We know, you’re a contractor, not a marketing guru. But if your business is going to survive in today’s tough, competitive market, either you or someone you trust needs to embrace modern marketing strategies to appeal to today’s homeowners. The good news is there are practical strategies you can employ to increase your revenue that without blowing the lid off your budget. Below are our picks for strategies that will get you directly in front of your audience in a way that is fresh and relevant.
Was there any doubt that we’d begin with the most obvious. Social media has dominated the marketing arena for a decade now, and there are no signs of it slowing down. The reason social media is such a powerful marketing platform is that it gives all contracting companies large and small equal footing. In fact, the only thing that will distinguish you online is how creative you get with your marketing strategy. Here’s a quick tip: In the world of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you’re not building a clientele. What you’re molding is a culture. How is this done? Look at these quick tips:
- Daily interaction with your audience. Don’t overload. Just make sure they know you’re still there.
- Involve your audience. Ask questions; offer small discounts or giveaways, free inspections, whatever it takes to get you noticed.
- Media. Take some quick candids of your current project or your friendly office staff and throw them up on your FB or Twitter newsfeed. They don’t have to be great photos. In fact, the more spontaneous-looking they appear, the more believable they are. The point is that your audience wants to know they’re dealing with real people and not the man behind the curtain.
- Every Post Counts. Do not waste words, and do not waste airtime. Every post should be something that calls your clients to action in a quick precise manner. It should be filled with verbs and not nouns. For instance, you may have a post that looks like this:
Inspected this roof today. Here’s what we found (provide quick photos or a video taken on a smartphone on site – something easy to post). This person graduated from affordable preventative maintenance to hundreds of dollars in repairs because of neglect. Where do you stand? Call us right now and schedule an inspection.
If there’s anything that potential clients want to see it is your previous success stories (notice we said ‘see’). These days, your braggadocio doesn’t stand a chance against your competitor’s HD 720p full-screen video which features their HGTV-level documentation of the four-story they mansion they built over Lake Tahoe. No, you’re not shooting a commercial. That’s outdated. What you’re doing instead is drawing your current prospect in by capturing on video the story of the last masterpiece you completed. Let them see first-hand that you are more than qualified, but rather the ideal contractor they’ve been seeking. Videos will offer the best possible presentation of your company and sell your product or service for you. Videos can land you the project if you’re not a good salesperson.
Cross Selling Opportunities
Cross selling is an incredibly easy, yet effective technique that can create a whole new stream of income without the pressure of broadening your market through a massive campaign. Cross selling is a systematic analysis that discovers the gaps in the services you are providing a client and filling those gaps with other services you offer.
If you perform landscaping for a homeowner, but you discover that their home exterior paint is chipping and faded, you can provide a complete exterior paint job. Careful, though, because without careful analysis, you could waste your time offering a service that is not applicable.
Newsletters differ from social media in that they offer a direct line of correspondence straight to your client. Although many contractors still send newsletters out via snail mail, email may be a better option. Despite the hoopla surrounding social media, email is still the number one form of communication. The reason for this is that everybody still has one and they use it regularly.
There are some challenges with email such as the possibility of winding up in the spam folder. Email puts you directly in touch with each member of your audience, however. Putting together email newsletters can be time-consuming, however, and they often require careful preparation. Gather client or potential client emails as often as you can and build your email list. It won’t take long for it grows.
Like everything else we’ve discussed, your e-letter should contain one or more calls to action. What is your desired reaction from your client when they finish reading your newsletter? Everything should lead to that. It never hurts to add links to your website or social media pages in your newsletter as well. They increase traffic back to some of your other core marketing tools. Newsletters are also the perfect platform to highlight services your company offers.
Upselling in the Field
For contractors, upselling is something your entire team can do. Upselling is not aggressive pressure selling by any means, so even the least experienced most reserved roofer in your crew can do it with relatively little effort.
Let’s say you’re getting ready to replace the asphalt shingles on a two story house. As you begin the project, one of your employees observes that the gutter system needs to be repaired or replaced because it’s in poor shape. Now you have an opportunity to coach him or her on how to address this issue to the homeowner by merely pointing it out to them and then explaining how a new gutter system will protect their newly installed roof as well as the base around the home. In essence, they become the expert rather than the salesman. If they can create a sense of urgency or need within the customer by just stating the facts, then there’s a good chance they’ll add a gutter installation to the overall project.
It can all start with an introductory statement such as, “Hey did you notice your gutters are outdated? Follow me; I’ll show you.” Your employee points out the obvious, explains why this is not suitable for the home, and then describes the short and long term advantages to replacing it. It’s that simple. After all, these are discussions that come up regularly among your roofers on a daily basis. Rather than becoming proficient in the tactic of selling a product, your crew educates the homeowner on the benefits of a new upgrade. And it all happens while they’re working. It’s integrated into their everyday interaction with clients.