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Nothing beats 'shoe leather' marketing


In a time when many contractors are hurting for more leads, shoe leather marketing gives you a first-hand look at prospects and may help you qualify the prospect sooner. True, you can't hit as many people in person as you could with one marketing drop of post cards, but those cards can't determine your best prospects.

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									Business 101                                    Brad Humphrey, Contributing Writer

Nothing beats ‘shoe leather’
        othing replaces face-      the third week industrial         friend of mine in the southwest    my friend has increased his
        to-face, hand-shakin’,     properties; and the fourth week   hired a local college student      scheduled jobs by 23.
        eyeball-to-eyeball         government projects. Look at      to spend 15 to 20 hours a week       In a time when many contrac-
selling. Nothing! Yet so many      your past two to three years      blitzing areas in the contrac-     tors are hurting for more leads,
contractors have fallen for the    of business and identify these    tor’s market — basically going     shoe leather marketing gives
old tricks of advertisers and      “honey holes” — lucrative and     door-to-door — to introduce        you a first-hand look at pros-
marketing schemes that prom-       plentiful project types. Focus    himself, the contractor’s          pects and may help you qualify
ise to do everything for you but   on these themes and work                                             the prospect sooner. True, you
have the customer sign the         extra hard on seeking out those                                      can’t hit as many people in
contract. Enough is enough.        types of projects during that        In a time when                  person as you could with one
  Do you need to do marketing?     particular week.                    many contractors                 marketing drop of post cards,
Yes! Do you need to advertise?       Don’t think the “themes”                                           but those cards can’t determine
Absolutely! But do not let these   idea should prevent you from
                                                                     are hurting for more               your best prospects.
efforts, as needed as they are,    pursuing any projects, calls       leads, shoe leather                 And in getting out to meet
replace getting out of the office   or web leads that come in         marketing gives you                those prospects, they may
and making as many courtesy        off-theme. The theme is there      a first-hand look at              open up to you in person and
calls as you can possibly make.    to remind you that in addition                                       introduce you to opportunities
                                                                      prospects and may
Let me give you some ideas to      to everything else you are                                           you would have never known
make your “shoe leather” mar-      doing, you should fill any crack   help you qualify the               about. While you do not want
keting more effective during       of time by searching for those       prospect sooner.                to spin your wheels with dead
these very difficult times.         theme projects.                                                      ends, don’t be so quick to write
  Never leave your office             Prepare ahead. A week or                                           off prospects that may have
without your business cards,       two out from a theme week,        company and leave behind a         special situations. Work with
brochures, samples, etc.           prepare a list of names,          brochure. In the process he        them to develop creative
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