Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Marketing Lessons from a Tree Trimmer

In the wooded lot around our agency's building, we have a handful of dead trees that could cause trouble should they come crashing down. Correction, we *had* a handful of dead trees on our property.

Over the past two days a local tree trimming company has been chopping away the dead wood to remove it from the grounds. All the while, I figured there must be some kind of marketing lessons in what they're doing. Well, fear not, I found some lessons, and now I'm sharing them with you! Enjoy...
  • It's a very straightforward process: find a dead tree, cut it down, chop it up, haul it away. So why isn't this a commodity industry? Because there's a certain art to doing it right. Just like any service provider, your style will go a long way in showing how good you are. Do you clean up neatly after you're done cutting? Do you make your best effort to leave the property just as you found it? Do you perform preventative maintenance as needed? These are the types of actions that separate a good tree trimmer from just a hack. (Pun intended!)

  • What's the best way to get new business? Referrals, most definitely. But after time these may dry up like termite-infested wood. So what's a tree trimmer to do? For one, take a page from HVAC contractors and offer yearly service plans. This way, you're locking in customers year after year and taking care of potential problems that landowners might not even see. Or use good ole' fashioned door hangers for any house you drive by where you see problem trees in a landowner's yard. Be proactive.

  • Quantify your business's impact, much like McDonald's counts how many billions of people have been served. Taking tree branches and turning them into mulch? Calculate how many tons of beneficial mulch you make per year. Helping to save houses from potential disasters? Talk about how many houses you've saved. Quantifiable numbers can help prove your value and show how much experience you have.

So while you may (or may not) be involved in the tree trimming business, it's easy to see how the marketing lessons from a tree trimmer can be applied to any marketing situation. It's tree-mendous. (Sorry, just had to say it.)

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