Is there a down-side to the “Five Around” door hanger concept for carpet cleaners?


This is just a “curiosity question.”  In the SFS seminar you said your company always did a “Five Around” where your techs put a door hanger in each door on either side of the house and also on the three houses across the street.  So were you ever sued because a person came home to find their house had been burglarized and they wanted to blame you because you left the door hanger that let the thieves know the home owner was not in the house?

Curious in San Francisco

Hi Curious,

As always, good to hear from you.  I haven’t heard about this problem but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.  (I tell every Strategies for Success class that you can be sued for ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!)  We always told our techs to place the door hanger “discreetly” and securely so it doesn’t blow away and of course to follow local laws.  (Some areas prohibit placing anything on the customer’s home.)  My guess is your risk is very small if you follow these principles and the great marketing returns out-weigh the very small down-side.

NOTE:  Following the SFS principle of ASSUMING NOTHING means you should have in writing with your employees that nothing is ever to be placed in a mailbox that does not have a stamp on it!  You just never know with employees …

One twist that might work well for you (some of our SFS members do this- especially the hungry owner-operators!) is to do the traditional “Five Around” but actually knock on the door!  Then when the home owner answers mention that you had been cleaning over at Mrs. Jones and you wanted all the neighbors to have this bottle of free “Lifetime Supply” of Jon-Don’s Spot-Out. (And of course the bottle will have your logo and phone number on it!)  It is amazing how many people will say, “You know, I was just thinking about getting the carpets cleaned.  Do you have time to give me an estimate right now?”

Even with the ones who don’t have you look at the carpet, Curious, you are creating a positive Moment of Truth and leaving an advertising piece with a high “Perception of Value” that will both remind them of your name/phone number and leave them “indebted” to you for years to come.  Not bad for a little over a buck a bottle!

BTW, Curious, while I invented the Free Lifetime Spotter concept I don’t make a penny on our give-away Spot-Out spotter program from Jon-Don.  I gave Jon-Don the idea way back in 1996 when I came on board to develop what has grown into Strategies for Success.  However, to credit Jon-Don have been very generous with me in many other ways, including giving me my very own internet “playground” called Steve’s Bleeding Hearts Club!  Plus my colleagues are a lot of fun to work with, even that slacker Bill Yeadon!

So stay in touch, Curious, and let me know how you are doing your Five-Arounds.


PS  So how are all our other SFS site readers creatively using your door hangers and/or Jon-Don’s Free Lifetime Supply Spot-Out program?  Let me know.  After all, we’re all in this together!

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