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Perception Is Reality

By Allan Ferguson

When you look at how you market your business, how much thought do you actually put into the presentation of your staff and vehicles?

I think when companies hear the word “marketing” they sometimes get tunnel-vision and only think about advertising and discounts, but this perception overlooks one of the most fundamental elements of marketing!

Presentation can say volumes about your company’s professionalism and can do far more for your company’s image than just an advertisement or direct mail.

Though we are all aware of the stereotypical image of a plumber, the fact is all technicians are highly trained and qualified professionals who deserve respect and it’s you as the company manager who can help this happen.

A customer’s first impression of a technician can determine the success of a job and is something you must concentrate on getting right.
Think about it like this.

What image does it project to a customer if they book a technician to come to their house and he pulls up in a beat-up old Ute with faded company advertising on it and knocks on their door wearing dirty clothes with muddy boots?

Some people might be afraid to answer the door!

Now compare that to a modern vehicle with clear company advertising arriving with the technician in a clean uniform and company identification card along with boot covers and a friendly smile.

Which of these two options do you think is more likely to be welcomed by a customer and has the greater chance of converting a sale?

The appearance of your company is itself a powerful marketing tool.

The greatest advertising campaigns can be undermined if the presentation of your staff and company is not up to a high standard.

There is no excuse for a service company to not supply its staff with professional uniforms and boot covers.

Likewise, I understand not all companies have the size or budget to bring in new vehicles, but that doesn’t mean your current vehicles can’t be regularly cleaned and maintained.

Even elements such as how your technician stands and waits for a customer to open the door after knocking is a form of marketing.

Again, as a comparison, consider the image it gives a customer if they answer the door and the technician is standing directly at the door with a slouched and uninterested look.

Then think about if the customer opens the door and sees a technician with a clean uniform standing a couple of steps back with good posture, a polite smile and eye contact.

These might be only small parts of a marketing campaign but they play a big role and crucially they are things you can easily control and are highly cost-effective.

How does your company present itself?

Allan Ferguson is the CEO of Service Professionals Australia.

Have you listened to our podcast series Pipeline To Profitability yet? Please send your feedback and questions to

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