Every week since we moved house we’ve received a hand-delivered leaflet from a local garage promising to sort out our headgaskets and do our MOT. It’s the same leaflet every time. Same offer (10% off on production of the leaflet), same design. And its been doing the same bad job of selling the business since at least 2005. It doesn’t change with the seasons, or keep up with the news (nothing about how to cash in on the government’s scrappage scheme; not a dicky-bird about keeping the car on the road through this icy winter). It doesn’t tell me why I should entrust my spark plugs to them and no-one else. No testimonials from satisfied customers. It looks as though they just got several thousand done at the turn of the millennium and they’re jolly well going to keep using them ’til they’re gone.
Intrigued by their doggedness, I’ve finally got round to asking them what else they do to promote themselves and how the leaflet thing is working out for them. I’ll update here if I get a reply. As far as I know this is the only piece of local marketing they do. They’ve been running for years so they must be doing something right. I’d guess the backbone of their trade is repeat business rather than new customers, and good for them, I’m sure they know their stuff. But the leaflets are starting to really bug me. The waste of paper for one thing, and the man-hours spent trudging up the road delivering them so that I can put them straight into the recycling . Doing the same thing again and again doesn’t mean it’s going to work one day – start by sprucing up your calling card, chaps, and target your efforts a bit better. We don’t have a car.