Finding new clients is one of the biggest challenges that home improvement companies face. You can be the best contractor in your community, but you won’t gain new customers without an effective marketing strategy. Here are several of the most common marketing mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Invest in a Marketing Campaign
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find new customers, but you will still need to invest heavily in your marketing campaign to grow your home improvement business. This will investment will come in both time and money. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money on your marketing. However, you will need to spend money on the things that work. You will also need to make the effort to monitor your results over time.
Make Sales Training a Priority
You need a strong sales team to encourage customers to work with you. Your sales team will need to:
- Know what customers are looking for
- Speak knowledgeably about the home improvement business
- Convince customers that your company is the best
You may need to invest in training for your sales team. It will be well worth the investment.
Acquiring new leads isn’t enough. You also need to make sure that those leads convert. Lack of follow-up is one of the biggest reasons that they don’t. According to Robert Clay, the founder of Marketing Wisdom, nearly 80% of missed opportunities occur due to lack of following up. Following up with your most promising leads should be one of your biggest priorities. You will need to be persistent and follow up regularly, because Clay estimates that 63% of customers will take at least three months to make a purchase. The process may take longer for home improvement companies, because people often start looking for professionals long before they actually need them. Also, even after the project is finished, you should follow-up every year afterward. You never know if they are thinking of having other project that they will need done. Better yet, they may know someone else who needs your services!
Implement the Right Systems
Many home improvement companies believe that they can set up a website and watch new orders start flowing through the doors. Unfortunately, it is going to take more effort than that. You will need to be prepared for people to contact you in a variety of ways. Some people prefer sending an email, while others like to make a phone call. You will need to develop a system for handling calls and responding to customers. You may want to consider using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application.
Jesse Cory of Ohm Creative Group specializes in helping home improvement companies implement their marketing campaigns. In a recent article on Pro Remodeler, Cory said that one of the biggest reasons contractors fail to gain new customers is that they fail to create an incentive for potential customers to reach out to them. Cory tells his clients to give customers a reason to contact them. Here are some of the things that he recommends:
- Offering free quotes
- Running sweepstakes
- Offering free resources
You may want to try these tools to get people to contact you or join your subscriber list. An email subscriber list is still one of the most powerful tools out there for marketing, as everyone still uses email. A well-coordinated email marketing plan will help you retain past customers and help you gain the trust of those that currently only know your name. Another great idea is to send thank-you messages to those who have already done business with you in order to keep your name top of mind. It’s been shown that these thank you messages, especially even if you send them out as traditional postcards, tend to reward you with future business that may not have otherwise returned. Plus, even if that former customer doesn’t have work that needs to be done anytime soon, it’s likely that they will refer someone else, especially if you have a referral incentive program in place. As a company that currently deals with home improvement firms, 118group can promise great results and improvements in your marketing programs. Contact us for a free consultation on how we might be able to improve your marketing in various aspects and decide what options are right for you. Photo credit: http://www.cityrenovations.net/handyman