I was listening to a radio show the other day and the caller said. “The smell of fall is in the air.” The host saw an opportunity to engage the conversation. “Ah, the smell of fall – freshly falling leaves, that cool briskness in the air?” “Oh, no,” said the caller, “here in our Kansas town you can tell when fall is in the air because the manure from the cattle farms has built up enough to smell all the way into town!” Well, it wasn’t the segway the host had hoped for, but he managed to recover control of the show in a moment or two.
For those of us in the chimney business, the smell of fall is that of crisp wood smoke, the faint whisp of oil smoke in the air, and the unique smell of pellet stove fumes. But the true smell of fall for our industry is the smell of money! Soon the cool nights will signal the phones to ring incessantly and we’ll begin that rodeo ride we call “the busy season.” For many in this economy, it will be a more than welcome sight. But are you prepared? Have you been through your inventory of tools and products to make sure you can capitalize on every opportunity? Are your brushes, rods, vacuum and tools in good repair? Do you have a stock of paint, glass cleaner, stove gasket and cement to sell? How about the most popular chimney cap and dampers you sell? Are your ladders, ridge hooks and scaffold inspected and ready?
The experts say certain sensory experiences are imprinted on the brain. Certain smells trigger a childhood memory or a special day in our past. This fall, how about making the chimney sweep visit memorable for your customers? Greet them with a smile and make the visit professional, complete and enjoyable. Give them something extra – a box of fire starters, a bottle of glass cleaner, a chimney sweep figurine, or something unique to you. And don’t forget to thank them for choosing your company.
Whatever the smell of fall is to you, breathe deeply and embrace it. After all, it only comes once a year.
Posted by Chuck Phillip, Business Coach, NE Division