it then or the next day because everyone wanted to know the skinny. I considered myself one of the best in town — not just because I knew my craft, but because of my peeps.

Marketing is an artform and done right will move products through the intended sales channels. But what’s often overlooked is something deeper than the recommendations or testimonials we factor into our marketing efforts.

Connecting with fellow contractors is critical. You may, at times, invite a factory rep into that circle but you must be extremely careful with those invites because they can dilute a group’s efforts to build trust based on that key ingredient called practical experience.

Some well-respected people in our trade recently shared these kinds of aspirations with me. Without strong peer relationships how can you decipher the daily communications received through “online” channels? Maybe a better question to ask is: Should we rely on those channels at all?

If you’re a contractor with thoughts about what I’ve shared, please send me an email. Concrete Decor is a trusted industry resource not partial to any one product.

Happy New Year from all of us at Concrete Decor.

Sincerely,

Bent Mikkelsen

Publisher