Here is another great educational interview conducted in 2006 that still has value today. Get your pen and paper out and take notes!
Nobody does it better then Pat Baker when it comes to selling safes and inspiring the locksmith to sell safes. Learn from the master himself. When it comes to understanding the "sell" in safe sales, Pat provides you the road map.
In this relaxed interview he delivers an educated approach that keeps you listening. Stop selling yourself short and increase your bottom line by listening to Pats wisdom, it may change your perspective as well as your good fortune.
If there was ever an interview to enjoy, this is the one!
Members of the Society of Professional Locksmiths sell, deliver, service and repair fire safes, burglar rated safes, media safes, and even fully equipped gun safes. Purchase your safe from a professional locksmith today.
If this interview made you think, or gave you some inspiration, please share your comments below and give it a Facebook LIKE or Tweet!
The SOPL has been advocating that a "Good" Locksmith works hard to earn the trust and confidence of their clients by providing solutions to their security needs. It is very simple to do.
Whatever the problem, automotive, residential or commercial, A “Good” Locksmith delivers the solution at affordable prices. and by giving customers the service and respect they deserve. There is no magic to this and the result is a loyal following of satisfied customers, who by word of mouth will refer family and friends who also will become satisfied customers.
There is nothing better than word of mouth advertising and referrals. It worked for Fabrege Organics Shampoo! The commercials for this shampoo were legendary, claiming "If you tell two friends about their product, then they'll tell two friends, and so on and so on and so on". Consider it viral social media without a computer, and it has worked from the beginning of time, still today and long into the future. No search engines or Google places needed!
The secret to this is having a passionate about your locksmith services. You have to love what you do and not think of it as just a job. Spending time to "walk" your demographic area to "meet and greet" consumers in your area is the key. Stop the world for a day and using the time to actually "shake hands and kiss the babies" puts the "GOOD" locksmith in the hearts and minds of the consumer, and it has more value than reliance on any search engine or lead generation service can offer.
The consumer wants to have a relationship with their locksmith. They can easily connect with a "GOOD" locksmith when searching the Internet if they must by seeing that the locksmiths website is "real, wholesome and organic" (not the Fabrege' Shampoo!). When your website is relaxed and they see you are real, and not the canned, stiff store bought kind, it resonates. When there is a story as to who their service provider is, there is a connection. Having your personal image on your site, a personal video and even having your family part of delivering your message, it hits home.
If your looking to earn good clients for life, you have to think of it as rhyme of "churn and burn" to make it happen. Locksmith Mike Galdine of GOOD Locksmiths of Bonita Springs, FL. understands the churn and burn of running a successful mobile locksmith business as well as the rhymes he has been rocking on the microphone since the early 1990's. Mike has a passion for "rapping", but on a specific genre. His passion actually turns out to be a terrific organic benefit. If we look at the amount of connections he has in social media, he just might be the best known locksmith in his area, and who needs Google or the yellow Pages when you are the Locksmith of Rhyme!
He has performed with such groups as De La Soul, Inner Circle, Ruby Blue, Mint Condition and others. With original songs that have drawn national exposure, known as Mikey "G" , he prides himself in serving to glorify GOD with his lyrical compositions.... Check him out, then tell two friends, who will tell two friends and so on, and so on!!! It is that easy to find a GOOD Locksmith.
"The Nicest Locksmith in the World” — Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Florida
Locksmith entrepreneur and marketing evangelista Stephen Sharpe brought to our industry two power-packed marketing manuals specifically designed for the locksmith. They were titled “Sometimes Your the Shark, Sometimes Your the Fish!” and “Shark Bites”. These two marketing manuals provided a step by step methodology and business guide to catapult any business into profits. Although designed for the locksmith, its methods could be deployed for any business.
Everything the locksmith needs is provided in the form of advertising layouts, flyers, brochures, cards, proposals, catalog formats, stickers and much more. It was so comprehensive that anyone could do it, but the problem is that not every locksmith would do it! For many locksmiths the idea of being “competitive” must be accomplished byrules rather than hard work.
But what rules? There are sales and marketing concepts which are referred to as rules or laws and many of them make sense and work, but there are some locksmiths who believe the idea of rules is more about making them on how everyone must play in the marketplace so that everyone is equal.
In other words, “Everyone Wins a Fish” rule!
Years ago locksmiths would spend their time complaining about the jack legs, butchers, tinkers, tow truck drivers, hardware stores, big box stores and newbies. Today many of them complain about scammers. It almost appears that if these locksmiths didn’t have someone to complain about then they would not be happy.
So the call for rules of what should be done, and how terrible it is to have competition becomes the flavor of the day. The subjects of the complaints today are the scammers. By definition the scammers are considered to be undocumented foreign nationals "posing" as locksmiths so they can gouge the consumer. But that is also changing as more home grown Americans are being hired to be sub-contractors and call center managers/dispatchers.
Many of these scammers are not skilled so it feeds the fuel of the complaints similar to the old jack legs and butchers. So how hard would it be to compete against such sub standard work? Not very! But it isn't so much the lack of skills that is the disturbing the locksmith community as it is their aggressive and successful marketing.
Jim Mullins, a locksmith from Silver Springs Maryland drives this point home in a recent Washington Post news article where he states - "We don't have a fair chance to fight these guys who are marketing gurus and have big international money."
The irony of this, is that the locksmiths have had every possible opportunity to educate themselves in marketing tactics and the last I checked, the American dollar had more spending power then many others international currency. Jim’s assessment of the situation is not incorrect, but the idea that the locksmiths feel things must be fair based on someone being a guru and others not being is disappointing.
Most locksmiths spend a large amount of time honing technical skills but are terrible at marketing these skills. The scammers on the other hand are investing their time and money into marketing and are terrible in the skill sets need as a professional. This could be because they are not interested in a job well done and more interested in getting as much money as they can.
Most locksmiths would love to walk away with money these scammers are receiving. After all it has been the very same locksmith complaining today, which have for years felt they should be paid like doctors and lawyers based on all the technical skills and information they have. So, is the problem more about the idea that others are getting it and they are not? Not so much! When you consider that the level of service by these scammers is substandard, but what if the service was reasonable? Would they still be disturbed?
Based on the history of the need to find a scapegoat for the locksmiths own failures to recognize the importance of their marketing as strongly as their technical skills, the answer would probably be, yes!
How it Works
Scammers are essentially sub-contractors. They are dispatched from central phone banks or call centers which receive service requests from consumers. The calls are generated from an over abundance of ads and the exploitation of today’s cyber technology. Years ago the Yellow pages was the place where large ads would be found trying to dominate the fingers that walked through them. Today the Internet search engines are now the consumers shopping guide and it is powerful, but not impossible to harness.
The sub-contractors respond to the jobs passed off to them by the dispatch centers and their goal is to obtain as much money for a job as possible because they are working on a percentage commission. Typically, there is a 40/60 split with 40% going to the sub-contractor. In some cases a 35 - 50% payout depending upon the relationship and the performance of the contractor. The more you produce and the more calls you cover, the more work you will receive. Nothing wrong with that and not much different them most locksmiths who seek to "farm out" work to others.
Since these sub-contractors are legally independent of the actual company or those posing as a company, they tend to operate under and falsely create a host of names and this gives the appearance of thousands of companies in the search engines. There are some sub-contractors and sub-contract companies who are not ripping off the consumers. There have been for years many good locksmiths who worked for similar companies and successfully earned an honorable living. The difference is whether or not they were real locksmiths taking on work to build their business or just those posing as one for the purpose of gouging an unsuspecting consumer. Locksmiths have nothing to fear by working for companies that are not taking advantage of anyone, but they need to understand just who is who!
So what's the point of mentioning this in an article about marketing?
The point is that there needs to be a clear understanding of the issues and those involved so the complaining can stop and action takes over! There are numerous ways for the locksmiths to benefit from a marketing campaign if they would just stop complaining and actually make the efforts.
Good Actors – Bad Actors
There are Good Actors (the locksmiths) and there are Bad Actors (those posing as locksmiths) and then there is the marketing arm of the bad actors. When we sit back and analyze the marketing driving these scammers, we are left with little response then to say - "These guys are really good!"
I am sure after saying that these guys are really good, some locksmiths will throw a fit and the complaining will start, but in reality they know it is true. The Internet search engines have become saturated with ads and fictitious companies as well as hijacked company information from legitimate locksmiths. Although not entirely ethical, it is still pretty slick how they do what they do.
All this designed to mislead the consumer. But at the end of the day, their ads are causing the phones to ring and the call centers to dispatch out to the waiting (bad actor) sub-contractor posing as the locksmith.
Today I received and email from a person who stated they would not have anything to do with the SOPL because it was associated with a locksmith dispatch scam. WOW! I thought to my self did I do something with the SOPL that I forgot to tell myself about? I don't think so! After some thought I realized this person was referring to the 1-800-UNLOCKS relationship with the SOPL.
I think it is about time the facts are presented in a blunt fashion to dispel the ignorance of those who do not do their research or get involved in their industry enough to know the facts about services within their own peer group. 1-800-UNLOCKS is a legitimate nationwide locksmith DISPATCH network. It is not a scam operation like the ones being found in the news. 1-800-UNLOCKS has been around for a long time. They had some issues in the past with some operational problems and that has been corrected a long time ago and has nothing to do with any "scams" so in fairness and to show everyone how I am not a shill for them, I will say the only thing I don't like about 1-800-UNLOCKS is their website, which by the way I have openly criticized to them.
So let see if I can help both the misinformed Locksmiths and the consumers about this service. It is a DISPATCH service which routes the consumers call DIRECTLY to the local locksmith registered in their network for the callers area. It is not a remote out of state SUB-CONTRACTED scam. What 1-800-UNLOCKS does is pre-screens real working locksmiths who chose to pay for a territory and be allowed to use the vanity number to route calls directly to their business rather then into a phone bank. So, the consumer actually gets an established locksmith in their neighborhood, not some dispatch center a 1000 miles away who sends out some guy who is 2 hours away and has no clue about the skill sets or craft of locksmithing.
So to set the records straight, 1-800-UNLOCKS works for those locksmiths who take the effort to market the vanity number in their territory because the calls come back to them and help to promote a professional franchised image without the cost of a franchise fee and the consumer is serviced professionally. To the best of my knowledge, 1-800-UNLOCKS maintains a standard of performance and if they fell a provider is not operating above board, they reserve the right to pull the territory. Do a Google search and you are not finding locksmiths registered with 1-800-UNLOCKS involved, period.
So I am completely comfortable having 1-800-UNLOCKS associated with the SOPL since they are not a scam in my opinion and others in this business who know what it is about. I actually believe that if misinformed locksmiths spend more time opening their mind to the idea of what 1-800-UNLOCKS could do to improve their image and bottom lines then they would be better off doing it. In the face of real scams that are going on, 1-800-UNLOCKS is the locksmiths secret weapon to create their own threaded cooperative network to combat these scams and recapture the call volume that has been lost to this nationwide dilemma.
It all comes down to marketing which many locksmiths are just flat out terrible at doing, and that is a subject for another days blog post.