Note from HA: Heather Head is a strategic marketing consultant with Groove On Marketing. She is currently building a strategic marketing plan to include social media and email marketing for my company, Rose Chauffeured Transportation, that will contribute to significant growth for us in the coming year. She spoke at our recent 2012 employee kick-off event, and I asked her to come to my blog and post as a guest. Here she is: 

If you’ve been reading HA’s blog, or listened to him on the radio, or have ever met him in person, then you know he is a man of many communication talents. I’ve been working with HA on his books, and this blog, for a couple of years now, and admiring the amazing company he created at Rose. Now I have the great privilege of also working with him and his team on developing new marketing programs for Rose, and was pleased to be asked to speak at their 2012 kick-off event.

About two thirds of Rose’s employees attended one of two sessions on January 30, at the Victory Lanes Karting facility in Charlotte. Tom Holden, Director of Operations, MC’d the event, featuring music, dancing (impromptu) by Feven (customer service manager), and speaking from HA himself as well as his son Andy (VP Sales), and business development consultant Don Crosby–and me. The atmosphere was festive, and it was a great pleasure to meet so many of the amazing employees.

HA asked me to share here what I had to say to them:

They say you know you’re in marketing if you think you need a Powerpoint presentation to explain your plans for the day. I don’t have a Powerpoint presentation today, so we’re all going to have to make do with this ragged scrap of paper.

I see a lot of faces I know, and others I’m looking forward to getting to know in the next few months. Many of you have seen me coming in and out of the Rose offices over the past couple years to hang out with HA. You probably know what high esteem I hold him in, that I think the world of him. So you won’t be surprised to hear that I thought of him this morning, when I came across an article. About an old geezer.

The old guy was being interviewed, and the reporter wanted to know how he came to be so wealthy. The gentleman smoothed down his expensive wool coat and he said:

“Well, I’ll tell you. The year was 1932, at the height of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel. I took that nickel and I invested it in an apple. I spent all day polishing that apple. I polished it until it gleamed, until it shined like a diamond. And then that night I sold the apple for ten cents. I doubled my money.

“The next day, I took the ten cents and invested again, in two apples, a green one and a red one. I polished those apples all day until they shone like an emerald and a ruby. And I sold those apples for twenty cents. I did this every day for a month, and at the end of the month, I had amassed a fortune of $9.80. Every month for a year I did this.

“But the true secret of my success isn’t in what happened in that first year. It’s what happened the next year. That next year, my wife’s father died and left us two million dollars.”

Those of you who know HA know that he didn’t build this company on a large inheritance from a father in law. He had to build it the old-fashioned way, by polishing apples. Every day, for years, he polished those apples. When he was polishing the cars, inside and out, he was polishing those apples. He polished his smile, he polished his style, he polished his showmanship and his hospitality. He polished this company until it shines.

And every one of you, whatever your role in the company is, you polish apples too. You’ve made this company what it is by polishing every day. Whether you’re literally polishing the vehicles, or whether you’re polishing your smile so that callers can hear it in your voice, or polishing your business acumen so you can run this company more effectively, or polishing your conversational skills so you can offer your guests a superior experience. Whatever your role in this company, you polish apples every day.

And it shows. Rose has the most beautiful apples in the industry.

That’s why I was so honored when Tom, and Andy, and HA asked me to come on board with this amazing company, and bring even more shine to the act. We want the whole world to see what beautiful apples Rose has, we want them to be talking about you every day, and we want everyone to know that when they are looking for chauffeured transportation, there is no one in the world who can offer a more polished experience.

We’re going to do that through a variety of marketing programs, from social media, to email marketing campaigns, and changes to the website. It’s going to take some work. I’m going to be working on it, and Tom and Andy and Feven and HA have committed to work with me. We’re going to be asking some of you to work on this too.

You may have to change the way you interact with some of the software, or some of the things you say to customers. Some changes will be small, and some will be big. In the long run, many changes will end up making your lives easier, by automating things that you currently do manually. All of it will contribute to Rose’s legendary reputation as the company with the best, most polished apples in the world.

I don’t have a wealthy father-in-law any more than I have a Powerpoint presentation today. My father in law was an electrician. What I do have is a polishing rag, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to join in and add my bit of polish to the amazing gem that is Rose.

Thank you.

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