Marketing 101…Keep the money in the building.

Your accountant will be happy to know that there is a mathematical formula to sales and marketing.Prospects
X    Closing Ratio
X    Average ticket
=         $$$ Sales

Advertising recently worked on me and I became a prospect for a Martinizing Dry Cleaning location on our side of town.

I’m not a coupon clipper, but for some reason I was paging through a Shopping News coupon book and spotted an ad with coupons for Martinizing. Even though I’ve driven buy their location many times on the way to the soccer fields, I had never noticed the location on our side of town over by The Keg Chicken.

Having some extra cleaning to do, I thought I’d give them a try and save the 20% that the coupon offered all at the same time. The coupon was not good on same day service, which I did notice in the ad.

It was a later lunch and I arrived with cleaning in one hand, the coupon in the other, and cash in my wallet at about 1:30. It was Thursday and I wanted the cleaning on Saturday…two days on my Outlook Calendar and the one on the wall in the Kitchen.

That’s when I learned that the dry cleaning day doesn’t match the business day.  At 1:30, the day’s work had been completed, so I was actually living on Friday time at the cleaners. Since it was Friday on a Thursday, the cleaning I wanted on a Saturday was only one day away making the offer null and void.

Not appreciating advertising that seemed misleading, I gathered up the sport coats and apologized to the young lady at the counter that I would have to take it somewhere else.

I was a prospect, but she didn’t close the deal. And it wasn’t just the $30.00 or $40.00 that walked down the street…there’s another zero involved when you look at the amount of business that could have been garnered from the next twelve months of business, most of which would have been at full price without a coupon. (And that amount multiplies with the referral factor of a happy customer.)  The Average Ticket in this case is much more than the 30-bucks worth of cleaning that was lying on the counter.

So what’s the lesson? If you pay for advertising, want it to bring in new customers, want to use your investment to put a hurt on the competitors, and someone is ready to “pay me my money down”, please close the deal.

In this case, a simple education of a new customer about the store’s deadlines and cleaning schedules, along with a cheerful, “let me take care of it this time for you” would have gone a long way toward making the sale and building the business.

They did however prevent an unauthorized discount from occurring west of I-29.  I guess that’s what happens when it’s Friday on a Thursday.  And if Friday comes on a Thursday, do I get to start the weekend early?

– Leigh Anglin