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Clients First: The Two Word Miracle by JoAnn Callaway, Joseph Callaway

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A Made-Up Mind

I have this vendor—we’ll call him Jim—who came to me for help one day. Jim has a home-cleaning business and wanted to expand it. Our real estate marketing is highly visible, so he wanted advice on what to advertise. I said I would help, and I worked on it off and on for about a month before we met again. Because I knew this fellow did good work and I knew what was important to our clients when we recommended him, I had put together a marketing plan based on those perceptions. I had a logo sketched and a font style picked out. I had designed a flyer that related to his potential customers describing the benefits he offered.

When we met, Jim kept shaking his head. He had this affinity for a particular professional sports team and wanted his advertising theme to be based on that organization’s branding. He had metaphors about beating the dirt and shutting out the tough stains. His mind was made up, and he only wanted me to agree with him and possibly make his idea better. He had given no thought to his customers or what they wanted or how they saw him and his service. He could not turn it around.

Jim runs his business like so many do. He offers what he offers, and if it’s not what you want, then you can go somewhere else. He is lucky he does what he does so well, because that alone allows him to eke out a living. His desire to get more business, however, has never been realized, because he fails to see anyone’s vision but his own. He doesn’t see that not all of his ...

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