The Coast News Group
Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

Somebody pick up the phone, please!

The last issue of Get1Free had an ad for a guy who fixes sliding doors. As my screen door needed some help, I reached out for an estimate…and never heard back.

I understand that people are busy and can’t always respond immediately. But the whole idea of placing an ad is to get inquiries. Meaning if you know your ad is running, arrange for someone to respond…even if it’s just to say, “Please give me 24 hours.”

Admittedly, I didn’t call a second time. I object to chasing people so I can give them my business. Perhaps my project was too small for him. Or he’s overwhelmed with sales opportunities. Or he’s too disorganized.

Whatever it is, he was sending me a message…so I took my business elsewhere.

Long ago I learned you can’t do business with everyone. Geography, product lines, pricing, personality…all can prevent a prospect from being a good fit for a relationship. 

Indeed, I regularly get outreach from folks who don’t hit my minimum, want services I don’t sell, or where there’s no chemistry.

The difference is I always return the call, even if it’s just to say “Sorry” or to refer them to someone else.

I’d have respected being told there’s a minimum charge. After all, that ad cost him something, and he’s also got to account for his gas, time, overhead, parts, and profit. This was a simple job, and would probably only have netted him a few dollars.

But ignoring me ensures I’ll never call him again, perhaps with a larger project. And FORGET referring him to friends.

Nope…he’s lost me.

People do business with those they know, like, and trust, and we’re all selling ourselves in some way. Connect those two points and you realize that a little courtesy goes a long way, and can easily mean someone remembering you down the road if you’re polite to them today.

Because I don’t care how mechanized our society becomes, people still want to be treated like people, and a returned call goes a LONG way.

And with the Golden Rule firmly in mind, treat customers as you’d like to be treated. After all, if you really needed something fixed, wouldn’t you want the service provider to return YOUR call quickly?

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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