How to get More Leads for Your Small Business…with a Private Investigator
“Okay, this guy has lost his mind! How can a P.I. help me grow?”
Glad you asked. You see, I was a cop for 20 years and didn’t know about building business or marketing or closing deals (and I’m still not a great closer), but what I did know was that I needed to investigate my competition. Can you see where I’m going with this?
Initially, my dad and I were going to strike it big selling windows, but how do we get leads without spending a ton of money on commercials or radio ads? Thinking like a detective, I’m going to conduct surveillance on my competition. I woke up early, loaded my window sample, blank contracts, and business cards in my non-descript Chevy Cobalt. I parked outside of a large window retailer in Ohio that advertised everywhere. They had a full sales team. When one of the salesmen left after their morning lead distribution, I followed. He went to a house about 20 minutes from his shop, walked up to the door with a sample from his company and disappeared inside the house for over an hour. Finally, he left, but I stayed.
I brazenly went up to the door, told the customer that I saw the “other guy” leave and knowing that I could beat his price with a similar product, I asked for the chance. She just signed the contract with him, but I came in less and could get her installed quicker. She called and cancelled the other job and booked mine. Unbeknownst to me, I just utilized Competitive Intelligence.
Ultimately, I left the window business but utilized this same mobile surveillance and spying technique for a friend’s pest control business. I followed heavily marked trucks to their stops, recorded addresses, took a few videos and photos of some shoddy work-practices, and the owner that hired me swooped in and grabbed a decent percentage of those customers. He reported violations of the pesticide spraying as well to the state. You might initially think that sounds cut-throat, and it is, but in that industry, they were all that way. If you tried to bounce ideas off of each other, they’d steal them before anyone else could implement them.
Competitive Intelligence is a great way to check out your competition, find new prospects, or to investigate and report the cheaters in your industry that aren’t following the rules you follow.
This strategy would work great for many service-based industries such as:
- Pest Control
- Pool Cleaners
- Water Delivery Home Improvement
- Alarm Installations
- and many others.
Need help tailoring a Competitive Intelligence strategy? Call 941-777-3247
David Ferrante & Associates, Detective Agency, Agency #1700214, Serving Florida