An open letter to Dan Packer at Student Works Painting
Dear Mr. Packer,
When I arrived home from work last night, I discovered one of your advertisements in my mailbox. The ad itself consisted of a letter addressed to “Homeowner”, in which you explained your experience running a franchise, offered to provide a free estimate, and included a number of coupons. It also included a detailed explanation of exactly what your crew would do to prepare any surface that I might need painted. As it happens, just the other day I was thinking of looking for a company to do some paint work.
However, I will not be requesting the services of your company, and I would like to explain why.
First of all, I discovered your ad in my mailbox – the one that has a sign, almost as big as the box itself, that says: “No junkmail, flyers, or advertisements.” As a client, I endeavour to employ the services of companies that have a high attention for detail. Placing an advertisement in a box that clearly states not to, shows that you are either incredibly unobservant, or simply unwilling to respect the wishes of potential clients. Either way, I am not sure that I want you to paint my house.
But what really made me decide that I would not be employing your services was the fact that your letter included the following line:
While I was touring your neighbourhood, I noticed that the exterior of your home will require maintenance.
Oh really! Is that right? So you were walking by and thought, “That house could clearly use my services!” Well, please let me give you a little piece of advice. When you are trying to attract business, insinuating that your potential client’s house looks bad is not the most effective way to go. As I said, I was indeed looking for someone to do some painting for me – interior painting. I am actually quite happy with the exterior of my house.
I obviously don’t know how well your painters paint. But what I do know is that the image your business presents to the world speaks a great deal about the kind of company you run. Some might claim that it is unfair to judge your company so harshly before actually seeing any examples of your work, but to that I would respond that the very purpose of an advertisement is to make a good first impression. It should give me the confidence to allow you into my home. But your advertisement not only failed to make a good impression, it actually made a bad one. And quite frankly, if you can’t make a good impression in a flyer that you had plenty of time to prepare, what kind of impression will you make when you are talking to me face to face?
I admire your entrepreneurial spirit, and I hope your business finds other clients. But honestly, you need to rework your marketing strategy.