While the tools for contractors to reach customers have changed, the principles of communicating with them have not.
Make sure you’re using these business basics to stand out from the competition, provide value to your customers and win new jobs.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is as powerful today as it ever has been and continues to be an effective way to win new business. As prospective customers rely more on consumer reviews, it’s important to encourage your current customers to share positive experiences with family, friends and even colleagues.
If you have a website, ask satisfied customers to submit a testimonial or review for you to feature. Just remember to watch any activity on review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, which are becoming more popular. In fact, 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before contacting a business, while 88 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Consider establishing an incentive program for customers who refer business to you, rewarding them with a discount on their next project or a gift card to an area restaurant.
There’s never a second chance for a first impression, so it’s important to be presentable and professional at every customer appointment. In today’s 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 just remember to clean up quickly before meeting with customers.
Keep these tips in mind for your customer meetings:
- Custom clothing:
- Having branded shirts and hats for your entire crew will show they’re part of an established company with professional employees who are easily identifiable to the homeowner.
- Branded vehicles:
- Place magnets, decals or any adhesives of your logo on all company vehicles. Having a clean, branded vehicle makes a big difference to customers and provides free advertising when you’re out working on projects.
- Professional email domain:
- Having your own company email domain instead of a Gmail or Yahoo account is 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.
- Grassroots marketing materials:
- Marketing materials (e.g., door hangers, direct mailings, job-site signs, etc.) can help you beat out other area companies by reaching targeted, qualified customers with a tailored message from your company. ABC Supply’s Freedom Programs offer all those integrated marketing materials, helping you market your business in an easy and targeted way.
You can execute every facet of a marketing plan perfectly, but, in the end, there’s a good chance none of that will matter if you fail to treat customers with respect.
Showing respect is key to having a successful business—regardless of what industry you’re in. To increase the scope of work with your current customers, and to bring in new ones, it’s important you have a positive attitude, work hard and offer realistic pricing.
This becomes crucial for residential contractors, who often work with the decision-makers of the home, making factors like appearance, listening and respect even more important.