It was a typical day when I found myself at the Big Blue Home Improvement store looking for paint of a specific color. This particular paint color wasn't for my home or for a client, but rather for a project we wanted to do in the youth building at our church.
We were going to paint an accent wall and we needed the specific red school color of our local high school. Easy deal, right? WRONG. They didn't have it. And not only did they not have it. They didn't have a clue what it might even be. "Anybody ever order it before?" I asked, knowing full well that somebody had to have come in asking for that particular color before. "Uh...no...said the nice sales lady." So I squeezed out a smile and continued, "See, we remodeled our youth building bathrooms and used the school color and the guy who did the project said he got the paint here." "Well, do you have the pantone number?" came the reply. "No," I said, "it's Collinsville Cardinal Red. Like at the High School." "Sorry, she said. We don't carry that color by name. We can mix it up, but we have to know the number."
"GRRRRR. Seriously? YOU DON'T HAVE THE LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL COLOR HANDY?"
"What about the other high school?"
"Nope. Not that one either."
So it was off to the big Orange Home Improvement store. Guess what I found there? Yep, same story. Get the number. Don't carry it in stock. Never heard of it before. Blah, blah, blah.
Well that got me to thinking...maybe there's an idea here. Maybe I can use this lack of knowledge to help people who move to town. So here's what I decided to do. I'm going to get the specific right color and the pantone number and include them in my closing gift packet and thank you.
I finally did find the color I was looking for. I had to go dig up the old paint can and take a picture of the label to the store. "Oh sure, we can mix that up for you!" they said. And they did. And it was perfect. So there you go.
Now, let me give you some take away ideas to build your business.
First, go to your local home improvement store and see if they have the local school color or if they act like they don't know what you're talking about. In fact, I challenge you to do so and to reply in the comment section below if they had it or not. I'd be curious to know if it was just our little slice of the world or if this is a situation that happens everywhere.
Secondly, figure out the paint or pantone number and the name of the color and keep it handy. Then include is as a part of the closing thank you to your buyer. Lot's of kiddos like to paint and accent wall in their room their school color.
Finally, write a blog identifying the school colors and where they can be found. You'll be your local school color hero!