Meatball Marketing: Get out there and Hustle
Think fast, act fast and get your hustle on
Meatball marketing is what you do when you’ve got to get cash in the door fast. It’s what you do when the telephone isn’t ringing. It’s not months of planning and thousands of dollars in expense.
Meatball marketing is a term coined by a marketing professional who would much rather have the luxury of time to analyze, discuss, and analyze some more before making a decision.
Alas! HVAC and plumbing contractors don’t always have the luxury of months and months of analyzing before we create a marketing campaign to send a message to our clients and attract new clients.
Even when you do create a marketing action plan for the year, you always watch the weather to make sure that the message you are sending is appropriate.
What do I mean? If you are promoting fall inspections and you are having an unusually hot fall, that furnace message will be ignored. Who wants to turn on their furnace when their air conditioning system is still needed? Better to wait until it gets cooler to send out that marketing piece.
You have to act fast when the weather emergencies give you a gift: cleaning up after a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or even several days of heavy rain or 100 degree scorching weather at 90% humidity. It’s time for meatball marketing.
So what is meatball marketing in the HVAC and plumbing world? Getting out there and letting the world know you exist. For example, how many of your neighbors know what you do? How many companies in the industrial parks or streets where your offices are located know what you do?
A contractor was complaining about it being slow and the telephone not ringing. I told him to go to each of the companies in his industrial park and surrounding industrial parks and introduce his company. He came back with a significant job that really helped out in a slower time of the year. Meatball marketing worked for him.
Two partners wanted to start an HVAC company from scratch. They were concerned about how to generate customers. The answer? Choose a neighborhood and drive your truck in that neighborhood every Saturday morning. Within a year they owned that neighborhood. Meatball marketing worked for them.
Right before the last major hurricane hit New Jersey, the owner called all of his generator clients and had them test their generators. They were thankful and appreciative of his call. It didn’t cost anything but time. It was creative, meatball marketing which paid dividends in loyal customers and additional work after the storm hit.
SEO is meatball marketing too. Up your ad purchases in busy times of the year and whenever there is a weather situation you can take advantage of. It’s quick to create the new ads and your messages can instantly appear in a time where your prospective customers are paying attention because they need you. Of course you must have everything set up before the crisis hits so you can take advantage of it. And, in slower times of the year, drop your SEO spend. People are not paying attention because they don’t need you.
If you don’t want to knock on your neighbors’ doors, put a yard sign in your front lawn or invest in a sign where you can change the messages on the sign weekly or monthly. People will drive by and get your message. Meatball marketing again.
What other meatball marketing tactics work? Putting your business cards on bulletin boards in grocery stores, in restaurants, or anywhere people are likely to see them. If you make them a color other than white, they will stand out on those boards.
Look for opportunities. I was walking my dog and a car stopped. She said, “If you ever needed dog sitting, call me.” She handed me her card. Another example of meatball marketing.
Many years ago a service technician for a company I worked with walked into an auto parts store one Saturday and noticed that the ceiling grills were filthy. He asked who did that store’s maintenance. No one was doing it. His company got the contract. Another example of meatball marketing.
Meatball marketing is being proactive rather than reactive. It is looking for opportunities. It is getting out from behind your desk and talking to people. Most will say no. However, there will be some who say yes…and increase your revenues and their home or office comfort.
What meatball marketing can you do today?