10 Business Building Tools For Your Dry Cleaning Business!

Wed, Dec 23, 2015

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Who should be taking care of the marketing of your dry cleaning business?

Should you pass it off to one of your employees? How about an advertising agency? Or your Valpak rep?

You the owner should be orchestrating all of your marketing and advertising—NO one else!

This is the most important job you have in your dry cleaning business bar none!Lifetime.value

Anyone can run a plant. Anyone can deal with your customers. Anyone can spot. Anyone can press. Anyone can turn on the boiler in the morning. These can be taught. You can train people to do all of these tasks.

You CAN’T train someone to market your business. ONLY you can do this.

You are the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of your dry cleaning business.

The most successful dry cleaning owners I know, don’t even have an office in their plant, it’s in their home away from all the chaos.

Now that you understand this, let’s talk about the first (and most important) of the business building tools you can use.

Business Building Tool #1: Figuring Out The Lifetime Value Of A Route Customer – You must know what your customers are worth, so you can determine how much you’re willing to spend to get one.

Most dry cleaners (and for the most part, most business owners) have no idea what they would pay for a customer. I ask this of dry cleaners all the time. Most of them just throw out a number like $30. I then ask how they came up with that number. They have no idea. I guess it sounded good, they say.

I’d be willing to pay up to $125 for a new route customer. How did I come up with that? My average route customer generates $61/month or $732/year. 22% or $161 of that is pure profit. And I haven’t even gotten into year 2, 3 and so on. If you’ve got a plant, your gross profit is probably 50% of that or $366. Your fixed costs like rent, computers, and staff (for the most part) doesn’t change.

The going rate to purchase a quality route these days is about 50% of revenue. When you buy a route, you’d be paying $366 for every route customer.

If you knew ahead of time what each customer would generate and how long they would be with you, it’d be easy to come up with a number you’d pay for customers. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to do your homework and figure this out.

So if you look at it this way, $30 is REALLY CHEAP to get that customer. And $125 isn’t too bad. The good news is, is that you’ll get route customers at all different price ranges.

Should you only get the ones for $30? NO! That’s wouldn’t be too smart. Why? Because some of the best methods for getting a concentrated route cost you more than $30. I have members that pay $105 for every route customer they get from hiring doorknockers. I have members that pay $75 to get customers through bag drops (and a bunch down to $30 too). The EDDM mailings we do generally cost more to get a route customer. Those range from $80-$125 per new route customer. Getting new route customer from New Mover Mailing cost in the $50 range. Referred customers cost you the least, some almost nothing, but they’re the hardest to get. If you know how to set it up, you can get a flow of them coming in. We give the new referred customer $10 in dry cleaning and the same to our customer that referred them.

This “Lifetime Value of a Customer” is the most important of the 10 Business Building Tools and you must be on board with this before we move on.

ty.noteBusiness Building Tool #2: Hand Written Thank You Note – This one is primarily for your counter business. Let’s say 100 new customers come into your plant this month—only 50 come back next month. Why is that? Because you don’t invite them back, that’s why.

Member David Whitehurst sends out a hand written thank-you note for every new customer that come into his store. His CSR’s do it. He’s scripted 3 different notes that his people can use. He picks the better handwriting and spelling CSR’s to handle this. He’s got a folded note card with his logo on the front. The note goes something like this: “We noticed that this was your first visit to Champion Cleaners and just wanted to let you know if you every need anything special, please don’t hesitate to ask.” It’s that simple. He doesn’t even give them an incentive like “20% off your next visit” like some of my other members do to get them coming back.

David gets 72% of his first time customers to return! That’s HUGE! Because you’re probably only getting 50% of them back.

When was the last time you got a personalized, hand-written thank you note? Not in a while, I bet. It’s a lost art. People get excited about getting something hand addressed and hand written. Just as a side note: don’t put a return address on the plain white envelope and use a live stamp. This adds to the excitement.

David has a system set up for this that all he had to do is monitor it once in a while. Could you do this? I think you could. And it’s cheap! No labor cost. The CSR’s can do it during their down time. Just paper and stamps is your cost to get 22 more customers for every 100 that come in the door.

Business Building Tool #3: Route Reminder Calls – You’ll get 11-20% more revenue on the weeks you use those robotic reminder calls. You know the ones—the calls from your doctor, dentist, cardiologist, etc. Those ones are useful, but the other ones bugging you are a pain in the %#@! So how to we get around that and turn these reminder calls into a welcome guest instead of a unwanted pest. That’s right. Our customers like our robotic reminder calls they get every week. Mine have been getting them for over 10 years and some of my customers that have moved away still want to get them.

How do it do it?

I attach a “Quote of the Week” to each reminder call. I get customers saving them and gathering their kids around for the lesson of the week. I get stopped in Starbucks thanking me for the quotes. I get customers I’ve never met before recognizing my voice in restaurants and asking if I’m their dry cleaner. This “quote reminder call” thing works like a charm and builds customer loyalty too.

My script goes something like this: “Hi, this is Greg with Colosi’s Cleaners. This is just a friendly reminder that tomorrow is your pick up day. And this week’s quote is from Abraham Lincoln—he says…….

It’s sweet, short and people love it! Around the holidays I spruce it up a little bit by adding Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to the mix. Use your imagination. Your customers will love it.

Here’s what happens if you don’t use reminder calls. Not all of your customers are organized. Most are not. Especially when you get a brand new route customer, you’ve got to train them for their pick-up day. If you don’t send out a robo reminder call and one of your customers forgets to put out their dirty dry cleaning, they won’t call you and tell you to come back. They’re embarrassed. What will they do? They’ll run to the cleaners around the corner for just this time (they think). Next week they forget again and they run around the corner again. Before you know it, you’re out and the cleaner around the corner is in. They’ve made new friends. And if that’s not your store, you just lost a customer. It happens that easy.

Check out VoiceBlaze.com to do your robo reminder calls for you.

Business Building Tool #4: Google My Business – I’m sure you have this done, BUT there is the right way to GoogleMyBusinessNEW
populate this site and there’s the wrong way. First of all, it’s FREE! There is room for 26 photos. You’re smiling face should be the profile photo (Why? People want to do business with other people, not some faceless corporation.) And then you’ve got these 5 categories to put photos in: Interior, Exterior, Photo’s at Work, Team, and additional photos. Fill up all these spots with everything you’ve got. Get pictures of your van, the inside of your store, photo’s of your employees, photo’s of all the things you do and then whatever else you can come up with. Google wants you to fill all the slots—so fill them.

How many reviews do you have with Google? If you don’t have more than 10, you better get some more. How? Start asking your customers to post a review when they say something nice to you about your business. This could be on the phone or at your counter. You could also send out an email asking your customers to write a review. Reviews are important. They will get your dry cleaner on page 1 of Google when someone is searching for a dry cleaner.

You’ll also want to set up your business on Google+. Didn’t know you could do it, so I just did it. Hey! Things on the Internet are changing rapidly and you gotta change with them.

Business Building Tool #5: Write blog posts on your blog – If you don’t have a blog, you better get one. One of the simplest things you can do to get your dry cleaner listed on the first page of Google is blogging. Google owns 67% off all searches and if you’re on their first page, you can bet you’re also on Bing’s and Yahoo’s too.

How do you write a blog that will get you on the first page of Google? I’m going to give you the short version here in this article. First of all, your blog post must have one of the top keywords for your dry cleaning business to work. In the title, you should have [keyword] [city or town] [state] and [zip code] to make it work. Then you must sprinkle this into the first paragraph and towards the end of your article.

Here is an example of the headline for one of your blog posts:

“Pittsford NY Dry Cleaner Offers FREE Pick-Up & Delivery In 14534”

“Dry Cleaner” is the number one keyword in most markets. “Dry Cleaners” is number 2 and “Dry Cleaning” is #3. I’d write 3 posts right away with these 3 keywords in them and the city, state and zip code information. Be creative and write weaving this information into your blog post. Once you do that, you’ll find your name showing up on the first page (or better yet, the top of the first page) of Google, Bing and Yahoo.

newsletter-iconBusiness Building Tool #6: Write a newsletter – David Whitehurst from Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, AL says, “The biggest thing a newsletter can do for you is customer retention through connecting with a customer as a person instead of some faceless business, especially if you’re delivering.” David sells other services through his newsletter like carpet cleaning. He mailed out 550 newsletters last month and about one third of the cost was paid through getting carpet-cleaning jobs. He does this with a carpet cleaner he has contracted and gets a commission. David takes our monthly newsletter template and changes a few articles to customize it.

Business Building Tool #7: Emailing – If you’re not emailing your customer base, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to sell them more of your services. The biggest objection I get with emailing is that you don’t want to alienate your customers. I understand that and I don’t want to alienate mine either. BUT, and this is a big but—it’s not your job to decide if you’re customers want your information or not. It’s their job. They can always opt out. With all the email autoresponder companies, you have to easily show them how they can “unsubscribe.” If you’re skittish about this, you can put your “unsubscribe” info into at the beginning of your email message instead of at the end. I see lots of companies doing this now.

I rent “Rug Doctor’s” through my emailing. I sign up customers for our house cleaning business there too. I let them know about the holiday delivery changes. I give them household and garment cleaning tips. I send out around one email per week. About 90% of my customers stay with me and 10% opt out. You’re crazy if you’re not taking advantage of this simple and very profitable idea.

Business Building Tool #8: New Mover Mailers – Do you know how hard it is to find a good dry cleaner? I remember back in the 80’s when I was dry cleaning my customer suits and shirts. It took me 3 cleaners before I finally settled in on one. When someone moves into your territory, they are looking for a good dry cleaner. Why can’t that be you? For our members, we’ve got a tested letter that brings in about 6% of what’s mailed. If you’ve got 100 new people moving into your territory, that’s 72 new customers over the next year. Every little bit helps.

Business Building Tool #9: Bag Dropping – If you don’t mind knocking on doors, you can drop bags at doors in your territory and knock on their doors to get them back. Most of my members don’t knock on doors, so they do a “pure” bag drop and after following up with post-it notes (instead of knocking), 3-8% of homes end up signing up for the their delivery service by leaving their bag out full of dirty dry cleaning. What’s nice about bag dropping is that your customers are in concentrated routes instead of being spread out all over the place.

Business Building Tool #10: Businesses as customers – There are two kinds of business customers you can get. The first is the business as a customer. Customers like hair salons, doctor and dentist offices and the like. The other is getting a lawyers office or an insurance office for the individual people as your customers. You can do this by stopping by those offices and asking them for their business. Or… we’ve got a 3-step letter program that gets the businesses to call you. Either way, it’s a good source of more business for your dry cleaner.

Take one of these ideas this week and put it into use. Make me proud!

And please give me your comments. Thanks.

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How To Use “More Than Money Back” GUARANTEES To Get & Keep Customers!

Wed, Oct 14, 2015

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And I’m not talking about those “wimpy” limited guarantees either. I’m talking about GUARANTEES with some pizzazz and bite to them.

The primary purpose of a GUARANTEE is to take away the risk of doing business with your dry cleaner. You goal is to pave the way for hesitant prospective customers to easily start doing business with you. You want to take away any and all apprehension of giving you that first garment to clean.

So how do you take all the risk and make it “riskless” for your future customer to do business with you?

Take a look at my “Broken Button Guarantee”:

Broken-Button-Guarantee-CopyDoodles2

(I’ve got a little online tool that you can use to create your very own guarantees. Hold on. I’ll tell you about it in a minute)

You might be thinking, “I don’t want to give away $5 bills every day.” If that’s your thinking, IT’S ALL WRONG!

Wouldn’t you want to know that your shirts are going out with cracked and broken buttons? Wouldn’t you want to know immediately when this starts to happen? I do and I know you do too.

The “Broken Button Guarantee” accomplishes two things: First and foremost, you’ll know if a trend of broken buttons is happening in your shop. Secondly, you are telling your future customers that you watch the buttons and that they’re NOT going to get broken buttons from you.

All of your customers have experienced broken buttons from their past dry cleaner and they don’t want it to happen again. You’re highlighting it and letting them know that you know about cracked and broken buttons and that you’ve done something about it.

This gives your customers and future customers the confidence to do with business with you and keep doing business with you. Can you see where I’m coming from?

I did this 19 years ago when I started in the business. I took from what my experiences were with dry cleaners and created certain ways of handling things in my new dry cleaners.

I do not own a plant. I only have a route. I wanted to know if and when broken buttons were showing up on my customer’s shirts and this was a sure-fire way to find out.

At one point I did get a flurry of $5 broken button requests. I think I paid out about $25, but I did find out that there was a problem at the plant with one of the shirt bucks. We fixed it and since then I’ve paid out maybe two or three more times. This was a very small price to pay to find out that we were breaking buttons.

This is another one of my GUARANTEES:$10-FREE-Guarantee-CopyDoodles

If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I offer $10 in FREE Dry Cleaning to try out my route service. I’ve tested all kinds of offers—the percentage-off ones, the buy-one-get-one FREE offers, the tell-me-how-much-you-spend-in-a-month-and-I’ll-give-you-that-to-you-in-FREE-dry-cleaning offer, the stuff-this-bag-for-$X-dollars (Groupon type) offer and none of them worked as good as the $10 FREE Dry Cleaning Offer. I started at $50 in FREE Dry Cleaning and $10 worked best.

BUT, when you give something away, you’ve got to explain your rationale or they think its TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

So I explain: “I’m going give you $10 of FREE dry cleaning to try me out with NO strings attached. You don’t have to give me $1000 in free dry cleaning to get the free $10. There is no obligation of any kind or any other hidden fees. It’s just a simple offer to test the waters. I offer this free dry cleaning so the risk is all mine. If my service is not what I say it is, you’ve lost nothing. Give it a try!” And then I personally GUARANTEE it!

As you can see, there is no *asterisk. If you have an *asterisk, that leads to some fine print, and fine print ALWAYS limits the guarantee. You might as well forget your guarantee, because it’s worth nothing with an *asterisk!

You might be asking, “How do I limit myself from those people (the mooches) who hardly do any dry cleaning and just want the freebie?” We have safeguards against that on our order form and when they call in. A few slip through, but not many.

I’m giving you permission to use my GUARANTEES word-for-word if you like. You can go here and create your own just like I did. It takes only 5 minutes and you don’t need any graphics tech knowledge.

Here’s the site: DC-Guarantee.com

I hope you enjoyed this, but better yet, I hope you start putting these valuable “More Than Money Back” GUARANTEES into action in your dry cleaners NOW!

I’d love to hear your comments below.

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The Five Key Principles For Maximizing Referrals & Customer Retention!

Tue, Sep 1, 2015

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thanks. referralThese five key principles help you get referrals and keep your customers. It costs you five times as much to get a new customer as to keep one. So you might as well take good care of the ones you have. And while you’re taking care of them, you might as well get some referrals.

Most dry cleaners get a new customer and never talk to that customer again. Your new customer never hears from you unless they pop into your store or catch you while you’re delivering their clothes. Is this the way you’d like it to be? I don’t think so.

Principle #1 – Frequency Of Communications: I want you to think about the personal relationships you have in your business and personal life. How much time do you spend seeing and talking with your closest friends? Do you only talk to them once a year? Or do you spend some time every week or month connecting with them?

What would happen if you ONLY talked to your very best friend once or twice every two years?

What would happen if you only saw your spouse or significant other one night a year (Hey, you might like that, but that is not the point. That’s a whole other article for another magazine. Haha.)?

If you only saw your spouse once a year, it would not last. It’s like only talking to your best customers once a year—maybe at the holidays—your relationship will deteriorate.

How are the relationships you have with people different when you speak with them on a regular basis as opposed to quarterly or annually? Outside of business, those people whom you speak to often are the people you have the closest relationships with, and those friends from the past are just people you are familiar with or share a history with now.

The longer you go between communications, the weaker your relationships is with your customers, and the more open they are to using your other products and services or simply forgetting about you altogether.

Another wrinkle in this is the type of communication you deliver. If every interaction you have with someone is you asking them for money (ie. Pay my bills just this time! Yeah. Right.), you’re killing the relationship.

Everyone has had a friend or family member in his or her life that is always asking for money. The only time they call or come by is because they need a favor or to borrow (“I promise. I’ll pay you back. Yeah. Right) some money. That relationship gets old real fast. You start avoiding them like the plague. And that’s how most dry cleaners operate. They never contact you unless they need some money. They never just say hi and share some valuable information. They’re always selling one of their services and/or asking for money.

Do you want to be that dry cleaner?

I don’t think you do.

So what can you do to?

You can send them an email giving them some cleaning tips for their home. You can start a newsletter (a paper one is better) and share some of your insight and wisdom. You can talk about how dry cleaning works and talk about some of your employees. You can tell them some (tasteful) jokes and stories. Let your personality show up.

I write a newsletter every month for our members to use and it’s got all these ideas in it. It keeps your customers involved and they don’t forget you. If you’d like a copy of my newsletter, go to NoDoorKnocking.com/sendnewsletter and I’ll mail one out to you right away.

Principle #2 – Consistency Of Communications: I’m writing this in August. This is vacation month. Most dry cleaners are very slow and the owners are on vacation (If not really on vacation, they’re on vacation in their mind. And if you’re not hanging out at some beach you should be. That’s another article.). This time and in December, not much gets done marketing wise in most dry cleaners.consistency

This is not good.

Being inconsistent in the eyes of your customers and your prospects is bad for business. How you market to your prospects tells them how you’ll be when you have them as a customer. If you don’t communicate with them in July/August and during December, you’re telling them that you run your business by the seat-of-your-pants and you’re very disorganized.

If you send out your newsletter every once in a while or get it out late every month, you’re telling your customers that you’re all over the place running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off!

You must plan ahead for those months. It’s like booking a vacation for March in December. You know that you’ll be away, so you start making plans for the time you’re away. Do the same for your dry cleaning business.

Don’t forget to get a copy of my newsletter mailed to you: NoDoorKnocking.com/sendnewsletter

Principle #3 – Communicate Multiple Ways: You can’t send just one email asking for referrals and expect a landslide of responses. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to ask all the time and ask in different ways without being annoying.

How do you do that?

Here are all the ways that my members communicate with their dry cleaning customers.

*email

*attached flyer

*newsletter

*hanger covers

*referral quote card

*weekly reminder calls

Email: At least once a month, you dedicate an email to referring your neighbors. At the bottom of ALL your emails, after your signature, you ask for referrals: “Refer Your Neighbor & Get A $10 Starbucks Gift Card.”

Flyer: Attach a flyer once a month to all the out going deliveries explaining how your “Referral Reward Program” works and include a little baggie of referral cards like he ones you see here. Copy what I got. You’ve got my permission.

Newsletter: My membership gets a DONE-FOR-YOU newsletter written for them each month and one half of a 4-page newsletter is dedicated to the “Referral Rewards Program” This section explains the program and also recognizes those dry cleaning customers that referred in the past month.

hanger-coverHanger Covers: Custom printed hanger covers are a great way to ALWAYS be asking for referrals. This is member Stephen Moore’s hanger cover. This goes on ALL his hangers. This is a constant reminder to all of his customers that he is looking for referrals.

referral.card.frontThe Referral/Quote Card is a sneaky way to always be asking for referrals too. As you can see, one side asks nicely for referrals and other side is a quote. Everyone likes quotes. Each week you’ll have a new quote. Members attach these to all orders and they also pop these in jacket and shirt pockets for a nice surprise. You’ll get lots of positive comments with the Referral/Quote Card and referrals too.

Weekly Reminder Calls: Do you remind your customers the night before with areferral.card.back robocall that you’ll be picking up their dry cleaning in the morning? If not, you’re loosing up to 20% in revenue (that’s another article). Anyway, when you’re reminding your customers of tomorrow’s pick-up, you can slide in a plug for referrals.

Principle #4 – Reward, Thank & Recognize:

Most people don’t even want the $10 in free dry cleaning or the Starbucks card. But it’s a way for you to follow up and thank them. There are two ways we thank them: a personalized “Thank You Note” sent through the mail and in the newsletter. When you send out the gift card, you include a nice note thanking them for their referral mentioning the person they referred. It’s a nice touch and will be remembered.

In your newsletter, you recognize them with the others that referred that past month. You can see how I do it.

Principle #5 – Quality & Customer Service: You’ve heard this a million times before that quality and customer service will bring in all the referrals you can handle and you don’t need the rest of the stuff I just mentioned. I think it’s the foundation of getting referrals, BUT I also believe that if you’ve got your act together with Q&CS, you can double the amount of referrals with all the “asking” techniques I mentioned.

Member Grant Carson has built a huge route business in the very competitive market of California. Grant says “YES” to EVERYTHING! As he tells it, “When a customer needs something by Saturday morning and just gave it to us Friday afternoon, we get it to him. I know I just lost money on that individual transaction. But how much ‘referral capital’ did I just build?—a bunch! Do you think that guy is going to tell his friends, family and neighbors about what I did for him in his time of need? You bet he its. My drivers and employees are looking for that kind of ‘capital’ in all that we do at our dry cleaning business.”

Most dry cleaners look at that transaction as “what did that cost me?” Not Grant. He looks at it as, “How much capital did I just build?”

Same goes with your shirt service. Most of us dry cleaners keep our shirt prices down to get the dry cleaning. And along with that thinking, most (not you of course) dry cleaners don’t treat the cleaning of a shirt like they would a piece of dry cleaning. WRONG way to think!

You should pay MORE attentions to your shirts because they are going to keep the dry cleaning coming in. You could have perfect dry cleaning quality and less than perfect shirt laundering and your customer will leave you. They’re not going to take their shirts somewhere else and continue to bring you their dry cleaning because you do a fantastic jog with it.

If you look at EVERYTHING in your dry cleaning business as marketing, building referral capital, and customer retention, you’ll have a very successful “Referral & Customer Retention Generating Machine!”

I hope you enjoyed this, but better yet, I hope you start putting these ideas into action NOW!

Give me your comments below.

 

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EDDM

Tue, Jul 14, 2015

1 Comment

How To Use EDDM To Market Your Dry Cleaners!
Every Door Direct Mail –USPS

 EDDM-logo

If you don’t know anything about it, EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is a way to mail to postal routes very CHEAP! The going rate right now is about 18.5 cents per mailing piece.

EDDM is great for marketing your route business because you can ONLY mail to postal routes (that’s how you get the cheap rates) which should be pretty close to your delivery routes.

As you might know, I’m in the Dry Cleaning Marketing consulting business. I use my delivery business as a “marketing laboratory” to test out direct mail and other advertising media.

EDDM was a hard code to crack. It was hard because we couldn’t use demographics and everybody and their brother started using it so your prospects’ mailboxes were full of postcards and menus of every kind. It’s slowed down a bit and there are things you can do to your mailing to separate yourself from the flood of EDDM mail that everyone gets.

I’ve got a little report that explains this in much more detail and some EDDM postcard samples of the ones we use. If you’d like to get the report and samples, go to: NoDoorKnocking.com/eddm

With EDDM there are NO envelopes. You CANNOT address to an individual. You can use a variety of postcards and a menu size mailer too.

Here are the sizes you can use:EDDM-Postcard-Dimentions
I’ve tried the menu size mailer first with no luck. And then I started to test the postcards at various sizes and black/white vs. color.

Before we get into what sizes and colors work better, I’ve got to discuss briefly what goes into a direct mail postcard (or any direct mail piece for that matter).

#1: The MOST important ingredient of a direct mail postcard is the HEADLINE. The HEADLINE determines 90% of the success of the mail piece. I test lots of headlines. I’ve tested hundreds of them in my 8 years of consulting with dry cleaners. Most business owners think if a postcard looks good and everyone says it looks professional and pretty, that it’s going to work. Not true.

I’ve been at this for a while and I CAN’T guess what’s going to work and what won’t work with certainty. Only your dry cleaning prospects know what is going to work. They tell you that by becoming a route customer or not becoming a route customer.

#2: The next most important ingredient of a direct mail postcard is the OFFER. What are you OFFERING to get your route customer to try you out. What are you going to give them so that they will at least give you a try. I’m going to give you the offer I use, but first I’ve got a few things to tell you. I tried percentage-off offers. I tried buy-2-get-1-FREE offers. I tried “straight-out” money off offers.

The “straight-out” money offers worked the best. I tried $50 in FREE dry cleaning all the way down to $10 in FREE dry cleaning. What do you think worked best? This blew my mind. Never would of guessed it. I hope you do.

The $10 OFFER was the winner!

Never would of thought in a million years. I guess the other offers sounded too good to be true.

So everything I do has an offer of “$10 in FREE Dry Cleaning” in it. No matter if it’s an ad in the newspaper or a postcard mailing—it works universally in all advertising mediums.

#3: Telling a story is the next ingredient. On the postcard tell a little bit about you and your dry cleaner. People want to know about that kind of stuff. They want to be entertained and feel like they know you.

#4: The next and last ingredient is a DEADLINE. You MUST have a DEADLINE or your direct mail postcard will not work as well. It’s like the sale they’re having at your local Macy’s. “It’s this weekend only,” that gets you to buy by this weekend. You’re doing the same thing with your deadline in the postcards.

The “DEADLINE” thing kind of held me up with even trying out the EDDM mailings. Why? Because back when I tried “bulk mail” through the post office (which is basically the same as EDDM), they delivered it when they felt like it. Sometimes it got out 2-3 weeks after you wanted it to.

If you’ve got a deadline in 2 weeks, your postcard could get delivered past the deadline and that just killed your mailing dead. In my tests, the post office has gotten lots better at delivering when they say they’re going to. Once I got that taken care of, it was on to testing the headlines first, the offer ($10 in FREE) and the sizes and black/white or color postcards.

Lots of testing goes into a direct mail postcard. You just don’t slap it together and mail it out. You have to meticulously test every part, one at a time, to see what works best.

With EDDM I decided to use the “Carpet Bombing” mailing technique. I have an area in my town that I want route customers. I decided to mail that market area every month—month in and month out.

This is the same area that I have customers. This is the same area that gets my bag drops. These houses see lots of me. They see my van coming through twice a week and they see my orange bags hanging on their neighbors’ doors.

Doesn’t take too many route customers to justify sending out the EDDM “Carpet Bomb” mailings. I’m willing to pay $100 for a route customer that generates $600/year in revenue. If I get a “half of a percent” from the EDDM “Carpet Bomb” mailings, I’m doing just great.

I was surprised that neither the size of the postcard nor the black/white or color did not make much of a difference. There was a little uptick by using color vs. B/W—but not much.

And sending out a different postcard every month did make a BIG difference. Same enough so they knew who I was, but different enough to make them read it and respond by becoming a route customer.

I’ve got a little report that explains this in much more detail and some EDDM postcard samples of the ones we use. If you’d like to get the report and samples, go to: NoDoorKnocking.com/eddm

…and I’ll send them out to you right away.

Would love your comments below…

 Call 888-661-1992 to set up a FREE 30-minute consult with me about your routes and/or your counter business or anything you’d like to talk about in your dry cleaning business.

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17 Ways To Make Your Phone Ring With Route Customers

Wed, Mar 18, 2015

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Take one or two of these ideas and put them to use in your dry cleaning business and see what happens.

The more ways you can get route customers, the better. Having only one marketing method is dangerous. If you have 4 or 5 ways to get customers and have them on autopilot, you’re on your way.

Here are the 17 ways to make your phone ring:

#1 – Your Delivery Van: If your van just has your dry cleaners name and phone number on it, you’re wasting some valuable real estate on the rest of your van. Your van should have your USP (Unique Selling Point) and a call to action—a reason for your prospect to call you. This is what someone sees when they’re following one of my member’s vans:

It say’s:van_mckenzie_pics 005

Try Our FREE Pick-Up & Next Day Delivery Service. Why Waste Your Time & Gas! Use Ours—It’s Easy & It’s FREE!

Call 234-4400 To Find Out More—FREE Recorded Message Reveals Details.

Why waste this opportunity. Once you’re in a neighborhood, it gets easier to get other customers. And having your FREE recorded message does all the selling for you. If your van is not wrapped, consider getting this done. Next time you purchase a van, please use your van as a marketing method to get more route customers.

#2 – Past Customers: Do you really know why a past customer stopped using you? If they didn’t tell you or you didn’t get on phone to find out why, you have no idea. People’s lives change. Jobs change. Situations change. It wasn’t your fault that they all left as you might think so. If you put together a cleverly crafted “I Want You Back” letter, you’ll get upwards of 25% of your customers back. Give them some incentive like $10 in FREE dry cleaning to come back to your route or your store.

#3 – Referrals: Do you ask for referrals? Most dry cleaners don’t. I don’t. I don’t ask personally, but I ask a number of other ways. Once every month, you should put together a letter asking for referrals and attach it to your deliveries for that week. Put together a certificate on your computer (or have someone do it for you), write a letter to go with it and you’ve got your referral letter. Change it up every month depending on what’s going one. In February you could have a Valentine’s theme. Once you’ve put together 12 of these, they’re done for years to come. Offer $10 in FREE dry cleaning if they refer and $10 to the one they referred.

When you first sign up a new route customer, send them a letter asking for referrals and send out an email once every month to match up with the theme of the letter you’ve written and are attaching to the deliveries.

#4 – PPC or Pay-Per-Click: Every browser has their version of PPC. Let’s talk about Google’s Adwords. Most people—75% of them search using Google, so lets concentrate on this. If you’re only going to place PPC ads, you’ll be seen by 75% of the market by just using Google’s Adwords.

It’s not difficult. Go get Google Adwords for Dummies and/or Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide to Google Adwords. I read Perry’s book and easily set up my dry cleaner’s PPC ads. He saved me a ton of money by following his simple ideas. Most of your competitors are not into PPC. You should be.

Don’t sloff this off. If this Internet stuff scares you, the more reason to dig in. It’s not as difficult as you think it might be. And placing an ad with Google is Kindergarden stuff. So, go do it now!

#5 – Your Website: If placing your PPC ad is a little tough for you, you might need a teenager’s help with your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how you get your website seen by your prospects. I do this through my blog that’s on my website. When I write a blog post, I use the top keywords that your prospects use to find dry cleaners. They are in these, in this order: dry cleaner [your town] [your state], dry cleaners [your town] [your state], and dry cleaning [your town] [your state]. Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide will help you with finding keywords for your dry cleaner.

#6 – Become Your Town’s Dry Cleaning Expert: Ask your local paper if you can write a monthly article on dry cleaning. Explain what you know about the dry cleaning business. I’m sure you can come up with dozen’s of ideas. The article could be as short a 200 words. Ask the paper to post a picture of you, your dry cleaner, address and phone number. You could even set up an “Ask a Dry Cleaner” column. I’m sure there are lots of questions out there that people would love to see answered.

#7 – Press Releases: This is a great way to keep your dry cleaner in the press. Every time you hire someone, write a press release. When you introduce new service new like, “Ugg Cleaning”, write a press release. If you keep this idea in your mind, you’ll come up with lots of reasons to write press releases.

#8 – Complimentary Partnerships: You advertise for them and they’ll advertise for you. Approach clothing stores, gyms, hair and nail salons, house cleaning companies or any business close by yours that you think might be a good fit. If you have a newsletter (we’ll talk about that later), you can place their advertisements in your newsletter and in turn they can place your advertisements on their counter or bulletin board.

#9 – Newsletter: How many dry cleaners send out a newsletter to their customers? I bet it’s only 1 in 500 at most. Why don’t they? Because 499 of them don’t know what the benefits are. If they did, they’d be getting one out every month. What does a newsletter do for your dry cleaning business besides building loyalty?

The most important thing it does is get you referred customers. My newsletters are built to get referrals from your existing customer base. You have a monthly contest, which is explained in your newsletter every month. You reward your customers with FREE dry cleaning when they refer and you give away a big gift for that person who refers the most new customers that month.

#10 – Testimonials: Testimonials itself is not a method of getting customers but it’s part of most of the ways you do. So I thought it deserved some face time because it’s that important.

When you are considering trying out a new restaurant, you want to know how good it is, right? So you might get on the phone and call a few friends and find out. That’s a referred testimonial.

There are a few ways to get testimonials. When you get an email or one of your customers tells you how great you are, you record that. You ask them if they mind if you use their recommendation. Most will say yes. Get them to write out something short saying nice things about your dry cleaning business.

You can also solicit testimonials. Put together a letter to a portion of your customer base and ask them for a testimonial. Explain why your doing it and that you’ll give them $5 in FREE dry cleaning if they do. One in four letters you send out will end up giving you a testimonial.

And then you use all these testimonials in your advertisements.

#11 – Mailers: Direct mail is very powerful if done right. I want to warn you that it’s not easy and it takes lots testing to get it to work profitably. In my consulting business I use my dry cleaning route business as a marketing laboratory. I am constantly testing new mailers to add new customers to my route.

There is not enough room in this article to get into all nuances of creating a direct mail piece that works. My members have used direct mail to get customers out of gated communities, office and condo buildings and in their residential routes.

Just as an example, getting 2 or 3 new customers out of a 100-piece mailing is considered a success. You don’t look at the percentage of new customers; you look at what it cost you to get those customers. In some mailings, getting one percent is a success.

#12 – New Mover Mailers: In most markets, yours included, hundreds of people are moving in. And when they move, they’re leaving their dry cleaner behind. They are going to be on the lookout for a new dry cleaner. They’re going to be scouring the Internet, talking with neighbors and doing whatever they can to find a new dry cleaner. In their mailbox shows up this mailing piece that talks about the benefits of having their dirty dry cleaning picked up and delivered. Included in this mailing piece are testimonials from some of their neighbors. You offer them $10 in FREE dry cleaning to give your delivery service a try.

#13 – Bag Drops: This is where you leave one of your garment bags with some advertising on their front door and then you follow up in a few days. There are two kinds of bag drops: There is the bag drop where you follow up with a knock on their door and there is the one that they fill out an order form and leave their dirty dry cleaning out on their designated day.

The first one is not really a bag drop; it’s a method of door knocking. If you don’t want or don’t care to knock on doors, this one is not for you. The advertisement attached to this kind of bag drop does not have to be tested because you are following up with a knock.

The bag drop that I recommend is the one with a sales letter attached to your garment bag. This letter will get your prospect to fill out an order form and leave it on their front porch in your garment bag. If don’t correctly you’ll get 3-8 new route customers for every 100 bags you drop. This depends on several factors that I don’t have enough space to talk about right now.

My bag drop letter was tested over an 18-month period to get it work profitably.

#14 – Flyer Attached To Delivery Orders: Once a month I attach an envelope to my deliveries. In this envelope is a letter asking for referrals. I offer my referring customer $10 in FREE dry cleaning and I give the new customer $10 in FREE dry cleaning to try out my delivery service. There is nothing better than a referred customer. They are pre-sold by your existing customer.

#15 – Google Local: I’m sure you’ve done this, but if you haven’t, please go to your Google Local account and fill it out all the way through. It asks for 10 photos, give then 10 photos. It asks for 5 videos, give them five videos. After you’ve filled it out, ask your customers through an email to give you a review. Ethically bribe them with $5 in FREE dry cleaning to leave a positive review. The more reviews you get the better chance you have to being listed on page one of Google and the other search engines.

#16 – Adopt A Highway: Get your dry cleaners name up on the highway. This one is pretty lame, but it might work (hey, I’m running out low on ways to get your phone to ring. I gotta stretch a little bit). You’re cleaning up the highway and you’re cleaning clothes—seems to be a good fit. And it’s a good way to get your employees together for a good cause. You might team these days up with giving out awards and food. Food always makes people happy.

And finally…

#17 – Get Out In Your Community: Join a lead group. Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings. Get out and sponsor a softball or soccer team in your community. Carry your business cards with you and when you hand one out, write $10 in FREE dry cleaning on the back.

This is it! I’m sure there’s more. I’d love to hear about something that’s not on this list that is working for you.

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5 Eye-Opening Ideas About Customer Service You Ought To Know!

Mon, Mar 16, 2015

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If properly handled, some customer service situations can not only keep a customer, but also turn him or her customer serviceinto a raving fan. And you know what raving fans do? They blabber all about your business to their neighbors, friends and family. And you and I both know that referred customers are the best kind of customers to get. They’ve already been indoctrinated on what your dry cleaning delivery service is all about and what it can do for them.

I’m gonna throw some percentages and numbers at you right now. Don’t know where they came from, but they are generally accepted in the customer service field. Take what you want from them.

#1 – Dissatisfied customers tell an average of 10-20 other people about their bad experience. I’m sure this has happened to you? You ask a friend about the new restaurant in town they just went to and they say, “It was horrible. Food was cold. Very unorganized. Asked for money off the bill and they looked at me like I was a Martian.” Are you going to that restaurant? NO, you are not. It’s going to take 3 or 4 positive reviews from other friends before you’ll dine there.

#2. – The cost of getting a route or counter customer is 5X as expensive as keeping one. You know this first hand. Hopefully you’re investing in marketing on a regular basis. My members pay an average of $60 to get a route customer. What would it cost to keep that customer? You know their revenue history. You know how long they’ve been with you. Don’t treat them like a stranger. Treat them like a good friend that you want to keep. Don’t be afraid to invest some money to keep them. Give them $20, $30, or $50 dollars credit. It’s worth it!

#3 – Up to 91% of unhappy customers will not buy from you again and they won’t tell you why. Not knowing—doesn’t this bother you? It bothers me. You know when someone stops using your route service, but you probably don’t know when they stop coming to the counter. You should know why they’ve stopped using you.

What can you do? On your route, you should be calling them to find out why. In the store, you’re software should tell you if they’ve been by in the last 30 day (if they’re a regular customer). If not, they should be getting an email, a “I Miss You” postcard and/or a live or robo call.

You can also do a phone or email survey (SurveyMonkey.com is FREE). I like the phone survey better. You can really get the feel of what’s going on. And you should be making the first calls yourself before you hire someone to do it. Call 20 customers who’ve left you and find out why. Be humble. Be sincere. Don’t posture the call to get them back. Posture it to really find out why they left so you can improve that part of your business. You will be surprised at the answers you get. You should also call 20 existing customers and find out what excites them about doing business with you. Both the calls you’re ex-customers and existing customers will get you all enthused about improving your business. And make sure you share this with all of your CSR’s and employees. This will motivate then too.

#4 – 90%+ of dissatisfied route and counter customers will NOT complain about their bad experience. They will simply give up on you and go to your competitor. Most of that 90% will come back if your handle their complaints IMMEDIATELY and they will become very loyal customers.

You and your CSR’s must have a complaint mentality. What do I mean by that? You must dig out the complaints from your customer base. Most of your customers won’t complain, so it’s up to you and your staff to get it out of them and then take care of it.

I send out a welcome letter that has this big headline: “All I Want To Hear Is Your Complaints.” And then I explain that most people don’t complain and why they don’t complain and that I want to hear your complaints so I can do something about it. And then I do something about it. I keep them posted as to my progress. I get them involved in the process of changing what was wrong in my business. I don’t do this for everyone, only if it warrants it.

#5 – Customer service and quality is all we have over our dry cleaning competitors. This is what member Stephen Moore from Atlanta does when a new route customer comes into his fold: Live phone call as soon as humanly possible when they become a customer. Customer Kit delivered that day if it’s before noon. Welcome Letter out the next day in the mail. Welcome email out too. Phone call after the first delivery. And then they get a couple of uplifting emails every month.

If you’re willing to do that, you’ll have a huge business and lots of referrals too!

Providing excellent customer service can lead to keeping your customers and getting them to spend more. This will increase profits, reduce costs and get your employees excited to be working for your dry cleaner.

Next month I’m going to get into some powerful ideas you can use to keep and get more route and counter customers. Talk to you then!

Comment below on what you think of this article. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are You Personally Creating & Writing Your Dry Cleaner’s Advertising?

Tue, Dec 16, 2014

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If you’re not, you should learn. You know better than anyone else what you’re customers are looking for.

Writing good ads, PPC, brochures and sales letters isn’t really that difficult.  Once you understand the basics, you’ll be able to put them together quickly and effectively.advertising-article

The first thing I want you to do is to forget everything your English teacher taught you.  You heard me right; forget everything you were taught in grade school and high school about writing. You were taught to write boring sounding complete sentences with proper grammar.  We won’t throw all the grammar out the window, but we’ll get rid of those boring sentences.

The first and most important way to write a copy that sells is to write the way you talk.  Talk to one person as if you’re sitting across the table from him or her.  Imagine that as you write.  It’s OK to use words like, “gonna” or “ain’t.”  I know those words are not proper English and I know that my 8th grade English teacher Sister Mary Ann would slap my knuckles with a ruler if I used them.  But guess what, Sister Mary Ann?  This is not English class.  This is the real world.  And in the real world you and I have to use language that will get our point across.  You might have difficulty with this.  I did at first, but not anymore.  How do you like how I’m writing to you now?  It’s folksy and easy to read, isn’t it?  This is how you should write to your dry cleaning customers and prospective customers.

This might seem a little corny, but here it goes.  Write with love.  Write a love letter to your customers wooing them to purchase your dry cleaning service.  Tell them all the great benefits and also tell them the shortfalls.  That’s right; tell them the negatives about your product.  Your service might not benefit them.  Tell them why not.  Be upfront and honest about what you can provide and what you can’t.  They will respect your honesty and forthrightness.  And because of this, they will give you their dirty dry cleaning.

Here are a few more things you ought to do:

1. Write short sentences and short paragraphs – they are easy to read and keep the reader interested.

2. Use a compelling headline – you need to catch their attention and a compelling headline will do that.

3. Write as you talk (just thought I’d mention it again)

4. Don’t use big words – you don’t want them running to the dictionary to find out what you’re saying.  The newspapers are written at a sixth grade level.  Even very educated people don’t want to wrestle with words.  Don’t make it difficult!

5. Use subheadings – this will break up the copy and make it easier to read.

6. Use P.S.’s – summarize your offer in the first P.S.  Most people skip to the end.  Give them something that makes them want to read your whole letter.

7. Tell your story in as many pages as it takes – it might be one page or it might be twelve.  The number is not important.  If you have someone interested, they will read all that you have to say.  Longer copy outsells shorter copy.

Do you ever remember reading something for your class in school?  It was boring, wasn’t it?  Don’t write that boring stuff.  Write with excitement!  Let your personality shine through.

This article is the beginning of how to write and produce your advertising. I recommend that you read, “The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy to help you with everything you need to write successful advertising. When you can write and get a sales letter to work, you can convert it to work with your ads, PPC and your brochures.

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How Routes, Customer Service, and Dry Cleaning Lockers Will Improve Sales

Sat, Oct 11, 2014

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Growing and servicing your route customers, locker customers and even counter service is the best investment you can make in your dry cleaning business. If you think they are NOT, you better get with it!

Now, when I talk about investing in your business, investing in getting new customers is more important than investing in your plant. Why would I say that? Well, if you had no customers, you wouldn’t need a plant. And you’d have no business. So it all starts with getting the customer.
The first thing we should talk about in getting new customers with your route and lockers is what a new customer is worth to you. And when we find out what a new customer is worth, we can figure out how much you are willing to pay or invest to get one.

How much would you pay for a new route customer… a new locker customer… a new counter customer?

Do you just SWAG (Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess) it?  Or is there a formula to figure out what a new customer is worth and what you’re willing to invest to get one?
Let’s figure out the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a route, counter and locker customer. Then we’ll know what we’d be willing to invest to get one.

My average route customer gives me $56 in dry cleaning every month. Over the last 18 years, my average customer stayed with me for 6.7 years. So according to my numbers, the LTV of a route customer is $4,502.40. (To get that number, I multiplied my monthly revenue ($56) times 12 months and then multiplied it by 6.7 years.) So when I sign up an average route customer this is what I can expect to get from him or her over their lifetime as a route customer.

Member David Sabo averages $83.61 per year for a counter customer. He keeps that counter customer an average of 2.99 years. So his LTV of a counter customer is $250.

One of member Stephen Moore's sites.

One of member Stephen Moore’s sites.

Another member, Stephen Moore in Atlanta, GA, right now averages $128 per month for each dry cleaning locker he has. And he averages one locker for every 4 customers. Dry Cleaning Lockers are so new that we don’t really know how long a customer will stay with you. Most of these lockers are in residential condo and apartment buildings. (The condo locker customers probably stay as long as the route customers. And the apartment building customers probably stay somewhere between a counter customer and a route customer because they do not own the apartment and will move sooner than an owner.)

Let’s be conservative. A dry cleaning locker customer stays for 3.5 years. And if there are 4 customers for every dry cleaning box, that works out to $32/month/customer or $384/year in revenue per customer. So over 3.5 years, the LTV of a dry cleaning locker customer is $1344. We are now in the dry cleaning locker business. Call 1-888-661-7992 to set up a time to talk about dry cleaning lockers for your town or city.

So we know the LTV’s of:

A Route customer is $4502.40

A Locker customer is $1344.00

A Counter customer is $250

Now it’s easy to figure out how much we are willing to invest in getting each type of customer.

If you’ve been marketing regularly for some time you know it’s harder to get a route customer, then a dry cleaning locker customer (if you use lockers). And it’s easiest to get a counter customer. Now we know why—the route customer generates the most revenue, therefore it’s hardest to get.

So how much would you spend (or invest) to get a route customer? A dry cleaning locker customer? A counter customer?

Well, we know that about half our revenue is gross profit, so we would invest half of the anticipated LTV revenue. I don’t recommend higher of course because there would be no profit.

What is your net profit margin? This is the money you make at the end of your day after you’ve paid everything. If you’re a small operation, your salary is part of the net. If you’re a large organization, your salary is not part of the net. I hope it’s at least 15%. Over 20% would be better. I would recommend that you spend less than your net percentage.

So, with these facts in mind, let’s say your net is 15%, so you’d spend $675 in acquiring a new route customer. (I would not pay $675 for a new route customer, but this gives you a guide of what a route customer is worth to you when you sign one up.)

What would I pay?

The most I’ve ever averaged over the course of a month on a route customer is around $100. (I could of gone up to $150 for one and then got a referral that only cost me $40 in FREE dry cleaning for the referral, $20 to the new route customer and $20 to the referring customer for recommending them.) So theoretically, I spent about $170 for two route customers ($150 + $20 cost of dry cleaning). So I averaged $85 per new route customer.

Now, that is the most I would pay. I recommend doing bag drops, PPC, having an effective website, mailers and an orchestrated referral program to get you route customers at a lot better rate than $100 per new route customer.

Taking that into consideration, I would pay up to $30 for a counter customer and $75 for a dry cleaning locker customer.

When you know what you’re willing to pay, instead of SWAG’ing it, you’re now in control of building your dry cleaning business with knowledge instead of at the whims of your advertising reps.

Let’s talk about Customer Service and how it’s a sound investment in your dry cleaning business. Now that you know what it costs to get a new customer; you can better gauge your customer service to fit it.

If you lose or damage someone’s garment, it’s much easier to give him or her a credit or a check to cover that garment. So writing a check for $100 for a route customer is no big deal because you know what that customer is worth to your business.

If you handle this situation right, you’ll not only keep this customer for life, you’ll get referred and this person will be a champion for your dry cleaning business. If you make your customer jump though a bunch of hoops to get a credit, you’re going to lose them.

As soon as you damage a garment, ask your customer what they’d like for the garment and write the check. Most people will be very conservative with what they’d want for their garment. The faster you take care of this, the better chance your customer will stay with you and become a champion for your business.

One of the best capital improvements you can make to your business is to get a sorting system. Brian Robertson of Comet Cleaners made an investment a couple of years ago with Quick Sort. He says, “It’s virtually impossible to make a mistake. We use barcoding instead using a human. Because of this, the mark-in process is more accurate and faster.” He goes on to say, “it’s saved me about 2 people and paid for itself in less a year or less.”

Quick Sort

Quick Sort

“Customers have more confidence in you as a dry cleaner. I tell my people all the time that we are like a bank. When they drop off their clothes, it’s like a deposit. When they come to pick-up their garments, they want a complete withdrawal, all of the money they deposited, they want back.” He goes on to say, “Too many cleaners lose garments or misplace them. This system virtually eliminates lost garments.”

If this system can pay for itself in a year or less, why would not you purchase it?

You are NOT in the dry cleaning business. You are in the marketing of your dry cleaning business. The successful dry cleaners have figured this out. They understand that if you don’t have a constant flow of new customers, you’ll eventually go out of business.

The top dry cleaners know that marketing and getting customers in the door, on their routes and in their lockers is their primary job function. Make it your primary job function. I encourage you to!

 

Call 888-661-1992 to set up a FREE 30-minute consult with me about Dry Cleaning Lockers, Routes and/or anything you’d like to talk about in your dry cleaning business.

 

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Dry Cleaning Lockr Press Release

Mon, Aug 18, 2014

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DCL-logoANNOUNCING…GREG COLOSI’S DRY CLEANING LOCKR SYSTEMS IS LOOKING FOR DRY CLEANERS THAT WANT TO GET INTO THE EXPLODING DRY CLEANING LOCKER BUSINESS.

Rochester, NY – Greg Colosi, a well-known and respected dry cleaning marketing consultant and father of the “NO Door Knocking” Route Program is introducing a new locker system for getting apartment and condo buildings on your routes.

Greg is not the first to do this, but he’s the first to introduce a marketing program to go along with his locker system. As with all of his programs, Greg will give you a success-tested marketing process, including all the templates necessary to get you locker customers immediately. His system also includes proprietary software and lockers.

Greg started his consulting business in 2007 and has over 450 dry cleaners all over the world using his “NO Door Knocking Route Magic” System. He doesn’t teach you theory, Greg shows you step-by-step processes and tested marketing programs that work. He uses his own dry cleaning delivery business as a marketing laboratory to test advertising for his members success.

According to Colosi, “Most of my advertising tests fail miserably. Only 1 in 10 or so are successful and make it to my members to use in their dry cleaning businesses.” He goes on to say, “If a dry cleaner thinks he’s in the dry cleaning business, he’s going to fail. If he understands that he’s in the “marketing” of his dry cleaning business, he’s going to succeed. Most every dry cleaner has a great product. The difference in the success of your business comes down to customer service and marketing. But you need customers coming in to give them great customer service, so marketing is the most important. That’s what I teach.”

Dry Cleaning Lockr Systems does not violate any existing patents for the dry cleaning locker business. This system is based on marketing and helping dry cleaners to get route customers in condo and apartment buildings.

You can contact Dry Cleaning Lockr Systems at 888-661-7992

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How To Stay Ahead Of Your Competition –All The Time

Tue, May 20, 2014

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Do you know exactly what your competitors are up to? Do you know all their pricing? Do you know what they’re planning next?

Every business is in the business of both monitoring what competitors are up to and check-mating them to maintain their own share of business. Unfortunately, most of us don’t do this. Here is a step-by-step plan to stay ahead of your competition.crushcompetition

Whether you like it or not, the first day you’re in business is the first day you’re engaging in a game that never stops… the game of knowing what you’re competitors are up to and out maneuvering them.

Unless your dry cleaner is absolutely unique (doubtful), there’s some other dry cleaner out there who’s doing something close to or exactly like you’re doing. What’s more, this dry cleaner may actually be doing it better! Your job is to find out… and to do what’s necessary to get more than your share of the dry cleaning and laundry market. Reread these words. I’m not talking about sharing… I’m talking about getting more than your share. That is really what the game’s all about… and that’s why you’ve got to make a commitment to outsmarting your competitors. SO YOU CAN WIN MORE!

Step One: Listing Your Competitors

To win in the great game of competition, you’ve go to know whom you’re fighting against. This means researching your competition. Start by drawing up a list with the following information:

*Competitors Name
*Address
*Phone Number

Step Two: Make Sure You Have A Convenient Place To Store The Information You Get

I store most of it on my computer. Open a file and call it, “Competition.” If they have any marketing materials, I gather them and put them in a big clear zip lock bag. It’s important to have all this at your fingertips. When something comes up you can go right to your computer or zip lock bag.

Step Three: Gather The Basic Competitor Intelligence

When your research the other dry cleaners in your town, look for this information:

*on what they’re going now

*just a plant/drop stores/laundromat or delivery too.
*services & products

*market area
*quality

*prices, and

*what they’re going to do.

In short, you want to know as much as you possibly can about their present objectives and future plans.

Lots of this information is frankly easy to get. You can stop by their plant (if you’re well known to your competitors, have one of your employees snoop on them), have a pair of pants and shirt cleaned and gather any information that’s on their counter. If they have a delivery service, you can have a friend sign up in their market and give you all the marketing materials.

To find out about their quality, keep your ears open. Ask around. I know in my town what’s going on quality wise, just by being tuned in.

Step Four: Create A Competitor Comparison Chart

Once you’ve go the information you need, it’s time to put it into a usable format. This means creating a chart. This is the chart that compares the apples to the apples and the oranges to oranges. It’s crucial both for your internal planning and for outfoxing he competitors. Let me tell you something else: it’s also something your competitor’s probably don’t have. In my experience, most dry cleaners keep only the most feeble grasp on what they’re competitors are doing, no matter how it will impact them. This is, of course, a mistake. However, when you get organized like this you reap significant advantages, not least because you’re probably going to be more organized than the people competing against you.

Step Five: Add Yourself To Your Competitor Comparison Chart

Your chart isn’t just about your competitors. It is also about YOU! That’s why, once you feel comfortable that you’ve go the information you need on your dry cleaning competitors, you need to add similar information about yourself. Don’t cheat! You need to approach this task with cool detachment, just like an impartial authority might do, or an intelligent customer.

Step Six: Start Drawing Conclusions

The first place you use your Competitor Comparison Chart and the competitive intelligence about your competitors and your own services and products is in-house. The minute you complete the chart, certain things are going to jump out at you. You may find, for instance, that one or more of your prices or services is not competitively positioned. That means that you’re going to have to add some benefits or lower your pricing. I personally don’t like lowering my pricing. So just adding a little something will easily justify the prices you’re charging and going to be charging when you raise your prices in the future.

Step Seven: Hit ‘Um Hard

One of my delivery competitors (who doesn’t own a plant) changed the cleaners doing his work and I knew the cleaners they were going to. I also knew that this cleaner did a horrible job on shirts. How did I knowhithard this? Because of my chart that I built many years earlier. They broke tons of buttons and the shirts looked horrible. They were of the old thinking that; “I don’t make any profits from the shirts, so I won’t spent much time on them.”

I had one of my drivers follow my competitors van for a few days and write down all the houses he stopped at. I attacked those houses with mailings focusing on the quality of my shirts. Result: I picked up 52 customers within a few months.

I have another competitor that started putting door hangers right over my bag drop advertising as we were putting them out one Friday. I couldn’t believe it! They were blatantly overstepping their bounds and they were so stupid to believe that I wouldn’t find out.

Guess what? I previously felt sorry for this competitor for a long time because they were struggling and I didn’t do anything to hinder their growth. I left them alone. They also had shitty shirt quality. I had their van followed and I picked up 32 customers in my neighborhoods with mailings focused on shirt quality. Don’t mess with me! I will pull out all the stops and go after your customers.

I’m usually not this aggressive, but this inconsiderate competitor started barking up the wrong tree. He won’t do that anymore. Actually, he’s out of business and I picked up a bunch more of his customers as soon as he bit the dust.

Oh. I got one more story about this stuff. I got an unusual phone call from our local billionaire. I know him from doing business with him in the past. What’s funny about the phone call is that his ex-wife was asking me lots of questions the week before. This billionaire left me two messages and I never returned his call. Can you say that you didn’t return a billionaire’s call? My suspicions were right! His two sons started up a dry cleaning delivery service a few months later. Their van was pretty. Their brochures were gorgeous. Their uniforms were second to none. They had a billionaire dad backing them up. Guess what happened?

I blew them out of the water. I plugged them into my Competitor Comparison Chart and attacked them with a vengeance. I wasn’t going to let an arrogant billionaire and his two perfect sons take me down. Let me back up a bit. This billionaire embarrassed me in front of a few people two years prior. I didn’t like him. That’s why this story is sooooo good!

Take what you’d like to use out of this and blow your competitors out of the water!

 

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