Handyman accidentally discovers secret marketing strategy

12 replies
Recently, I noticed some rot in one of my windows at home, so I asked my handyman Marcus to make the necessary repairs.

The plan was to remove the rot and fill in the gaps. But for the filler to stay in place, it has to bond with dry wood. Otherwise, it falls out of the window frame in clumps.

So Marcus started digging out the rot. And he kept digging... and digging... and digging...
Until there was barely any window left!

Marcus is a handyman now, but he used to work as a full-time carpenter/joiner restoring old windows.

So when he said, "this is the worst rot I've ever seen", I knew it was going to be expensive.
Rather than trying to fill the holes, we decided to re-build the bottom half of the window with new timber.

It would cost more upfront but would last much longer.

Here's why I bring this up....

After a week had passed and Marcus was nearly finished, the new window was starting to take shape.

And on the last day of work, I noticed three of my neighbors approach Marcus and ask if he'd do some work for them.

I found this fascinating, for two reasons:

#1: Marcus landed three new leads for his services without any marketing costs... and... whilst getting paid!

#2: Marcus had been working on my window for a week and not one person had asked him about doing any work...and then, on day 5... he had three new leads -- just like that!

I think Marcus just put this down to chance and went on with his day.

But I think there are some very powerful lessons to draw on...

First, it's an example of a dramatic demonstration.

What Marcus did with my window was very, very impressive. To him, it's all in a day's work. But to me, and to other onlookers, he managed to take a window with "the worst rot he'd ever seen" and make it look and function as new. To your average Joe, that takes a remarkable level of skill.

Now, it's very likely that the people who made an enquiry with Marcus had seen his work more than once over the period of a week. So they'd seen Marcus completely transform my window.

The point? A dramatic demonstration like this takes away all doubt in a prospect's mind about your ability to achieve the end result. In this case, if Marcus could restore my rotten old window, the logic goes, he could do anything else around the house.

Second, it's interesting that none of the three men even spoke to Marcus at the beginning or middle of the week.

Perhaps we can put that down to the fact that he hadn't finished the window. After all, you wouldn't buy a weight loss product with just the "before" picture, would you? No, you'd want to see the "after" picture!

But there's more to the story...

You see, even if Marcus had transformed the window from rotten to new in a single day -- which, by all means, would have been even more impressive -- I bet you my lunch money that he wouldn't have received any enquiries.

Why? Because of the simple but often overlooked power of follow-up.

You see, it's very likely that the three chaps had seen Marcus hard at work on multiple occasions.

So, Marcus had passively "followed-up" with them. They had multiple "touchpoints" with him over a period of time... and, eventually... were compelled to contact him.

So here's the pertinent question:

If follow-up + dramatic demonstration is powerful enough to generate new clients when employed passively and totally unintentionally...

... how effective do you think they are when adopted with purpose?
#accidentally #discovers #handyman #marketing #secret #strategy
  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    Five days to fix one window? I'd be looking for a new guy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Callum Birch
      In his defence, it rained for most of those five days. UK...
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        Originally Posted by Callum Birch View Post

        In his defence, it rained for most of those five days. UK...
        So then he wasn't there working for 5 days so the people did not see him working for 5 days. Not sure how things work in UK but where I live in upstate NY you can pick up jobs the first day you are out there. I used to do this kind of work myself. Be clean, neat, presentable. Have a sign on your truck and leave on in the yard while you are doing the work.

        Again, the question is did neighbors wait to make contact with your handyman because they did not want to come out in the rain or were they at home behind the curtains with binoculars observing for 5 days taking notes and once satisfied they made their move


        "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison

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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    It's also possible that none of the neighbors really noticed him or what he was doing until day 5.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    For any job lasting more than a day or two, most builders I've seen put up a board with their contact details while they work on the property. Chances are if Marcus did that he'd have had more enquiries than the three he got.

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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I agree and I think there is a sense off 'familiarity' when neighbors see someone working for several days.

    I had a father and his son working on my house in MS for about 2 weeks - it was at the front of the house where the workmen were visible. The second week several neighbors stopped by and the workers ended up with many contact and several jobs in the neighborhood.

    If you see someone day after day I think you are more likely to wave or say hi or strike up a conversation. Same theory as 'followups' but...in person.
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog
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  • All I know is, any hot trade guys stop by my apartment, likely I kidnap 'em for a week.

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    This really is not much of a secret to people who do quality work .

    How did you find out about this handiman.

    The problem most have is they can get all the work they can handle and maybe find one or two dependable helpers who don't flake out on a regular basis
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  • Profile picture of the author CKodiak
    Hey Callum,
    For me I think that's a fascinating analysis. Maybe there's other aspects at play as others have commented, but an event like that would have passed 99% of people by without further thought (myself probably included!). Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Callum - you can use 'thanks' button to acknowledge a post - please don't make a separate post to acknowledge every comment - use the quote or multi-quote and do in one post. Thanks.

    (You are using the 'modern view' - for an alternate 'view', click on you forum name in the black toolbar above - from the drop down click on "view classic" in the gold 'box'.... That will take you to the standard forum view - sometimes it's a bit easier to participate in that view.

    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog
    Life has no remote...
    Get up and change it yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author kuchenchef
    this story never happened.
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  • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
    I understand the marketing concept that you're trying to explain, but I don't understand how it worked in this story.

    No one else knew you had "the worst rot". They just saw a guy (could be your brother or an old drinking buddy) working on a window for 5 days. Rain or no rain, I don't think I would be compelled to ask a guy to do work in my home after observing him work on one window for 5 days.

    Yes, I have been at least curious when I see a team of 3-5 guys doing work around someone's home. I would look at their truck for signage and would read the sign on the yard if they had one.

    These days though, it's difficult to find all around skilled, hand men. Whatever needs to be repaired or renovated in my house, I'm typically calling the specialists who ONLY do windows or ONLY do landscaping or ONLY do roofing etc.

    Sorry, but I would not be asking this guy to help me with my windows based on simple observation.
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