James said drycleaning is a Survive vs Thrive business. The sad truth is, if you don’t have routes you will lose out to companies in other towns who do, and who are hungry for business. He touched on reasons why a successful route business is not a pick up/drop off situation. “People are very attached to their clothing, and their good clothing is what they entrust to their drycleaner. So there has to be a personal connection. They like going to the plant because they talk to human beings. A successful route, therefore, needs a driver who is also part salesman/woman, as they need to be able to interact with your customer.”
There is no hard sell in routes. You are at a person’s home, so you need to be very respectful of that. Communication is 7% verbal, 38% tonality (how you say what you say), and 55% physical (body language). You cannot communicate at a deep level through written word alone. James also took time to explain and demolish some popular myths about Routes, what works and what won’t. Understand it is a waiting game, you need to establish contact, and be prepared to withdraw, let the customer get used to the idea. One routeman who put his foot in the door to stop the householder from closing it was fired. And rightly so.
It was fascinating to hear that in Texas they don’t do leaflet deliveries to letterboxes. You can be fined $50 per flyer. (That’s right! $50 per flyer.) At this time of year, when your letterbox is stuffed to the gills with leaflets, you might think that is a great idea, but I challenge you to look at leaflets not as a nuisance, but as a lesson in marketing. What appeals to you? What bores you? Can you take these design ideas on board?
James is speaking to another group of drycleaners interested in exploring how routes might work for their business on Saturday the 5th December, in Melbourne. You may still be able to register via the DIA Ltd. Visit their website at www.drycleanersweb.com.au