Selling Fear – It Is Your Business Stupid

A 3rd Blog About Marketing Fear by Emphasizing Liability Elimination

Paul DelFino

It is always hoped that shock titles for blogs improves readership by getting attention. So, at the outset I apologize if I have offended anyone. James Carville’s famous quote “it’s the economy – stupid” from 1992 always stuck with me and I have hopes it has helped me get your attention.

This is now my 3rd Blog on Selling Fear. (View my prior blogs in June 2015 and April 2017.) Over recent days I have been doing research on various aspect of the concrete repair industry. I have been looking to assist HMI customers in seeing trends in the industry given tumultuous state of our economy post the Covid experience. Yes – all the macro research indicates a continued increase in the industry thru 2030 because of: the age of infrastructure, historic poor construction, poor maintenance, and increasingly violent weather trends.  What really snapped my neck was the increasing promotion of legal services for TRIP and FALL litigation. What really was my wakeup call to motivate this blog was a law firm now specializing representing trip victims in hotels specifically. Trip and Fall litigation is so prolific the lawyers are now truly specializing by segment.


A review of my prior blogs in 2015 and 2017 will arm you with all the backdrop info about the American Disabilities Act and statistics from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) which will set the stage for you to tweak/shift your marketing emphasis potentially and gradually.

It is often beneficial to step back and think of the big picture on any subject. Perspective: I often begin each HMI “Discovery and Training Seminar” by asking why people have come? The answers, from participants, usually centers around “to learn how to raise and level concrete”. But eventually a truly introspective soul offers the real answer: “to learn how to make money!”

So, todays question is what business are you in? You are in the business of:

  • Reducing property owner liability!
  • Making property more attractive and uniform!

Does your marketing material reflect the answers above or do you focus on details which may help people decide on the type or work as opposed to assisting people to understand the real reason they NEED YOU!


Most new HMI customers start their business with a focus on residential. It is excellent business and highly profitable. But one of the downsides of success in residential marketing is that it may leaves you little time to focus on diversifying your business to commercial and governmental segments. The commercial and governmental segments are:

  • More responsive to fear marketing
  • Have a greater perceived value of your service
  • Are more apt to be recurring revenue (annual or more frequent) customers.
  • Offer an opportunity for larger jobs for no other reason than the scope of the concrete surfaces they control.
  • Have a singular and informed decision maker in the form of a property manager.

In your market are there:

  • Malls
  • Universities
  • Office Parks
  • Hotels
  • Government Office Centers

AND: What have you done to market to them?


Compliance with the American Disabilities Act is not an option within the world of Commercial and Governmental property.  These segments are at an ever-increasing risk of liability in any/all economic climates. Focused promotion to these segments could drastically improve you’re the continuity of your revenue, profit margins and profitability. Ask the HMI marketing department how they can help.

Upcoming Discovery & Training Seminars

  • June 20-21, 2024  Manitowoc, WI
  • July 25-26, 2024  Manitowoc, WI

In 2 days, we teach you everything you need to know to start your own concrete raising company!

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