I've always had my fleet of courier vans serviced at the local mechanics. We've all heard about the "dodgy" mechanics that always seem to find so many problems with your car that require a lot of money to fix. Well, my local mechanic is the complete opposite of that. He's full of advice and he's always saying to me that if all of his customers actually do follow his advice then he'd probably go out of business!
Fat chance of that - his service is second to none. One such example: I called him once to see if he sold any jump leads. He said, sure - but let me deliver them to your home, because I bet your car isn't running right now - and we can always get it going with the jump leads I'll sell you! He's as honest as the day is long, and a complete professional. His apprentices have been well trained and they've adopted his straight-forward approach.
I've recommended his services to countless people, and you always need to book well ahead for MOTs and services. He's old-fashioned - not online, and sends you an invoice in the post.
Do you see what I'm seeing here? I'm seeing incredible marketing going on. That the marketing is inadvertent makes it all the more potent. My mechanic doesn't need Facebook, Twitter or Google Ads. He doesn't need Yell. He just goes that extra mile and people love him for it, and they do his marketing for him. Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful. If you're recommended a service by a close friend or family member, then the trust barrier has been hurdled and you're seriously considering that recommendation.
Of course, being great at your job is not easy. Being disciplined is not easy. However, being good at both really helps win over a lot of new customers. So many businesses focus on delivering a "good enough" service, and then plough all their energies into advertising and marketing. And that rarely works. Jeff Bezos said Amazon's success came from putting the customer first. It's so simple, and it's so true.
Back to my mechanic...he recently moved to new, modern premises. Resin flooring, incredible lighting, hi-tech tools and equipment. His business is the epitomy of professionalism. I did ask him once how he marketed his business. He just smiled and said "I don't even know what marketing is".
I beg to differ.