Last night I had an unusual conversation with my brother, Timothy.
Timothy is 24. He works in my Dad’s family business, Black Cat Security, installing home alarms and such.
But like most small family businesses, they’ve seen things slow down lately.
I suggested, “Why not do a weekly email to your clients? You’d build a relationship, and drum up a few more sales.”
He was … not keen.
“I DON’T want to write any emails,” he said sternly.
“It’s easy,” I said. “You just take something that happened to you at a client’s house … narrate it … then pitch something you guys sell!” I counted the steps on my fingers as I spoke.
But Timothy was skeptical:
“Okay then, genius. What exactly would I write about?”
I replied: “Well, give me an idea. Last time you were at a client’s house working, what did you talk to them about?”
I thought he’d give me something technical, like “look how badly the last company wired up your old alarm“.
But Timothy didn’t want to make it that easy.
“The last thing a client said to me? He was telling his dog to jump off me.”
He looked at me with a smirk, as if he’d stumped me with an impossible topic to write about.
Did he not realise who he was dealing with?
“I can work with that,” I said.
And then, I engaged copywriting Super-Saiyan mode.
(Picture me with my eyes glowing, and my hair slowly raising to stand on end.)
“Here’s the email I would write … ”
The other day I opened the door to one of our regular alarm service calls.
A big greyhound rushed at me and nearly knocked me to the ground!
As I was fending him off, I heard the owner in the background:
“Oi! Beau! Get off him!”
The owner — a guy named Greg, one of Black Cat Security’s long-term clients — walked forward and grabbed the dog.
“Sorry about that, mate,” he said. “He gets a bit excited at visitors!”
I ended up chatting to Greg about his dog Beau.
Turns out he’s had him for 10 years, and he loves him to death!
Now, a lot of our clients are dog owners like Greg.
They adore their dogs — they’re loyal, friendly, and great company.
Only problem is, it’s a bit difficult having a dog with a home alarm system, since they can set it off if you leave them inside.
Greg told me he had that problem, too.
That’s when I told him something really exciting:
“Hey Greg, did you know we can upgrade your alarm to one of our pet-friendly sensors? You’d have the peace of mind of being able to have Beau running around the home — without setting off your alarm at all.”
Greg couldn’t believe it as I told him some of the other cool features of our pet-friendly sensors, such as …
I stopped there because I don’t really know what the alarms do.
“Well?” I asked.
That’s when Timothy’s eyes lit up.
“I know … why don’t we get YOU to write these emails!”
He jumped on a chair and started typing away at his iPad Pro.
“Now THIS is why Dad brought me on,” he said, without looking up from his screen. “To solve his marketing problems. I found a problem … and solved it!”
“But you didn’t solve anything … I just gave you a solution. And then you just delegated the work to me,” I protested.
He wasn’t listening. He was still typing.
“That’s why Dad hired me,” he repeated. “To GET THINGS DONE!”
Ah, well. Can’t fault his enthusiasm.
Anyway, we both learned a lesson here.
His lesson was that email is a simple, easy way to drum up sales for whatever you sell.
My lesson was that even though I find this stuff totally natural, most people do not.
And if you are one of them, I have great news:
You can at least hire me to do it for you.
Well, not immediately (unless you have a super fun job that actually makes me want to push my other work aside).
But maybe in a little while.