Trust an Expert!
Scott Hibberts A Personal Story
Senior Account Executive
Fairway Outdoor Advertising, Chattanooga
Trust an Expert
Yesterday, I stopped in to see one of my great clients, Burns Tobacconist, at their Cherry Street location in downtown, Chattanooga. As I approached the door, an older gentleman sitting outside looked down at my shoes and said, “Would you like to get a shoeshine, today?”
Now, if you know much about me, you know that is something I do not do often as I should. I usually wear a pair of shoes out before I get them taken care of. Growing up, my grandfather was in management at DuPont and he always had shined shoes. It was one of the things he always told me I should do, because it would help me be successful.
So, I told the gentleman, “Absolutely! Let’s do it!” He walked me to nearly the back of the store, and up into a really tall, antique shoe shine chair I climbed. We made great conversation, while he performed a miracle on my shoes. I learned that Sherman has been shining shoes for over 30 years. He has been at Burns Tobacconist downtown for the last 4 1/2 years. Before that, you may have seen him at Burns Tobacconist on Jordan Drive, or in various barber shops around town. His dad shined shoes after getting laid off from a local manufacturer many years ago, and that is where Sherman learned his trade.
It quickly became obvious to me, that this gentleman knew exactly what he was doing. You see, over the years I have tried to shine my shoes myself, but with 15 hours of hard work, I could never make my shoes look like Sherman did in just 15 minutes. Sherman is an expert at what he does! He takes care of leather, suede, cordovan, and calfskin shoes; for both for ladies and men. He has the proper tools, and knows exactly what every shoe needs to get it looking like new again.
Many business owners try to take on the task of marketing their business, when that is not their specialty. They may specialize in making great food, selling great products, or performing great services, but usually do not have the tools necessary, or the expertise needed to properly let potential customers know who they are, what they offer, or why someone should choose them from their competitor.
Trust an expert! A good marketing professional will not try to sell you anything. They will ask you questions about your business, your products or services, and your potential customers. They will talk to you and learn about your needs as a business owner, and offer solutions to those needs that help drive your business to the next level. If they do anything less, they are just a sales person only interested in their commission check. They are not a marketing professional, nor do they care about seeing your business grow.
So, if your shoes look a little less than desirable, head downtown to 723 Cherry Street and see my new friend, Sherman Byrd. His business is called “Nooga Shine by Sherman”. I promise you’ll be glad you did. While you’re there, grab a sandwich or a cigar from Burns Tobacconist. They have a huge humidor, several different sandwich offerings, and a great selection of craft beers. They even have a place to sit outside; maybe before you head to a Nightfall concert, or just need to get out for lunch for a few minutes.
If you need to grow your business, contact me. We will sit and have a conversation just like Sherman and I did. By the way, Sherman only charges $5 to shine your shoes but that 15 minutes was worth far more than any $5 I have spent.