What About Bob?

What about Bob, he’s your customer!


Here is the scene.

You are sitting in a diner at the counter, you’re a little early for a meeting with a customer to go over some project details.  You are minding your own business when, a guy comes in and sits right next to you.


You are minding your own business, flipping through your social feed and the waitress walks up and says. “Hi, Bob, what can I get you?”


Bob in a grumpy voice says, “A double shot of bourbon!  Oh, that’s right, wrong place.  A coffee black will do.”   The waitress, (who appears to know Bob) replies, “Why the bourbon?”


You can’t help but over hear the conversation, you are sitting right next to the guy.


Bob says to the waitress – exactly what your business offers or a problem it solves.


What does Bob say?


Now you are a (blank) and this is your ideal customer, what do you do?


Great marketers are always playing around with this scenario, in their heads.




Any business owner who can’t write down the answers to these questions is going to have a hard time, marketing and advertising their business.


When you write down the answers to these questions your marketing goes from bland (So what) to interesting (Hey! This company gets ME!)


Don’t worry I am going to show you how.


So, what did Bob say?


“My (BLANK) went last night while we were asleep and the wife got up late and is having a bad hair day.”  (Hot water heater, AC unit, Heater, Refrigerator, Garage Door, etc.  You get the drift.)

“Now I am having a bad day.”  The problem is in Bobs hands now and his wife wants it fixed, NOW!

“ I called two (BLANKS).  Doesn’t anyone answer the Damn phone anymore?”  Plumbers, HVAC mechanics, Carpenters, Appliance Repair, etc.


If you can get in the heads of your ideal customer, you will be on your way to the mega bucks and too bad most marketers and business owners are more worried about the latest Facebook trick or SEO tactic, etc.  The best marketing vehicle, tool or tactic can’t fix a bad advertisement, headline, etc.  No way, No how.  Most marketers, web designers and ad guru’s are not copywriters…. marketers who write to sell.


Before we move on to making Bob our customer, let me give you a perfect example of getting into your customers head.


Since their introduction in 1941, M&M’s have become an iconic American candy. M&M’s is an abbreviation for the names of their creators, Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie.  Way back when, Forrest Mars recruited the help of a marketing guy buy the name of  Rosser Reeves. (The man credited with creating the USP Unique Selling Proposition) more on that in another post.

Anyway Mr. Reeves took the product (M&M) and looked it over, a simple candy we take for granted today.  But, what Reeves did was look at the buyers of this candy.  Way back in the ‘40’s people still had ice boxes on their front porches and air conditioning wasn’t even a house hold thing yet. (The Horror)

Well, what does chocolate do in the heat it melts.  Reeves, understood, people like the candy over other candies of the time because the candy shell let people take candy to work, put it in their kids lunch boxes, people could it where ever and when ever and didn’t need a napkin to wipe off the melted chocolate, like of other candies at the time.

What was the USP, the advertising break through, what was the (Bob’s) of that time periods problem?

“M & M’s, They melt in your mouth not in your hand.”

That is writing an add that solves a customers problem, in less then 5 seconds.

77 years later and according to Mars, some 400 million M&M’s are manufactured every day.  You do the math.


Back to Bob


You are still sitting next to Bob, you know the guy who is bummed out about his problem that you can solve.


Of course, now you have perked up because Bob is your perfect kind of prospect.


What do you say to Bob?


Be careful here, what you do and say is critical.  You need to handle this well.  Don’t worry, I will help you – most marketers get this wrong, way wrong and that is why I will help you.  You don’t want to be like most. They miss the opportunity to sell to an IDEAL prospect and never get another chance.


Think about this now, what you do next determines the success or failure of this face to face chance to sell your service.  If you can’t get this right, how do you expect to sell through your website, Facebook ads, post cards, etc.?

The answer…you can’t.


Lucky for you, I have a slam dunk way of communicating with this ideal prospect.  One that works like a charm no matter if you are communicating face to face, through your website message, Facebook ad, post cards, newsletter, whatever media you use.  (You do use some of those media’s don’t you?)


Remember Bob is a complete stranger.  He doesn’t know you, like you, trust you and sure as hell doesn’t want to hear some sales pitch.


Bob has a problem, it is interfering with his life, it’s on his mind and worse his wife’s mind.  He needs this problem fixed…solved and NOW.


He has a problem, you have a solution, but you need to let him know without scaring him off, making him suspicious or if he had that double shot before entering the diner a fist fight.


What do you say?


You have at most a few seconds to get his attention.  Face to face, if what you say is not relevant he may ignore you or just walk away.  Online , Bob would just scroll down the feed or click away and never come back to you, your website, Facebook page or business.  Your post card, direct sales letter, flyer in the trash.  Lost forever!


You may say, “Excuse me, I couldn’t help over hearing.”


In an ad, video, email or whatever, you don’t need to say that.  But it is important to know you have mere seconds.  Most marketers and business owners beat around the bush.  They can’t answer this in 15 minutes let alone 5 seconds.  So here is what you say and do.


We help (Blank) with (Blank) even if (Blank).




We help (this group of people) do (This benefit) even if (Worst case scenario).


Back to Bob at the diner.


Let’s say Bob is bummed out that his water heater stopped working, his wife had to get a cold shower and he can’t get ahold of anyone to replace it.

You the plumber would say.  “I am a plumber, we replace water heaters and we can do it TODAY!”


For me it would go something like this.  I am a copywriter/marketing consultant, I help small contracting and service businesses with their marketing.  (Because it is me) I would add, I have been doing it since late 80’s or 30 years, something along those lines.


What would you say?


Write it down, remember you have 5 seconds, Bob has a problem that your service solves.


Most marketers and business owners never get in the head of their prospects.  They end up talking to themselves in the ads they produce.


I see this one all the time.  “For all your (Blank) needs.”  So what or Ok so.


When you join the conversation already in your prospects head, you will be light years ahead of your competition.  Most business owners never do this and mumble about, never getting their message seen, heard or read above all the white noise in our daily lives.


Now what to do with Bob?


You seal the deal, you close Bob and make him go from prospect to customer.  Don’t be terrified like most business owners.


I have actually seen business owners say “You really don’t want me to provide this service for you.”  They talk their self out of the sale.


You are in business, make the sale, and be on your way to the bank, next customer and success.


There are many ways to close the deal but here are three of the basic, yet best ways.  These may be all you ever need.


  • Reverse Trust Method
  • Guide Method
  • Bonus Method


The Reverse Trust Method, is where you take some or all the risk up front. (I know, I know there are a lot of scum bag customers out there who skimp out on paying or balk, whatever.)

You may say to Bob, I will swing by see what kind of water heater it is (Gas, Electric) check it’s size, etc. Give you a price and go pick it up and get it installed.  Of course you get a service order or contract at this time, but don’t take any money.  This builds trust and you will close 30% more sales and future sales by doing this. Could you use an increase or raise of 30%? This build trust.

People do business with people they know, like and trust.  Bob has not gotten a chance to know or like you YET.  So all you can do it build trust at this point.  He has a problem now, you have a solution now.


The Guide Method, is telling Bob what he needs to do next.  This may sound simple, but you need to be clear about what you what Bob to do.  People are smart, yet stupid sometimes.

In you ads, face to face, etc.  Never leave the prospect to figure out WHAT NEXT. You need to guide them.

Call now, fill out form, sign here, make check payable to, etc.  You need to guide them.

(I put “You need to guide them.” in there twice…three times now to get the point a crossed.)


The Bonus Method, if you have something of little time or money that you can through into the deal and it has value to your prospect, added it.  A plumber may do a faucet or pipe leak inspection (20 minutes) while replacing the water heater for example.

Always close with a bonus offer. No matter how small.


You think the, “BUT WAIT, (Billy Mays) there is more.”, is just for late night info commercials?    You would be wrong.


Do this math problem.  Think of a large project sales number you get.  Let’s say its $10,000 on every job you do.   Now multiple it by ZERO.


Bet you get ZERO.


My point is when you start multiplying any number higher than zero that is money in your pocket.  I have taken a small roofing company from $400,000 to $700,000.  Same crew size, same time frame, but $80,000 more in profit by offering FREE (Bonus) seamless gutters in their ads.  That is $80,000 MORE, not overall.


You can’t multiple ZERO’s and get anything but zeros.



In closing, the “What about Bob” headline makes most people think of Bill Murray or Bob Ross, but for some reason, I picture Bob from the Enzyte commercial.


It is good to get in the heads of your customers.


Until our paths cross,

RJ Cooper

Master Marketing Misfit


PS.  Send me an email and I’ll send you my newsletter once a month.  It is sure to make you laugh (smile at least), get you thinking clearly about marketing without all the BS and it’s specific material for marketing contractors and home service business’s.


One thought on “What About Bob?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s