The hardest thing for me is to keep things simple. It is much easier to try to figure out the next best technique or marketing strategy. It’s sad but I get bored with the mundane.
I don’t think that I’m alone here but what are you to do about it?
My mentors taught me to keep it simple and to do what duplicates. That means what works for me may not always translate into a great strategy for my team.
I once tried putting out signs. A friend of mine had success using the signs. It was easy to do.
1. Create signs
2. Put out signs
3. Answer calls from signs
4. Set appointments from calls
5. Share the plan
That’s easy, right?
Let’s break down the steps a little more…
How many people actually know how to fashion a compelling headline? I bet not many. It takes years of trial and error to come up with the proper wording for an average copywriter to receive a nominal amount of calls from a bandit sign. We are talking about understanding the mindset of our market so well that they will mindlessly call you to ask you what it is that you have to offer them.
You tell me. What would your headline say? Do you think that it would work?
Put Out Signs
Okay this isn’t too difficult. The thing is that in most places bandit signs are illegal to put up.
Hence, the word ‘bandit’. The caveat is that it’s not illegal to have them, unless on government or municipal objects like telephone poles, but it IS illegal to put them up. Don’t ask. I know it sounds weird. But, as long as you’re not caught putting them out then they are fine to be there.
If the county has a problem then you will be contacted. Simple enough.
Have you ever went around putting the signs in the ground though?
For one ,the least expensive ones are priced accordingly and very difficult to stake into ground that is not already soft. Plus, you may have to be out there putting them up on the weekends and removing them before the week starts. It’s tedious to say the least.
Answer Calls from Signs
So, you have created a decent headline and put your signs out. Now, it’s time for you to start fielding the calls. These calls come at all hours of the day and the night. You, ready and willing, answer them one after another, right?
In most cases, the answer is no. You probably won’t have any responses for a few weeks. What do you do in the mean time? Do you sit still? Nope. Go out and move your signs. Make them brighter. Change the print color. Make them BIGGER. All to draw more attention to your signs over the two that say
“Missing Cat: Burmese
Name: Mr. Buttons
Number: 317 288 8667 (BUTTONS)”
“Leaves Overtaking Your Yard?
Call me, Bill Gooseman
317 927 3626 (YARDMAN)
3hrs or less. No lawn’s too big.”
But, you wait it out and the calls begin to come in. How do you field these calls? Do you have any call center experience? Do you have any customer service skills? Can you handle the irate business owner and the meddlesome high schooler with class?
Do you even want to be answering the phone when it’s time to sleep? I’m just asking. It’s your life you are planning.
Set Appointments from Calls
If you have made it to this point, then you are doing pretty decent. The simplest thing to do is to ask the right questions to qualify the caller and then set an appointment.
The difficult part is making sure that the caller doesn’t believe this is anything more than a presentation and/or business opportunity and not a job interview. Yes, you are screening talent but full disclosure is a must.
Set your appointments based on your availability and not the callers. On the appointed date…
Show the Plan
You should have plenty of training on this topic. Your company should have given you sufficient materials to do this part. Be sure to:
Find a need
Discuss how that need can be filled with your offer
Ask for the sale
( I gloss over this section here because that’s not the focus of this article.)
Here’s another tricky part. Now, you have to train your new recruit to do the same thing that you did but…
Not do it in your area – Competition
Not use the exact same sign – Weird
Not cross any lines that would bring in the authorities – Scary
Learn how to field calls on the fly – Difficult
Stay motivated through A LOT of rejections – Very difficult
Ya see, you want to get your new recruit paid as quickly as possible. You must get them a ‘belief check’ ASAP. They are probably in a new industry and are scared about the possibility of complete failure.
Failure usually translates into, “If I’m not making double my current paycheck by the end of next week then I’m out.” The learning curve for those signs and most creative marketing tactics is too much for most new recruits.
Stick with the program. Get a list. Keep building the list. And, convert your list into your community.
All else can be played with on your own time if you must do so. But, as far as recruiting, KISS – Keep It Super Simple.
( For those of you who really want to play around with the ‘other side’, I did have some success setting appointments from bandit signs. I, however, had a mentor who was very successful with bandit signs and I had plenty of experience calling leads and working in call centers from my college days. I was not the typical new recruit. )
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