Helping people makes you money but business owners still don’t get it.

“I’m not doing a video telling people how to do it. That will lose me business. My potential customers will just do it themselves”

It’s stunning to me how often I *still* hear this. It happened just the other day. Lucy, my wife and business partner, was talking to a chap who runs a sole trader business and is struggling to get new leads. The main reason for this was obvious. They weren’t doing any marketing. There wasn’t any budget for anything that would cost money. A common scenario, of course.

So, it’s organic all the way. We suggested an ongoing campaign designed to spread awareness and build influence in the local community based around written blogs and how-to videos.

No go.

Sometimes we speak to sales representatives who get it. They see the value in creating content with one simple goal. To help. Not being the decision maker can be tough (it’s why I could never be an employee ever again). You know what needs to be done but those above you are still stuck in their time machine.

I remember meeting a guy at a local networking event a while back. He’s a sales representative for a company that sells and repairs photo copiers. Yeah, they still exist. Having bashed my head against my desk a few times with scanning and copying apps for my phone I can understand why. A real copier is much better. Especially one that can chat with you over Facebook Messenger (weird).

That industry is absolutely perfect for the how-to video. Apparently, they get a lot of call outs for what turn out to be very simple little things. The power cable has come loose from the socket, that kinda thing. So they send an engineer out, who takes a look behind the machine, pushes the plug in and writes an invoice for £75. Less than 10 minutes later the guy is out the door and onto the next job.

How does the customer feel in this situation? Embarrassed perhaps. Likely a bit miffed they’ve just had to pay out the best part of £100 for a two minute job. I doubt they would consciously blame the copy business but it’s not exactly creating a positive feeling is it?

What if we adopted a better approach? If the business in question had a YouTube series of common things to check if your printer/scanner/copier doesn’t work could we not direct people who have a problem towards that channel as a first step? What’s likely to happen? There will always be a small percentage of folks who don’t want to get involved be it a confidence thing or just not having the time and, for them, the £75 even for a two minute simple job is worth the money. However, most people will be really pleased that a business has put their ‘customer’ first and offered a simple solution that can be implemented more quickly than an engineer could come out and without any cost.

So how do we stay in business when we are constantly telling people how to do it themselves? That’s easy. What’s more important to you, a quick £75 repair job that creates no loyalty or a lifetime of copier sales that could generate thousands of pounds of business? No brainer right? You’d think so but we are so tuned to not think long term that we often miss this critical point. When that customer who fixed their machine for free after watching your video needs a complete new machine, who are they calling?

Take a guess.

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