Overlooked Company Growth Strategy: Enthusiastic Employees

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Courteous, enthusiastic employees are your one of the best marketing strategies for long-term repeat business. Larry Harmon, president of De-Mar Plumbing/Heating/Air Conditioning in Clovis, CA, found this to be true. The success of his $3.3 million, 40-employee company, he explains, "is showing your people they need long-term customers, not short-term dollars."

Harmon develops the commitment to long-term business through training, incentives and team building. Each year he spends 2% of gross revenue on training. During this time employees complete a goal sheet which forms the base for a commission-based incentive system. Employees are awarded positive points for repeat business.

Harmon finds that these programs encourage better service and courtesy on the job. For example, employees send a thank you note to every customer after a job. They leave each job wishing their customer a "Deemarvelous day." And with every estimate, they give out a brochure and a discount card.

His employee’s commitment translates into the company’s growth. Based on market research, 80% of Fresno-area residents thought of De-Mars competitors first. Within 5 years, De-Mar was the first choice of 84% of those surveyed. The company grew 15-fold during that time.

[adapted from 301 Do-it-Yourself Marketing Ideas by Sam Decker]

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