(Pages 16-17 of the April 2012 eClean Magazine)
by Anthony Blanton, www.HoodCleaningHelper.com
Have you ever heard the term, “the curse of knowledge?” As hood cleaners and pressure washing professionals, we often suffer from utilizing terms and vocabulary used exclusively with peers from our industry.
We all know that it’s much better to have an 8 gpm machine compared to a Home Depot special that’s 2 gpm for speeding up our jobs. However, the average homeowner doesn’t know what you’re talking about when you come at them with technical mumbo-jumbo – hence, the curse of knowledge.
It’s important to remember that a confused buyer doesn’t buy at all!
With that said, visit some of the websites of fellow contractors and look at the sales copy (if they have any copy at all, but I’ll save that for a different article) and see how confusing it could be for a potential client.
Try to take a step back and browse their website from a customer’s point-of-view. They don’t know about gpm and psi and this chemical or that chemical. And honestly, they couldn’t care less. They care about what’s in it for them.
So what does this have to do with having your wife or your kids’ kindergarten teacher doing your marketing?
The most obvious reason is because wives and kindergarten teachers don’t suffer from the curse of knowledge. They are able to explain what we do with the benefits of the homeowner or property manager in mind, rather than focusing on the features we offer with our 8 gpm, 3500 psi machine – *rolling eyes*.
This is hard for us to do sometimes. Not because we aren’t thinking of our customers, but we tend to be technical peeps. The bad news is most consumers don’t give a flying flip if we are using 3500 psi or 800 psi, all they care about is if their kitchen hood system is going to pass inspection and if their restaurant will be safe from a fire spreading through the duct work.
More than likely, your wife will care about aesthetics – such as work being done without the hood cleaning crew leaving a greasy mess behind – and she’ll probably convey that message better than you can. Just a guess.
Let me give you the second reason with a simple example: has your kid ever asked you why the sky is blue? Or, have they asked a question like, “What does ______ mean?” You know what it means. Doesn’t everybody?
Some of the things little kids ask will blow your mind, and more often than not, it will be hard for you to come up with an answer they can understand. This also holds true when we explain what we mean when trying to tell somebody about our service. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Kindergarten teachers are masters at this stuff. They are used to explaining complicated things to young kids. They are really good at breaking things down to their simplest form, making even the most complex of answers easy
So, let’s put these two great advantages together and see what we have:
First, we have a person who isn’t burdened with all the technical knowledge that we’re cursed with. Second, we have a person who is capable of breaking down what we do into terms that actually benefit the customer, not features that we hold so dear in our little technical minds.
Remember, features tell, benefits sell! People buy on an emotional level first, then back up the purchase with logic. Not the other way around.
So, where does this leave us? We have a skilled person who can translate features into benefits, free from the curse of technical knowledge. A person who is used to explaining things to a bunch of hyperactive children with attention spans of gnats!
Wives and kindergarten teachers are absolutely perfect for advertising!!!
All you need to do now is explain and demonstrate your service to them, tell them who you are targeting and let them run with it. Better yet, have them interview you because they will ask the questions they need in order for it to make sense enough for them to explain it.
Good luck and you can thank me later.
You can find out more about the author, Anthony Blanton, at www.hoodcleaninghelper.com where he helps other contractors be the best at what they do. He is the co-founder of the Grease Police and the first recipient of the Nobel Grease Prize.