Speaker Gives Advice for Using Marketing to Achieve
Chicago While all kitchen and bath dealers are special and
different, it is up to them to realize and market what it is that
sets them apart from the competition. So says Fred Berns, who spoke
about “Million Dollar Marketing on a Shoestring Budget,” at last
month’s K/BIS here.
Capitalizing on free publicity and getting “the most bang for
your marketing buck” are key components to Berns’ marketing
philosophy. He notes that the most effective way for dealers to
publicize themselves is to use their photograph on everything that
is sent out by the company especially business cards. That’s
because visibility leads to credibility, Berns believes.
Kitchen and bath firms can also increase visibility by writing
news releases or articles in local publications announcing such
milestones as business anniversaries, signed contracts or
Berns adds that it’s important to highlight specific
achievements or accomplishments. These might include areas of
personal specialty, awards won and the staff’s educational
background and/or professional certifications.
While some dealers may not be comfortable as writers, Berns
acknowledges, dealers need to realize that they are experts in
their field, and they can use this expertise to create articles
about such relevant topics as preparing a home, making the most of
unlimited space or ventilation options. Published articles enhance
a business’ credibility and reputation.
Berns recommends using not only personal marketing techniques
but also good business techniques, such as always “underpromising
He suggests sending “thank you” notes to clients, and using
postcards or handwritten memos to personalize contact with
There are also numerous options to maximize small amounts of
time, Berns notes. Some potential free publicity moves which can be
done in five minutes or less include:
- Jotting down and reviewing key achievements.
- Creating a five-question survey.
- Changing outgoing voice mail messages periodically.
- Contacting a former client.
- Meeting people at a convention or home show.
- Handing out business cards.
- Pitching a story idea to a reporter.
- Adding a postscript to personalize a direct mail piece.
Berns also notes that to market themselves successfully, dealers
need to be different. It is this difference that separates the
winners, (those who reach their financial goals) from the losers
(those who fail to reach their goals).
Winners are generally more focused and know their market niche,
according to Berns. They also understand that customers are not
looking for the lowest price but rather are seeking the best
solution for their kitchen and bath problems.
Berns also believes that in order to best meet client’s needs,
winners need to know and use four magical words: “I need your
help.” These words can make the difference between whether or not a
dealer reaches his or her financial goals, Berns believes.
In addition, Berns suggests other simple ways to be successful
at marketing, which range from calling early and being persistent
to setting one’s alarm clock 30 minutes earlier to get a jump on
These elements can make dealers stand out from the crowd and
help them to meet and exceed their goals, Berns concludes.