“Well, that sucks.” Bob leaned back, put down the phone, and stared.

“What?” said Mary, on the other side of the cubicle.

“She actually said it was her not me.”


“Yeah, they were on for 6 months. But they don’t want to renew. Some employees bought the business. She said they’d think about it in the spring.”

“What business?”

“That HVAC outfit. We had some great ads.”

“Is the advertising contact the same one for the new owners?”

“Yeah. She’s an engineer. Advertising is her side thing. I never did talk to the owner.”

“It’s always better to talk to the owner.”

“I know, but their office is 300 miles away. They bought the company here a few years ago and wanted to try some advertising. The previous owner never advertised before.”


“Logo on their trucks…and their website.”

“Not much.”

“Nope. Company’s been here thirty years. They wanted to advertise because of all the calls they took last winter when other HVAC guys were too busy to get to everyone. Their real focus is with contractors. Installation, new builds, that kind of thing.”

“So they let the ads end in September and didn’t renew?”

 “Yeah, right before winter.”

“Bad timing. She said maybe they’d come back on in the spring?”


“You think so?”

“No,” Bob continued. “They didn’t change their website back when they started the ads. And still haven’t. It doesn’t say anything big about residential service. Y’know, the things that make it look like they do what they say they’re doing. Pictures on the site don’t match with any of it.”

“Did you tell them?”

 “Sure, before we even started.”


“It’s going to be another one of those radio doesn’t work stories.”

“Yeah, that’s a bummer. But it’s not true. There’s a lot going on there. Maybe you should send them that E-myth book.”

“ The E-Myth HVAC one?”

“Yeah, send it to them.”

“Won’t they be offended?”

“You know what Roy Williams says, ‘The risk of insult is the price of clarity.’ One of my guys…that plumber… he’s reading it for the third time. He calls it his guidebook. Good business is more than just good advertising.”

“This time, I thought the really great ads would break through and make their phone ring in spite of the short term schedule…”

“and no share of voice…lack of continuity…owner buy-in…”

“Yeah, I know. There’s more to it than the ads. It’s not about her. It’s about me.”