The Tale of the Hot Dog Vendor

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Early to bed, early to rise, work like [#%!] and advertise.” – Ted Turner

Over the years there have been similar versions of this tale.  It is one of my favorites.  From time to time I get asked to share it again, so here it is!

The Hot Dog Vendor

There was a hot dog vendor who sold the very best hot dogs by the side of the road. His business was booming, people loved his hot dogs, and his business steadily increased month after month. The man loved his business and believed in the need to provide great food at a great price.

This man was so busy advertising and selling his hot dogs and making lots of money, that he didn’t even have time to read the newspaper or listen to the radio. Consequently, he never heard a word about the potential economic slowdown. He just continued to offer his delicious hot dogs and his customers bought them. He kept advertising and selling, and they kept buying.

Then one day his college educated son told him that an economic downturn was surely coming. His son told him that people wouldn’t have enough money to buy his hot dogs. The successful hot dog vendor believed this, so on his son’s advice, he cut back on his advertising. Additionally, he started ordering less supplies and product, because after all, people would be cutting back soon.

He even went so far as to take down many of the billboards that led to his roadside stand. And sure enough, people stopped coming to him. People stopped buying his hot dogs, and he eventually went broke.

Then he thought to himself. “How smart my son is in predicting this.”

Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy advertising!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Never Be Too “Busy” to Help the Customer

Most-Important-Visitor

Rhonda HiltbrandThis week I went, as usual, to our local farmer’s market.  They have many unique items, a wonderful array of Amish goods and local homemade items. I was at the deli counter and asked for a pound of shaved ham.  The counter person kept slicing and putting it up on the scale until it was short one quarter pound.  She sighed deeply and said if I must have a pound she would have to open a new package.  I was shocked at the attitude but said, “No, that is okay. I’ll try to get by with this amount.”

I think she then realized what she had done and asked me what I was going to use it for.  I told her and we chatted a bit about recipes and such and then she asked if I needed anything else.  Before I could answer she said, “I know, the rest of your order of ham!”  I told her it was okay and took my package and went about my shopping.

She was an employee at this small business and in my opinion basically cheated her employer out of a full sale (and this is always wrong no matter if it is a big box store or small independent) but I felt especially bad for this employer as it is a small, independent business and every sale counts!

I then thought about the Facebook post I had put on our News Works page (the one above) and thought…how very true!

Have a great month and treat those customers well!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Who Likes To Get Mail?

Rhonda HiltbrandWhat a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp.  ~Author Unknown

I was going through my marketing smart briefs this week and ran across an article for marketers.  It said that many presume that only elderly people like to get direct mail but went on to say that, contrary to popular opinion, that assumption is just not true!  It turns out that all generations like to get mail.  I, of course, knew this as it is my job as a marketer to have all that information at my fingertips each and every day, just like it is your job to have your finger on the pulse of the automotive repair industry.

These days, when so many of us pay our bills online, our mailbox is less cluttered.  We pay more attention to the mail we do receive.  Online ads are always popping up and we have become so desensitized to these ads that we shut them down without even giving them a chance to be viewed.  We are focused on what we wanted to see online…and not allowing that ad(s) to interrupt our singlemindedness.

People will often look at something online and unless they print it out, will forget where they saw it.  A well put together printed piece of mail, on the other hand, is something people can hold on to and save until later.  They enjoy holding it, touching it, and retaining it (especially if it includes a coupon offer).

It seems that all generations, from Traditionalists (born 1945 – and before), Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964), Generation X (born 1965 – 1976) and Millennials (born 1977 – 2000) trust direct mail more than any other marketing channel.

I thought that all my customers who currently do direct mail with my company would enjoy reading this, and those who aren’t might wish to explore this option! It is hard to beat direct mail for Business to Consumer!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Are Your Team Members On The Same Page As You?

Rhonda HiltbrandThe trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. ~Bill Copeland

I have always been a very goal-oriented person. Every year I have a financial goal that I set for my company.  I was so excited as we went into December because we were on target to meet and exceed that goal.  Then things seemed to fall apart!  I won’t go into detail but I will say if not all your team members are on the same page as you, you may struggle to meet your goals.  We missed our goal by a small amount, but I am still in mourning over that!  It simply should not have happened! I know…I need to get over it and move on and make it happen this year!

  • Shop owners, have you set a goal for 2017? Is your team aware of it?  Do you feel they are on the “same page” as you?
  • Service advisors, do you know the goal for 2017 and are you working towards it?

I look forward to working with you in 2017 and let’s make it a great year!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing

PS:  Here is a special offer for all our customers!  If you refer a shop to us and they become a customer, we will give you the following for free:

            Newsletters – 250 free with your order or

            Postcards – 500 free with your order

This special is good all year long!


Thanks For A Wonderful Year!

Thanks for a wonderful year! All of us at News Works Marketing wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year!

I ran across these little “B’s” of wisdom and thought I would share it with you to wrap up the year!

B hopeful, B happy, B cheerful, B kind,
B busy of body, B modest of mind,
B earnest, B truthful, B firm and B fair…
B watchful, B ready, B open, B frank,
B manly to all men, whatever B their rank;
B just and B generous, B honest, B wise…
B temperate, B steadfast, to anger B slow.
B thoughtful, B thankful, whate’er may B tide…
B pleasant, B patient, B fervent to all,
B best if you can, but B humble withal.
B prompt and B dutiful, still B polite;
B reverent, B quiet, and B sure and B right…
B grateful, B cautious of those who B tray.
B tender, B loving, B good and B nign,
B loved thou shalt B, and all else B thine.
~”A Swarm of Bees,” The British Bee Journal, and Bee Keeper’s Adviser, 1882 February 1st

Talk to you in 2017!

Rhonda Hiltbrand

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Gratitude

Rhonda HiltbrandGratitude is the best attitude. ~Author unknown

It is that time again!  Time to pause and count our blessings.  It would benefit us all, of course, to count our blessings daily.

I know life gets crazy and sometimes it is difficult to stop and realize all the good we have in our lives.  Service advisors sometimes deal with difficult customers and of course, being a small business owner is a daily challenge all by itself.  I’m sure, like me, you sometimes wonder, “What was I thinking?”  LOL!

Speaking as a business owner, I know I have lots of people to thank each and every day for keeping the business going.  It seems seamless sometimes, but of course, that is just because my staff and my suppliers do their jobs so well that it seems to run on auto pilot.  Of course, if anything happened to any one of them, the business would feel it!

I am very thankful for all our wonderful customers! We talk about this at our Friday staff/lunch meetings.  We have such great customers and they seem more like friends as we truly care about them on a personal level and we feel they care about us in return.  Can it get any better than that?  The only way that can be improved on is to get more just like them!

Thanks for everything you do to help us make News Works Marketing a success! Our goal each day is to help you keep your business successful!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Certified

Rhonda HiltbrandA certificate does not make you certified. Attitude, performance, commitment to self and team — these and a certificate make you certified. ~Author Unknown

This quote pretty much says it all!

Attitude – Come to work each day and do your best to put any troubles behind you and add a smile!
Performance – Come to work each day ready to perform to the best of your ability!
Commitment – Come to work each day ready to serve the customer and help your team!

A certification is really great…it shows you know how to pass a test.  The real test each day is to put what you know into practice.

You can do it!!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Thinking

Rhonda HiltbrandInvest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest. ~Author Unknown

There is usually a little sticker in the upper window of the driver’s side of a vehicle stating when a service has been completed … and when the next service should be performed.  It is generally based on mileage.

It is amazing to me that when a person takes their vehicle to a different shop than the one who performed the service that sticker represents…that the new shop just ignores it…and recommends those services even if they have just been performed.  When you point out that the service has just been performed…they stutter, they stammer, they shuffle…and at that moment all trust in that shop has gone down the drain.

As most of you know, I visit chains on occasion to see what your competition is up to.  This “ignoring of the sticker” has happened to me more than once when I have visited a chain.  As soon as it happens, I point it out and then tell them I’ll just wait until my usual shop is opened on Monday.  They are very embarrassed, as they should be, but I honestly didn’t set them up for the failure…they did it all by themselves.

They need to think before they recommend…it builds trust!  I’m sure you, as a seasoned service advisor, would never do this but if you are training someone new, point it out to them.  It just takes a moment to look at that small but significant sticker. In that moment trust can be built or destroyed forever.

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


It Is Often “The Little Things” That Matter

Rhonda HiltbrandIntention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you. – Andy Andrews

I was attending a meeting with a group of auto repair shop owners when we got on the subject of the importance of doing the job right in order to build trust.  One of the shop owners remembered I had written about my flat tire experience on a very cold winter’s night…secure that my auto repair shop had my spare ready to go.  Sadly, my spare was completely flat!

The article generated a lot of feedback…like the shops can’t always get to the spare for the junk in the trunk, etc.  I assured them all that my trusty Jeep was clean inside and out and the tire was amazingly easy to get to.

I then shared other things that we expect when we bring our vehicle in for service.  It seems if you have a rear windshield wiper…many technicians overlook adding more fluid and it is very annoying to need the fluid and it isn’t there.  Nothing like a day full of pollen to make this very noticeable.

I recently had new headlights installed and now one shines upward and one shines downward. Hmmm…

Yes…little things matter and if done correctly…builds trust.  If one can trust one’s repair shop with the little things…we feel more confident about trusting them with the big jobs.

I’m sure this doesn’t apply to most of you, but perhaps if you have a new employee or apprentice, they might find this helpful!

Thanks!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Perfection is Highly Overrated!

Rhonda HiltbrandA man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault. ~John Henry Newman

I have had to have a severe talk with myself lately.  When I get interrupted in my writing I have a hard time picking it back up with the same enthusiasm as when I started.  I have elderly parents and I get as many as six calls a day from them stating that there is an emergency, and I need to come over right away!  I stop what I am doing, grab the car keys and head out the door only to get a call back that says, “Don’t come.  It is okay now!”.  This is almost a daily occurrence.  It puts me right off my game!  This column, for example, is on its third rewrite.  I told myself today that I’m not perfect, therefore this column won’t be perfect, so just let it go!

I know a young man in marketing that is so terrified of sending out something that isn’t perfect that his company is hurting big time!  Once upon a time he was “red penciled” and “blue-lined” by a so called friend that set themselves up as an “expert” in spelling and grammar and he can’t move past it!  I keep telling him that his writing is excellent and you don’t have to use great big words to make a point!  He is just scared and won’t put anything on social media, or write a blog or communicate with his customers in any way except by telephone.  He outsources all of the marketing he does for his customers and because of this he doesn’t have many.

I read this great quote the other day and it helped me.  If you are procrastinating because you are afraid to be less than perfect…perhaps it will help you too!

Perfectionism causes people to shy away from opportunities, waste time on irrelevant details and aggravate colleagues.  Constantly ranking being perfect ahead of being human is a surefire way to limit yourself both professionally and personally.  ~K. Boogaard

We have such great customers but every now and then a brand new one gets too scared to move forward.  We have to help them take “baby steps” and once they take the plunge, they are so happy that they did because they get a lot of great comments and business increases immediately because of the piece they sent out. Don’t be afraid to “move forward” for fear of criticism.  Just do like I had to do today and realize that perfection is highly overrated!

The Less Than Perfect

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing