By: Tim Grubbs, Owner, Quality Assurance Painting, Inc. and
Barbara Walsh, Marketing Consultant, Walsh One Marketing,
How does a busy, driven, type A painting contractor and an equally driven, type A marketing consultant work together to develop and implement a marketing plan that works? It takes patience, perseverance, and a mutual passion for growing a business. Like any relationship, including business, it can take time to successfully blend different personalities and work styles together. It’s not always easy, but we did it, and you can too! Let us explain, from our points of view, the pros and cons of the client/consultant business relationship and how we make it work.
Cons: Let’s start here and move toward the positive!From working in advertising and marketing most of my career, I can tell you that working with a contractor has been a different experience for me. Marketing and advertising can be somewhat exciting and glamorous fields filled with many client business meetings taking place at high end restaurants, over drinks, or at the very least over a Starbucks!
Discussions with my painting contractor are generally infrequent, rushed, and discussed over static-filled cell phone calls. My lengthy reports via email are answered in few words. The painting contractor I work with is completely comfortable discussing business over the static-filled cell phone calls, this is where I have needed to learn to adapt. Over the past year, I have learned patience and perseverance with my fellow colleague. Instead of thinking that everything I’m working on is urgent and demands a quick response, I have learned to wait until he is available to discuss the items at hand (patience). I communicate now in shorter emails or text messages and ask him to contact me when available. I try to keep a list of items I need to discuss by the phone so when I get a phone call I can quickly address my list. Sometimes I have many items from my list pending for several weeks, but I keep at it (perseverance). In the end, the projects get worked on and completed. After all, that’s the goal.
Pros: I implement this company’s social media strategies, create and maintain their website, and advise on traditional marketing avenues. It has been exciting for me to take a young company with virtually no online presence to the place it is now, showing up high (Page 1) in Google searches under various key words. Additionally, each month we add components to our strategy to reach potential and existing customers and grow the company’s presence within the industry, on the Internet, and within the community. That’s where the passion to help someone grow their business lies.
The most rewarding aspect for me as a marketing consultant is that my busy painting contractor allows me the freedom to create and take control of the marketing projects. Yes, he wants to be informed and consulted, but he’s not interested in micro-managing — he’s too busy doing the daily work of his business. He just wants to know someone is doing the work we initially outlined.
I have come to realize that my skills and expertise can be most useful to this company by taking the initiative with their marketing plan and finding ways to save them time.