Everyone has to be smart about generating leads. Marketing is more important than ever and many of us are finding that we have to spend much more to generate enough leads for our business. Below are ten tactics that you should have in place in your business before you do anything else. If you don’t have them in place yet, you know what to do.
Excerpt from Business Straight to the Heart: The Remodelers Guide to Leadership, Management and Success–the newest book from industry guru, Linda Case.
Top Ten Marketing Tactics Countdown:
Every smart remodeler is covered by insurance against catastrophe. But there is one type of coverage many lack. That’s the coverage that assures that the intake pipeline for work stays full. Many, many remodelers give marketing— the insurance that fills that pipeline—short shrift.
We’ve explored planning and tracking your marketing. Today, I want to cover the top 10 marketing outreaches that work. They aren’t the most sophisticated but they work, year after year. I’ll start at the bottom, Letterman-style.
Developing an e-mail database and sending to it six times during the year. A small company should have 200 to 300 names, addresses, and e-mail addresses in its database, so be sure to capture e-mails of all prospects, all clients, and all friends of the company who are likely to refer to you. Since e-mail is so inexpensive, you don’t have to cull your e-mail the way you used to when you were using your database to “snail” mail.
#9: Association Membership
I wouldn’t have thought of this until I heard Steve Dormann of S & D Renovations Inc., a $2.5 million remodeler in Emmaus, Pa., recently tell how his remodeling association membership has brought him 12% of his volume. He listed links to the website, awards, referrals, and more. He obviously uses every opportunity to mine his membership for marketing angles.
#8: Home Tours
Often, tours are the result of an association’s efforts and they are soft sell and very effective. One remodeler, who had three projects in the same neighborhood, ran his own tour. If you use this tactic, don’t forget security, dust protection, food, and more.
When you talk about your company, it’s advertising. When your newspaper or your radio or your TV talks about you, it’s powerful third-party testimonial. It’s often inexpensive to engage a local freelance public relations professional to design and implement six stories about you, your company, or your projects over the next year. Don’t forget entering projects for awards and then publicizing the wins.
#6: High Community Profile
Here’s a chance to take what you enjoy—golf, sailing, biking, charitable outreach—and turn it to your company’s advantage. Don’t be bashful and don’t be brash, but let folks know what you do. They’ll put that together with the fact they like and admire you and will call you for their next remodeling project. Also consider seminars for the public here. Take every opportunity to meet and greet and to position yourself as “the remodeling expert.”
#5: Jobsite Presence
Do you have a distinctive sign that shows your craftsmanship and is readable from the street? You might want to include a brochure box—like real estate pros do—on the post. You could also do one, two, or three letters to the 50 to 100 neighbors near the jobsite. After all, you have a “showroom” in their neighborhood. You also have a built-in testimonial.
#4: Your Website
This used to be an option, but no more. Yes, it is a new kind of brochure for your company with great photos, but it should be informative, should stress your uniqueness when compared with your competition, and should encourage new prospects to contact you.
#3: A Great Image
This becomes particularly important for design/build companies. It starts with a logo and a look—colors and fonts. This includes your signage, your stationary, and your website. It should all be consistent and great looking. Don’t skimp here.
#2: Sterling Customer Service
No remodeler can afford to constantly market for new clients. By pleasing your current buyers, you create friends of the company. Because happy clients tell 3 to 5 of their friends and unhappy ones tell 10 or more (unless they give you a scathing review online, in which case thousands), you are playing an important mathematical game of keeping good words out on the street about your company. Consider everything you do to delight your buyers as part of your marketing.
and, drum roll, please…
#1: Past Customers and Friends of the Company Program
This always was and always will be number one marketing outreach. Staying in touch with your past clients and referrers four to six times a year keeps their loyalty strong and keeps them referring you year after year. Vary your contacts from newsletters to invitations to special events. And don’t forget a written thank-you for every referral. Companies have summer picnics, get-togethers, and special perks like Christmas tree cuttings for this expanded sales force.
It’s a tremendous responsibility to run a business on which your family and your employees, your trade contractors and vendors, and their families depend. Don’t forget that intake pipeline insurance—your marketing!
If you need business development help, then it’s time to join the Remodelers Advantage Learning Community, a group of motivated remodeling company owners who work together so that all can succeed. Over 300 remodelers are now members. You can be too. Just give us a call at 301-490-5620 x106 to talk about how we can help you reach your business and professional goals. RemodelersAdvantage.com