“How can I break into a nearby town?”

Hello Bill and Steve,

I am expanding into a new territory about 35 miles away and I have a few ideas that need refining. I am wondering if you have any suggestions? My main goal is to let the whole small city of 4,300 housing units know we are new in town.

I would like to send a post card to every house in town & then knock on every door with a care package. I do not know what to say on the post card but as far as the care package I am thinking about a free “Lifetime Supply” bottle of Spot Out plus a tri-fold brochure telling them about us plus a letter of introduction from me and a magnet for their fridge plus a $50.00 gift card and business card.

When we knock we would say “Hello my name is __________ with __________ Carpet Cleaning. I want to introduce myself & give you a care package. We are a new small business in town. The best part of this care package is the lifetime supply of Spot Out. It works very well and if you ever run out call us and we will bring you a new bottle. Lastly, here is a magnet to put on your fridge that way you will have our # if you need a carpet cleaning or in the unfortunate even of a fire or water damage we would be glad to help you through it. That’s all I have and I hope you enjoy your care package. Before I go do you have any questions?”

What do you think? Have you heard of people doing anything like this before? Is door to door to high pressure? And Steve, maybe you could help me with the wording?

Expanding in Texas

I don’t know, Expanding. My feelings are kind of hurt since you put Bill’s name first in your salutation! 🙂

Anyway, I like your concept. In fact, I’ve always been a big proponent of “door to door”.  Good old shoe leather is the fastest, cheapest and usually the most effective marketing out there IF you don’t have a “higher and best use” at the moment.  Will you personally be doing the door to door or will you have other employees do it? Or hire outside contractors? Some other thoughts…

4,300 houses to knock on is a lot, Expanding.  Could you divide the town up demographically and start with the “medium” prospects? Not your best ones so you can “practice” on the middle class homeowners before you head into the upper middle class areas!

However, I’m pretty sure you may be overwhelming people with so many different gifts in your door-to-door “Care Package”. Have you thought about a multi-step approach?

First, start with sending an attention getting post card explaining you’ll be stopping by with your Care Package. Send just to an area big enough to cover the following week. (Check into the Post Office’s EDDM program.)

Now here’s a suggested “no-pressure” script to present the customer with a bottle of your “Lifetime Free Spot Out” (which at a little over a “buck a bottle” is a great promotion that will pay off for years to come!) and your business card as in:

Ring bell- step back three feet, stand at “parade rest”. (No sunglasses, shoulders back, feet slightly apart, slight smile on face, hands clasped in front of you and holding the Spot Out bottle in your right hand.)

Homeowner opens door: “Can I help you?”

You: “Absolutely! (then slowly) I’m (full name) with (company name) and I sent you a post card last week with this great coupon. (Show them the coupon.) Now we’re giving all your neighbors a free bottle of our free “Lifetime Carpet Spotter” and here is your bottle. (Hand them the bottle with the label clearly visible.) Any time you need more spotter just give us a call and we’ll replace it- free of charge. Thank you so much and our phone number and website are printed on the bottle fro when you need cleaning services.”

Homeowner: “Well, thank you very much!”

You: “Have a wonderful day!” (Start your “Columbo Close” here.) “Oh, I almost forget. Here is my business card. I also have some Gift Certificates for free carpet cleaning. Do you know if any of your friends or neighbors might need carpet cleaning soon?” 

NOTE: By asking them about their “friends and neighbors” you are not putting them on the spot while still slyly reminding them of the services you offer. So at this point you will be amazed at how many will say, “Well, we were thinking about having our carpets cleaned. How much do you charge?” (And you are now off and running!)

HINT: Keep your attache case with your complete carpet pre-inspection kit with you on these visits. There will be “no time like the present” to pre-inspect their carpet.

Another question to consider: Will this town let you legally hang your gift bags on the doors when no one is home? Either way you’ll want to choose the best time to make these visits. Most of our SFS members who do this have found Saturdays are when they find most people home.

Then after leaving the gift bag you could always follow up with another post card mailing that refers to the free spotter you left them and the card could function as a Gift Certificate.

Also I’m not sure if you want to highlight you are from “out of the area”, Expanding. Or would it just be better to start advertising as if you are a local business? Get a “local phone number” that rings through to your office, etc.

Let me know how the above ideas work out,


Bill’s ideas:

Expanding, in your introductory letter or post card talk about how hard it is to find a service company you can trust. Mention how long you have been in business in your current city. Talk about being a family business and show a picture of your family.

Mention that you would like to meet all 4,300 homeowners but if you should miss them you will leave your Care Package in their door.

I would offer to clean a few high profile places such as a church, senior citizens home, pet shelter, etc. for free. Get involved with any charity walks or events. Do anything you can to raise your visibility in the area.

Best wishes,


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