July 25, 2017

Let’s Go Back to 1977 and See What’s New Now

By Paul Bieber

It’s 1977. I have been working for C.R. Laurence Co. for a year, covering four New England states. This note is just about one particular company, and let me tell you why. Last week Elaine and I were going to Cape Cod for a couple of days. As we drove through the city of New Bedford, I told Elaine a story about one of my old customers, and just then, I saw the company on the side of the highway. We jumped off at the next exit and I dropped in for a visit.

The company, Glaser Glass, was formed in 1921 by Morris Glaser. By the time I was calling on them, his son Alvin was running the business. They were primarily an auto glass company. To say that Alvin was a tough sell is an understatement. But one day I suggested a program that CRL had for imprinting our glass cleaner with the customer’s label. It is a great advertising idea, I told him.  Leave one in every car after windshield installation and you will see an increase of follow-up sales for months, as your name would be in the customer’s house. No answer that day from Alvin.

On my next call, no answer on this idea. Two months later as I walked into the shop, Alvin told me to go ahead with his first order. I was elated, as this was a good sale for me at the time.

So what is the story here? Alvin passed away at a young age of 62 and his daughter and son became the proprietors. I introduced myself, told them the above story and we all had a good laugh. They took me for a tour of their shop and it looked just about the same. Auto glass was still huge for them and they had started a small fab shop, making limited IG, some polishing and beveling.

The best thing of all, they were still buying the specially labeled glass cleaner from CRL. They told me that the glass cleaner was the best advertising they had.

I left them to finish my trip with Elaine and felt great! This blog is not to plug them, or CRL; it was just nice to meet the current owners and to see they were still using the glass cleaner. But this can teach you, my readers, a good lesson. Keep looking at your advertising, your promotion ideas and when one works, keep it. Most companies today are putting most of their marketing money into electronic forms of customer enticement. I agree that’s where it should be. But don’t forget the old-time ideas that work.