I'm a Dallas Cowboy fan. (I can already hear the BOOs!) I was born and raised in Dallas and grew up going to Cowboys games. It was a family affair. And, yes, I remember when the Cowboys were a great team, with great players like Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman, Michael Irwin, and Moose Johnson.
This year the Cowboys may not be a great team, but they have been a consistent team. For the first time in 16 years, the Cowboys have a balanced offense. They’re not a flashy team — probably much to the chagrin of their owner, Mr. Jones — but a team that consistently sticks to a balanced offense of both running and passing. And amazingly, at least to many of us long- suffering fans, the coaches stick to this consistent game plan even when the team quickly falls behind.
So while consistency may seem boring, it can also produce winning teams.
Many of you conduct regular training. In fact, many companies schedule training at least once a week, except when it’s really hot or cold, or when too many people are off work, or when cash flow gets tight. So does that mean consistency doesn’t count when things are busy or the company is under duress? The fact is, winning teams consistently stick to the game plan even when behind.
Kelly Schols, owner of CPI Plumbing and Heating, Mt. Vernon, WA, definitely believes in consistent training. At CPI, training isn’t offered one day or even two days a week. No, at CPI, training is offered five days a week. And the training isn’t always technical. CPI has offered financial planning training for all its employees. The reasoning is, if employees better manage their personal finances, stress is greatly reduced, allowing more relaxed employees working with customers.
CPI also offers life skills training to reinforce the self-worth that every employee needs to recognize within himself or herself and the other members of the team. And this training, along with technical training, is consistently offered for 45 minutes per day, five days a week, every week, every month, every year. Attendance is voluntary. And yes. attendance is consistently 100%.
John and I are often asked about quick fix marketing strategies that will make the phone ring now. If it were only that easy! A winning marketing strategy begins with a game plan, meaning a year-long marketing plan. And yes, just as Tony Romo does call an audible when he recognizes an opportunity on the field, your marketing can react to a good opportunity. But that doesn’t mean not having a marketing plan, or staying in a reactionary mode because your team is behind.
A consistent marketing plan requires following sometimes boring processes and procedures day in and day out. The best guerilla marketing processes start with the CSR positioning maintenance agreements and special offers to the customer. It continues with the technician presenting the customer with a flyer about maintenance agreements or this month’s special. At the conclusion of the call, the technician asks the customer if a disposable yard sign for your company can be placed in her yard in exchange for a $5 gift card to Starbucks. (I am yours forever with that offer.)
After placing the yard sign, the technician writes down the street numbers for the two houses beside the customer’s home and the three or four houses across the street, and places door hangers or reusable shopping bags on each of these houses. (Obviously, ordinances must be checked.)
During the debriefing call with the office, the technician communicates those street numbers and the office immediately sends pre-printed postcards, having a coupon, to each of those five or six houses. A week later those same five or six houses receive the same or a similar postcard with an offer.
Consider automating your guerilla marketing to ensure consistency, as Don Johnson of Freedom Heating and Cooling, Birmingham, AL has done. After reading “Duct Tape Marketing” by John Jantsch, Don took its tenets to heart. On his website, Don offers a free e-book, “How to Guarantee You Never Suffer by Hiring the Wrong Contractor,” to anyone who provides his or her e-mail address. Using the Office Autopilot software, — now Ontrapilot — Don has set up a series of e-mails and postcards that automatically are sent to this potential customer. Don ensures consistency in his marketing by building it in.
Yes, consistency may be boring, but it does create Winning Teams.