Though auto upholsterers work in an industry of aesthetics, we sometimes allow our shops to get messy. Sloppiness around the shop, however, can affect our businesses in ways that we may have never imagined. Jay Conrad Levinson describes this in his book Guerrilla Marketing Weapons: 100 affordable marketing methods for maximizing profits from your small business.
The following excerpt is a must-read for all auto upholstery shop owners:
You won’t find neatness listed in any marketing textbooks or discussed in many marketing classes, yet the presence-or absence-of neatness exerts a powerful effect upon a person’s decision to purchase. There is little question that neatness is a potent and inexpensive marketing weapon.
You’d be astonished if you knew how many people decide not to do business with a company that has displayed sloppiness on their premises, in their business practices, or with their marketing.
These people make the unconscious but natural assumption that if a company is sloppy in any way, that must show up in how they run their business. The same, happily, is true of neatness. If your prospects see it physically or sense it intellectually, they assume that you are a together company that doesn’t make mistakes.
Neatness refers to your store, office, premises, delivery vehicles, sales reps, service people, telephone people, signs, and correspondence.
It is a simple matter to ascertain the neatness of these entities on a Monday morning. It is quite a different thing to maintain the neatness throughout the entire day and the entire week. Still, you can and will be judged at any time. And neatness or sloppiness will be part of that judgment. The people who run Disneyland know that very well and set the standards for neatness as a continuing marketing endeavor.
Rarely does a single thing influence a purchase decision. More often, it is a series of items that causes prospects to form opinions. Neatness, though far less heralded, less glamorous (and less expensive) than advertising, is one of those items. It is too important to be overlooked.
This realization should be imparted to every person in your employ [sic]. It is the job of each of them to maintain neatness at all times and in all phases of your business.
Although it is true that some people can overlook a clump of mud in your front doorway or a layer of scum on your countertop, many others cannot. And even if you have created genius-level marketing to attract these people, you probably haven’t got a prayer of selling them. They have seen that your business is messy.
If the environment is appealing, the items sold will be more appealing. Nobody wants to purchase dusty merchandise or see dirt in an office. If you can’t afford janitorial services, assign then neatness to your staff-or yourself.
Guerrillas think of their businesses as their homes and their prospects as their guests. You wouldn’t invite guests to a cluttered home. Don’t expect them to buy from a business that looks unappealing. You wouldn’t would you?
Read more: pick up a copy of Guerrilla Marketing Weapons from Amazon for just $10. It’s a small investment with potential for big returns.