Not a pretty one, but a fact, just as well.
It’s happened to me. It’s happened to you.
It’s happened to my customers. And it’s happened to yours.
And worse, it’s likely happening to you right now and it’s probably costing you a lot of money!
What I’m referring to is the old, “love ‘em and leave ‘em” scenario. You know how it goes… home improvement contractors spend tons of money advertising to suspects with the hopes of finding some prospects.
Eventually, some of those prospects call in for an “estimate” or stop by your business to learn more. Then we send a salesperson to visit them, make a (long) sales presentation and become their best friend with the hope that a few of them will sign a contract and turn into a paying customer.
Then, an amazing thing happens. We complete the project for the customer, collect our final payment and without so much as a proper “thank you,” we’re off spending a ton of money to chase after more suspects, and begin the process all over again.
You see, we “loved ‘em” enough to get them to purchase one time, but once the transaction was complete we “left ‘em”… never to contact that customer again.
As someone who has owned 5 home improvement companies, spent a fortune on advertising and now works with home improvement contractors to grow their sales, profits and equity value… I can tell you without hesitation, this is a critical and costly marketing mistake.
Too many in the home improvement business view their customer as one-time, one-and-done sales events… then wonder why they spend so much time and money on advertising, get poor quality leads and why they’re always struggling to maintain profitability.
So how do you generate less expensive leads for your contracting business?
You want lower lead costs? You want better quality leads? You want to close more sales? You want more referrals for your contracting business? You want your business to be worth something one day?
The great Peter Drucker said: “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” Notice, he didn’t say the purpose of a business is to create just a sale. The truth is, you can make a very nice living off of just hunting for new sales every day, but, if you want long-term success and to be a wealthy contractor, you better get good at extracting the maximum profit value of every customer.
So how do you do it?
If you are really serious about having a business that makes as much money as it could, affords you the opportunity to have a life away from the business and builds real wealth for you and your family – the only way is with a system for creating profitable relationships with your customers.
To create a contractor sales system like this, start with delivering nothing less than a WOW! customer experience – from the very first interaction with your company (see my April 2015 article). Then, expand your footprint off of each job (job signs, canvassing, mail, etc.) to get the word out.
Next, sincerely say THANK YOU and show your appreciation to make your customer feel special. Next, get their feedback, make sure they really were THRILLED (not just “satisfied”) with the job you did for them.
Then, get them to go offline (family, church, work, neighborhood) and online (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc) to tell everyone they know (and don’t know) about you to get more referrals for your contracting business.
And finally, KEEP IN TOUCH with them regularly using a mix of all forms of communication, phone, email, direct mail and personal visits. And by all means, have a customer newsletter!
Might sound like a lot of work to some… but not to those who want to build a solid business. In fact, build a contractor sales system like this and your business will market itself. By the way, in the last paragraph I gave you a comprehensive strategy that covers exploiting 5 of the 7 customer value factors… you may want to go back and read it again.
So stop with the old love ‘em and leave ‘em. Have a little more respect for your customers and for your business. Get your system in place for turning your customer into one, two or five more – otherwise, your business will never reach its full profit potential. If you want to see what a system like this looks like, go watch this video: http://tiny.cc/wfyo3x.