How to Promote Your Contracting Business in 2018
While the tools for contractors to reach customers have changed, the principles of communicating with them have not. Use the following business basics to stand out from the competition, provide value to your customers and win new jobs.
Embrace Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Encourage Customer Reviews
Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful and effective way to win new business. In fact, 90 percent of consumers read customer reviews before contacting a business, while 88 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
As prospective customers rely more on customer reviews, it’s important to encourage your current customers to share positive experiences with family, friends and even colleagues. Ask satisfied customers to submit a testimonial or review for you online, so you can feature it on your website or marketing materials. Create accounts on sites like Google My Business, Yelp or Angie’s List to help establish trust and credibility with potential customers. Be sure to also have a reputation management strategy in place to respond to both positive and negative reviews.
Consider how you can create more business through repeat customers and referrals. Try establishing an incentive program for customers who refer business, rewarding them with a discount on their next project or a gift card to an area restaurant.
Be Professional During Every Customer Interaction
There’s never a second chance for a first impression, so it’s important to be presentable and professional at every customer appointment. In the digital world, customers are more informed than ever and likely know plenty about your business before you meet them. This makes things like image, passion and confidence the final decision-makers. Also, we know it’s easy to get your hands dirty at jobsites (literally), so remember to clean up quickly before meeting with customers.
Consider these tips for showing off your professionalism during customer meetings:
- Wear branded custom clothing:
- Provide branded clothing for your entire crew to show they’re part of an established business with professional employees who are easily identifiable to the homeowner. ABC Supply’s professional image building resources can help by designing a logo for you and creating branded T-shirts, hats, jackets and more.
- Have a professional online presence:
- Websites provide business exposure and accessibility to potential customers. A professional website that highlights your services and past projects shows potential customers you are an established and trusted expert in your field. Unsure how to create a website? ABC Supply can help.
- Build a professional social media presence by creating accounts on social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn. Fill out your profile on each channel with information about your company, including a link to your website, and upload professional profile images.
- Use your business domain instead of a default Gmail or Yahoo address—a small trick that makes a big difference (for example, email@example.com, rather than firstname.lastname@example.org). This helps you maintain a professional identity outside of customer meetings while setting you apart from competitors. Setting up an email account using your website domain name is easier than you might think. Learn how to update your Gmail address here.
- Leverage traditional marketing materials:
- Traditional marketing materials (e.g., door hangers, direct mailings, jobsite signs, etc.) can help you beat out other area companies by reaching targeted, qualified customers with a tailored message. ABC Supply’s Freedom Programs offer integrated marketing materials, helping you market your business in an easy and targeted way.
Treat Customers With Respect
You can execute every facet of a marketing plan perfectly, but in the end, there’s a good chance none of it will matter if you fail to treat customers with respect.
Showing respect is key to having a successful business—regardless of industry. To increase the scope of work with your current customers and bring in new ones, have a positive attitude, work hard and offer realistic pricing.
Keep these tips in mind to build your business, and use our Freedom Programs to help market to past, present and future customers.