I walked into the clothing store, they know me here. I come in often to try on an assortment of random clothes hoping they hit all the necessary body parts just right while avoiding all the “unnecessary” ones (if you know what I mean, ladies). I walked out of the dressing rooms in some flowery dress and heels towards the 360 degree mirror hoping to find the ultimate perfect outfit I would realize I couldn’t live the rest of my life without. No dice. I looked like a worm attempting to break out of a sewed up cocoon made out of flowers. Anyways, back to the dressing room to try on 10 other outfits I’d picked out (I’m the restocking person’s worst nightmare). Before I had a chance to make it back to my clothing jail cell, a salesperson caught me doing the walk-of-shame in the constricting clothes.

“Oh my, if I looked like that, I wouldn’t possibly leave this store without that in hand!” Was this lady really telling me this outfit looked good?!

“Um, yeah… It’s way too tight. I had to dislodge three joints to get it over my head. I’m dreading taking it off.” I replied in a less-than-enthusiastic response.

“Oh, no honey! That dress is made for you!” she responded in an almost unrealistically happy tone.

I was skeptical. This chick was trying to sell me on an outfit that didn’t take a blind man to realize was not figure flattering. But on she continued to woo me into buying this dress. I thanked her for the compliments, told her I’d think about it, and walked back to the dressing room to reason it out. This woman was trying to tell me I looked great so I’d buy the outfit she would make her commissions off of. Plain and simple. Had another woman walked out of the dressing room next to me and drooled on and on about how the dress made me look like a candidate for the next Victoria Secret Runway Show, I may have actually bought the dress because that opinion would have been sincere.

Was the sales lady lying? I don’t know. But it didn’t matter, she was there to make a profit and I was just a sales number to her (in my eyes, at least).

How does my story recounting my shopping addiction apply to restoration marketing, you ask? Glad you did. When you get on your Facebook page and write constantly about how you’re the best restoration company in the whole wide world, you are that sales lady telling me that that outfit looked good when I needed to here it from another customer, not the store representative.

I logged onto linkedin this morning and read a quote from some connection. “In the restoration insurance industry, you need to know a professional. We are that professional – best in the business. Call (555) 555-5555.” Ok, um, great. You think you’re the bees knees. But what do your clients think? Are they on Yelp writing a “RUN THE OTHER WAY” review? I don’t care how awesome you think you are. I care about how awesome other people think you are.

Instead of logging onto some social network every morning to make your daily post about how epic your workmanship is, try asking someone else to. “Asking someone else to!?” you respond nearly spitting your drink across your computer screen. YES. Ask, and ye shall receive. Call up your last client. Let them know a review on Yelp would mean the world or an Angie’s list write-up would be the cherry on top. Waiting for them to write your epic review is like me waiting in the dressing room for someone to just happen to notice my outfit and comment on it. I’d probably be writing this from that dressing room if I’d waited.

Conclusion : let others “toot your horn.”

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