Posted by John Robert-AFSL on August 05, 1999 at 19:01:19:
To help those new locksmiths just starting out in business I would like to help disspell some myths that are presumed but are not based in fact.
MYTH#1.You need to be available all the time when your first starting out or you will lose an account or good customer. True or False?
False! Keep your priorities in perspective!!! Setup the times that you want to do business and stick to those times. If an account drops you for another locksmith because you have the day off, then there was no long term committment to begin with. If you want to take every Sunday off then by all means do it. Everyone needs rest & relaxation. Our bodies are not designed to run 24/7. If you do not learn to take a break away from the trade then you will become a slave to it or worse suffer from some physical problems.
MYTH#2.The larger shops charge to much which hurts the customer. True or False?
False. The customer hurts themselves when they choose not to be prepared. Size of a shop does not dictate what a customer is charged. Trip Charge, Labor rate, experience, material, and business expenses are the basis for charges. The customer is never a factor only a purchaser. The larger shops are a great thermometer when it comes to pricing. If their prices are high but customers keep calling them for service then it is time to evaluate your pricing and make the necessary changes. Be competetive not cut-throat.
MYTH#3.If I don't lower my prices when I'm first starting out I won't get any business. True or False?
False. You will get business with high or low prices. However, lower pricing tends to be a hinderance when extra parts or material is needed. A customer will always assume that the price you quote covers everything. When the bill has to be raised after a quote was made the customer will believe that they are getting ripped off. So price higher to cover unforseen circumstances. By doing this it gives you the opportunity of giving a customer a percentage off if you choose to later. Also established customers tend to get a little hot under the collar when you have to raise prices on them when they are used to cheap pricing. So start out high or moderate but never lower.
MYTH#4.I can't miss a single call that comes in or I'll lose business. True or False?
False. You will not be able to get every call that comes in so don't lose sleep over it. You will lose customers but you will also gain customers. It's an invisible scale that is constantly swaying back and forth.
MYTH#5.If I give this customer a discount he says he will give me all his locksmith business. True or False?
False. Unless it is a written contract this customer is not under any oblication to you in any way. So charge accordingly.
MYTH#6.If I don't get all the latest tools, books, and materials I will not be able to do a through job. True or False?
False. Build your shop or mobile business one job at a time. As demand for certain types of work comes in then consider purchasing the needed education, supplies, and equippment. The best way to guage this is by the amount of work you turn away because you may lack some equippment. If the demand is not there then don't spend the money.
MYTH#7It doesn't matter what I look like when I'm going out on a job. True or False?
False. Our society demands perfection and nothing less. Appearance is everything. In this order, you are a salesman first, a security consultant second, and then finally a skilled technician. Do you think you would be taken serious trying to land a big account if you looked like you just came out from under a vehicle? Of course not! First impressions are everything. If you know that a job that your going to be on is messy then bring extra clothes to change into. Then you will be ready to go on the next call looking fresh and ready to sell to the next client.
MYTH#8.I can't afford to go to classes or trade shows. True or False
False. Most classes will cost under $100 unless it is a certification class. All classes are scheduled 6 months to 1 year in advance. So plan in advance by saving for it. Take $5 dollars out of each job and in one month you will have enough for one class. At the end of 6 months you will have enough for 3-4 classes and accommadations. This is the foresight of the business. Learn and Earn.
MYTH#9.I don't need to go to classes. I can learn it all on the job. True or False?
False. Certain jobs cannot be learned on the job. Examples: Safe Penetration, Detention locks, access control, and ADA law compliances. By taking classes, especially in areas that you would like to start servicing, gives you the ability to be compentant on the job and before the customer. Also with the extra education it leads to more high end jobs and long term commercial accounts and larger profits.
MYTH#10I don't have the time to spend talking to every customer. True or False?
False. Taking the time to listen to your customer will help you to understand their needs. This inturn will be a window of opportunity to sell more security to your customers or other contacts they give you.
TO BE CONTINUED....
TBB (:^) >