I have recently started a new business doing home inventories for homeowners and renters, but have very little for advertising. I am not sure what direction to take for marketing. I have joined our local Chamber, got a free write up in a local paper, and that has gotten us precious few, and we are getting referrals from those clients, but what more can we do? We put fliers in all the local insurance offices and let them know we were offering our service, but no bites from them yet. Any creative ideas would be great.
Thanks, Chelley Wagner ACE Home Inventory, LLC www.acehi_llc.com
#1. "RE: Where do we go???" In response to Reply # 0
I'm not sure of your area but many homeowners associations have monthly or quarterly meetings and/ or newsletters. You could offer to speak to their group or provide an informational article for the newsletter. This will help you establish your credibility to the neighborhood quickly.
#2. "RE: Where do we go???" In response to Reply # 0
The insurance companies aren't going to bite much unless you manage to convince them that the service will save them money in the long run.
I'd think that your best target market is people who've had to make insurance claims in the past and seen their insurance premiums skyrocket as a result. Anyone who has lived through a fire where they have to itemize items that have been reduced to a pile of ash and soot are the best advocate you could possibly have for your business.
Since losing all of our belongings in a fire, three years ago, I tell everyone that they should do what you are doing... It's a lot easier for me to tell them to do that, if 1. I know someone who does this and 2. I've done it myself.
Find a couple of people who are willing to take a cutrate price for you to go into their homes, do their home inventory while leaving an ad with your phone number on the front lawn saying "Home Inventory being done by You" or something attractive. Then have them give you a testamonial. Get testamonials from people who wish they'd had a home inventory after the fact to say so, etc.
(I gather you are doing pre-disaster home inventories as opposed to "after-the-fire" inventories?)
#6. "RE: Where do we go???" In response to Reply # 0
Not sure you got the email I sent, so just in case, here is an idea for you. One thing that is just as important, if not more, than "material posessions" and that is the safety of their "children". You could look into offering as an included part of the inventory package an "inventory of the kids" by offering DNA / FINGERPRINTING that you keep offsite with the home inventory package. I could see a newspaper writeup come from this about how your business is contributing to the community and the overall safety of the children. There are many kits available by reasearching online. Also, this would open the door to participating in health and safety fairs, fire prevention week at fire companies, schools, day cares etc. The more community involvement at this stage the better.
#7. "RE: Where do we go???" In response to Reply # 6
I am sorry that I have not replied to your e-mails. I was very excited to receive your first, but have been very busy and haven't had time to reply. Just wnated to sent a short note right now and I am going to send a more detailed one to you tomorrow! I actually have that on my schedule! Thanks you so much for your input!! You'll be hearing from me soon
#8. "RE: Where do we go???" In response to Reply # 0
This is something I wouldn't normally suggest, but with what you're doing, it may be a good fit.
I think with what you're doing, strapping on some good old fashioned foot leather and pounding the pavement may be worth trying. I personally sold energy contracts door to door for over a year, and if in 10-15 minutes I can do a good enough job explaining the program to have people signing 5 year contracts, than it isn't far fetched to think that you may be able to find a few people who would realize the benefit of taking a home inventory.
Door to door sales isn't easy, it takes a ton of dedication and even more motivation to get over "the monster at the door", but when you can overcome that fear and go out and do it, you'll probably be surprised as to how well it is is received.
The great thing about it is, other than business cards and maybe a free report/other promotional materials for handing out, it doesn't cost you a thing. You can try many different areas like low income housing, middle class suburbs, affluent gated neighborhoods and everything in between to see what market is best for you.
What's the best way to make sure people are hearing your message? Go out and tell it to them yourself face to face!
I don't know what kind of time you have, or how much you make per sale, but this is probably at least worth trying when you get a chance. Sit down and think of all the benefits of your service, write out a script for an introduction and pitch, than go out and try it, tweak it, and work it until you get it right.
Once you get it going well enough, you can start working referrals, or you can continue to do it this way if you enjoy it.
I met a lot of great people when I was going door to door. I had supper with a few, coffee with many, and met all kinds of fantastic people with great stories. Sure, some people told me to beat it, but the good people far outnumbered the bad. This isn't something you have to do forever, but it may work a lot better then you would think.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
Keep us posted, Curtis
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#9. "RE: Where do we go???" In response to Reply # 8 Thu Jun-28-07 07:30 AM by Pepperfire
Curtis... One of these days I want to partner with you on some project; I like the way you think.
Chelley... I just had an idea for customers too (if it hasn't been suggested); Companies that require itemizations for insurance purposes.
Curtis has a great idea about going door to door. It's not often I will stop in the middle of the day and listen to a sales pitch though, but I think this one has merit.
Pounding the pavement isn't easy, you have to be able to want a "no" for an answer, you'll get a lot of them. But if you feel so inclined to do something like this, I recall one of my early mentors in the financial field, he was doing business back when insurance salesmen went door to door and he told the story that he'd walk into the company get the name of the President and offer to pay him $20 for five minutes of the guy's time. And if at the end of the five minutes the guy didn't feel he'd earned his $20, he'd leave $20 lighter.
He told me that he never left without his $20 still in his pocket, because what he was offering was something that was worth his five minutes.
I think that offering to pay someone for their time will get them to pay attention, at the very least.
#10. "RE: Where do we go???" In response to Reply # 0
You've definately started off on the right foot with joining your local Chamber - plus getting some free press.
The others have suggested great ideas, especially going door-to-door. I know a lot of people view that as the old typical sales approach. However, you are providing a service and people don't know they need it until they need it.
What are the "Benefits" you offer with your service?
- Benefits to the insurance agencies who can provide referrals.
- Benefits to your potential clients (homeowners).
Check with your local library and offer to conduct a free seminar on home inventory. Some benefits you may want to highlight are how an inventory can save them $$$. The proof is in the inventory and it makes filing for insurance claims easier. Get some quotes from local agencies on how an inventory is an asset.
Network with insurance agents and find out who offers or would be willing to offer a discount on policies for those who have a inventory done.
Create a checklist and pamphlet that you can hand out to participants with your business imprinted on it.
The key to success is showing the "Value" of your service to the customer. Tell them the "Why" of why do they need your service. And the bottom line - "How to I benefit from you?" again - more money, easier claims.
Consider getting a business card CD with a short presentation on it that you can hand out or during a seminar hand out disposable cameras with your business name imprinted on them.
Don't stop at the library - offer to conduct a seminar at the Chamber of Commerce. Home Inventory is valuable for businesses too!