How Thanking Your Customers Will Get More Leads for Your Home Improvement Business and Boost Your Profits

One of the most significant jumps I’ve ever seen in any of my businesses was when I started implementing an Appreciation System in my handyman business.  It truly did help me get more leads for my home improvement business and grow my company.

My wife and business partner, Adi, had just come on board and noticed our low rate of repeat and referral customers Adi saw this as an opportunity for our business (and a personal challenge) and started visiting all of our customers at the completion of their projects, bringing them a mug filled with chocolates to say “thank you” for their trust and their business.

Suddenly, repeat and referral business for my contracting business  more than DOUBLED. We saw a huge jump in our profits. And all it takes is showing your appreciation to your customers to get more referrals for your contracting business.

Appreciation is the first and most important piece of the system we now implement for our clients every day here at gFour Marketing. If your customers don’t feel appreciated, they won’t use you again for other projects, they won’t post positive reviews about you online (they might actually post negative ones instead), and they certainly won’t refer you to their friends.  This is something to consider if you want more online reviews for your contractor business.  

However, if you consistently and systematically thank every single one of your customers in a special way, you are going to see your profits jump just like mine did, in these ways:

You’re going to KEEP more of your customers and generate more leads for your home improvement business.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re driving past one of your previous customers’ homes, and you see that they’ve had more work done to their home – but they never called you and asked you to do it?

Perhaps they forgot about you. Perhaps they forgot that you offered other services. Perhaps they weren’t even happy with the services your originally performed for them.

Sending a simple “thank you” note or gift after the “glow” of the new project wears off could have gone a long way in making you and your business more memorable. It also would have given you the opportunity to remind that customer that you can perform other services for them in the future. You would have also gotten the chance to make sure that customer was satisfied with the work you performed.

Instead, your competition is benefitting from your mistake.

To keep your customers coming back to you time after time and to be their Contractor For Life™, you absolutely, positively MUST thank each and every single one of them, every single time you perform a job for them. This will reinforce the sale, make them feel more confident about their purchase and leave them with positive thoughts about doing business with you. It’s a great way to generate more referrals for your contracting business.  

You’re going to MULTIPLY your customers and generate more referrals for your home improvement business.

There are SO many marketing methods available to you today – TV, Radio, Print, and the Pandora’s Box that is Internet Advertising – but do you know the #1 marketing method for the past 10,000 years???

Word Of Mouth.

It has ALWAYS produced more customers who close more easily and at higher prices than any other form of marketing.

This is why referrals are like GOLD in our industry. And in today’s connected world, online reviews are like modern-day referrals.  If you’ve asked yourself, “How can I get better online reviews for my contractor business?” this is one sure way!

After the job is completed, your customer might be happy and they might tell 1 or 2 friends about it, but why not turn that customer into a raving fan who is shouting your praises from the rooftops?

Use the law of reciprocity to your advantage. Just by thanking that customer, they will feel obligated and encouraged to tell even more people about how you sent them a nice thank you gift. And that might be in-person, or – even better – they may tell the whole world by sharing a positive online review.

If you took care of a customer and performed fantastic work for them, don’t let the relationship end there. Thank them after the job is over, extend that relationship, and they will want to share that experience with their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers – who will soon become your new customers.

You’re going to CREATE customers and generate more referrals for your contracting business.

It’s one thing to “Wow” your current customers by thanking them – but to become known as THE company in town that appreciates and takes care of its customers – that’s branding that you CANNOT buy.

Unfortunately, we all know that consumers have a very hard time trusting contractors. There are plenty of horror stories out there.

So if you’re known as the contractor who sticks around after the sale and appreciates your customers, that reputation will keep your phone ringing.

Become the contractor who thanks your customers, and you will also become your competitors’ worst nightmare and you will get more referrals for your contracting business.  

In the end, you should thank your customers first and foremost because they deserve it. They’re helping you live out your dream as an entrepreneur; they’re putting food on your table and money in your pockets so you can pay your employees and help them do the same.

But you should also show your customers you appreciate them because it makes business sense. By thanking your customers, you’ll also Create, Keep and Multiply your customers… and ultimately, you’ll Create, Keep and Multiply your profits, too.

If you want to find out how you can easily “Wow” your customers and supercharge your profits with a system that thanks your customers for you, join me for our next online training, 3 Ways Customer Appreciation Makes You More Money. Click here to register now.

Get Better Online Reviews to Grow Your Contractor Business

Bill looks at his roof and realizes it’s time to find a good company to replace the roof.

… But how he finds the company depends on whether this story takes place now… Or 10 years ago.

Consumer habits have changed and if you’ve built your business on strategies that worked 20 years ago, 10 years ago, or even just 5 years ago, you could be sending your best leads to your competitors and losing tens of thousands of dollars.  If you’ve asked, “How can I get better online reviews for my contractor business?” this post is for you.

Get Better Online Reviews for Your Contractor Business to Shift to the Two-Part Buyer Evolution

Buyers have evolved in recent years, thanks to a combination of greater skepticism, marketing overwhelm and the availability of information at the click of a mouse. In fact, buyers have shifted in two significant ways. You’re probably aware of the first shift, but it’s the second shift that’s losing your money today…

The first shift: When your prospects need a service you provide, they don’t rush to the Yellow Pages anymore. Their first stop is a Google search for local service providers. You’re already familiar with this shift since it’s been shifting this way for more than a decade.

It’s the second shift, though, that many of today’s businesses are missing out on because they don’t realize what happens after the Google search results appear. The second shift has been an increased awareness of and importance placed on online reputation – star rating and online reviews.

Get Better Online Reviews to Get More Leads for Your Contractor Business

When someone Googles your business, what do they see? Here’s a screenshot of the search results for one of our clients, Arry’s Roofing. Notice the right side of the screenshot – Google has displayed a local listing.

The information displayed in the local listing is powerful…And profitable. (Bonus tip:If you don’t have one of these, get one NOW.)

In particular, the star rating and reviews give prospects an at-a-glance assessment of whether they’ll trust your company. In the past five years alone, reviews have increased in importance and today are a main factor in whether or not prospects will do business with your company – or worse, whether you’ll even get the CHANCE to do business with them. In fact, one study shows that 92% of today’s consumers use reviews as part of their decision-making process.

Have you ever bought something from Amazon and made your decisions based on the star rating and reviews? I recently did that for an $8.00 product. How much MORE will people do that for your $8,000 or $18,000 service!

Just how significant is the star-rating to your business? A study by Harvard Business School found that an increase rating of just one star (i.e. from an average 4-star rating to an average 5- star rating) can increase your income by 9%.

More customers and more revenue – there isn’t a better reason to focus on this right now to get better online reviews for your contractor business.

Tomorrow’s Successful Businesses Are Asking These Questions Today

If you’d rather not let your competitor steal your lunch, or if you have bad reviews (or no reviews) then you need to be asking the following questions immediately (put it on your to-do list today):

  • How do I get improve online reviews? And how many reviews are enough? (Hint: the more you get, the better.)
  • What are the right sites to get them on?
  • How do I get more of my customers giving be 4- and 5-star reviews?
  • What do I do if I have bad reviews?

Grow Your Contractor Business by Getting Better Online Reviews Using These Strategies

Here’s The Almost-Instant Strategy To Get A Flood Of Positive Reviews (While Avoiding Negative Ones) – To Generate More Leads And Drive Income Higher

We’ve developed a proprietary five-step strategy through years of testing to help you get a flood of positive reviews. Implement this plan today to start changing how prospects see you online.

  1. CREATE a system for gathering feedback. Whether it’s reviews via mobile device or a follow-up email, you should create a system to automate the process and help make it a natural step in the customer relationship. Do not offer an incentive for reviews (this can seem dishonest, and customers will doubt the validity in your reviews).
  2. BUILD a five-star reputation. Implement procedures in your company to earn those five-star reviews. Focus on wowing every single customer. (Bonus tip: don’t pad your ratings and reviews with family member feedback). Focus on delivering the highest service above all your competitors and you’ll EARN that five-star reputation.
  3. MONITOR your online reputation. Don’t stick your head in the sand and hope for the best! Pay attention to your online reputation – who is saying what, where, when and why? Is your competitor posting bogus reviews online about you to get the upper hand in the market? Do you know who is talking about your business right now? Google Reviews, Yelp and Facebook offer user friendly tools to help track conversations online. Monitoring these conversations will help provide insight from the consumer perspective. NOTE: If you don’t monitor your online reputation, a cut-throat competitor will capitalize on your weakness and even ruin your business. (Bonus tip: Set Google Alerts to track conversations online that mention your business and your name.)
  4. MANAGE your five-star reputation. Conduct regular internet searches for yourself and your business. When you see a review or a mention, contact the person and speak to them. Be professional and build a relationship; if they are unsatisfied customers, find out how to make it right. The internet is a two-way “conversation street.” Use Google as a tool to manage and learn more about your business – from your prospect’s perspective.
  5. MARKET your five-star reputation. You earned that reputation – now it’s time to brag (professionally, of course). Use testimonials, social feeds, videos, reviews, case studies and blog posts to market your reputation. One powerful way to leverage this information is to include reviews in paid ads. For example, television or radio commercials will include testimonials of actual clients who love a company, product or service. While the ad is paid, the content is organic and comes off more believable (and sincere!) than what you have to say for yourself.

Today’s buyers are shifting. Are you keeping up with the changing marketplace that now values star ratings and reviews? Don’t be left in the dust; don’t hand over your best leads to your competitors, simply because they got the jump on this trend while you had your head in the sand. Taking control of your online reputation management is simple and will have a significant impact on your business by measurably growing your customer base and your income.

Click here to dive deeper into these strategies and learn to master your online reputation.

Fire Yourself to Grow Your Contractor Business

I just fired a great employee today.

It wasn’t my salesperson, my assistant or my operations manager. No, I fired myself… and so should you.

As entrepreneurs, one of our greatest and worst qualities is our self-reliance. We often build our businesses from the ground up, so we have an opinion about every aspect of our operation and a need to control it.

And sometimes, we try to take all of it on. “Sales? I can do that… Accounting? Sure… Marketing? Of course I’ll handle it…” Sound familiar?

I’ll admit – I’m guilty of the exact same thing. But the big issue is that it’s holding both you and me back from such bigger things.

While you think you’re doing what’s best for your business, you’re actually holding it back. You’re preventing your team, your time and your profits from exponential growth…

>>If you are planning on growing your business in 2017, click here to find out more about Accelerate LIVE 2017<<<

Trust Your Team to Get More Leads for Your Contractor Business

You may have trouble delegating because you don’t trust your team to handle those tasks for you. If this is the case, you need to either 1.) Find better team members; 2.) Train your team better; and/or 3.) Work on yourself and your ability to release control.

I know from talking to Wealthy Contractors every day that hiring personnel is one of the greatest challenges in this industry. Often, we get antsy and hire the first decent person we interview. But I challenge you to step back and take a planful approach to your next hire.

Cast a wide net, develop a system for picking the best candidates (or, better yet, delegate this to someone already on your team who you trust), and carefully interview and select your candidates. Interview them three times if you have to. These people will be the face of your organization – you need to feel comfortable with them representing you. (And you don’t want to have to go through the hiring process again in another 3 months…)

Perhaps you already have great people, but they just haven’t been performing at the level you desire. They may just need for you to invest in them. Some training or educational materials may be what helps turn an ok employee into your right-hand guy (or gal). Provide them with the right tools and resources to see them blossom and take some tasks off your plate.

Lastly, maybe you have a great team who is well-tooled, but you just keep getting in their way. Entrepreneurs like you and I often think our way is the ONLY way, but I’ve learned that if you’d just give your team a little freedom, they can sometimes surprise you and bring brilliant ideas to the table you never even thought of. Try it out this week – give someone a task and let them have the opportunity to knock your socks off.

More Free Time is Part of Being a Wealthy Contractor

If you’re like me, one of the reasons you started your own business was so you’d have the freedom of time. You could go to your kid’s ball game, go on vacation, or visit a friend or family member whenever you’d like. However, there have been times I’ve gotten so deep into the weeds of my business that it’s actually prevented me from doing those things. Instead of me controlling my time, my time was being controlled by the day-to-day operations of my business.

The only way to reverse this entrepreneurial curse is to delegate and create systems to grow your contracting business. Set your business up so that you can be gone for a month and nothing will fall through the cracks. Not to say that you will disappear from your business for months at a time (unless that’s your goal – for some people it is), but it will provide you the freedom to take off that afternoon, day or week whenever you want. You’re the one who let your business steal the control of your time away from you – it’s up to you to take it back.

Hire a New Team Member to Grow Your Contracting Business 

A frequent argument from aspiring Wealthy Contractors who just won’t give in and hire another team member is that they can’t afford it. They can’t imagine adding one more person to the payroll, so they continue to answer the phones, manage the website, do the installs, etc. But I challenge you to imagine what you could accomplish for your company if someone else was doing those routine tasks for you.

You could start working ON your business rather than IN it. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to steer your company in the direction you’d like it to go. However, you can’t see the big picture if you’re stuck in the weeds.

Starting this week, take 4 hours out from working IN your business. Whatever is preventing you from taking those 4 hours, delegate it. This is the first step to you taking insignificant tasks off your to-do list. Spend those 4 hours AWAY from your office – this is very important. And take a look at your business from a 40,000 foot view… What’s working? What’s not? What could you easily improve today that could make a big impact on your bottom line?

THIS is what your company needs from you to grow your contracting business. Asking these questions and taking the time to find the right solutions is what will take your business to the next level – NOT answering the phones or doing installs. Each week, pencil this time into your schedule, but make it longer and longer every week. Eventually, you’ll find that 100% of your time is spent making a significant impact on your business rather than just keeping it afloat.

In all, this process takes trust – trust in your people, trust in your company and trust in yourself. So I challenge you to start today… Fire yourself, and instead focus on the big picture – on fulfilling the dream that you have for your business and yourself.

One great way to get started is to spend some time hearing from the top experts in your industry at Accelerate LIVE 2017. Click here for more details. But hurry – early registration ends February 10!

How to Get More Profitability and Grow Your Contractor Business in 2017

How was your 2016? If it was like most contractors I know in our industry, your revenue was slightly up, which is a welcome change from the past few years.

But what about your profit? This often ignored piece of the performance puzzle is the figure that should mean the most to you. It means you operated your business in such a wise way that you now get to invest those earnings in the future – the future of your company, your community and your family.

There are plenty of ways to get there. One of the most common methods is cutting costs. But that method often has a limited lifespan. As you continue to hack away at the services and quality of products that you offer your customers, your business is eventually left with few customers and a bad reputation.

Instead, implementing the following four strategies will improve your services and your reputation to achieve long-term success and consistently strong profits to grow your contractor business.

You’ve Got to Know Your Numbers to Grow Your Contracting Business 

First and foremost, to measure your success, you must know your numbers to grow your contractor business.

You need to be able to answer questions like…

  • How many leads are coming in?
  • How many appointments developed from those leads?
  • Which pieces of marketing are working best for you?
  • Which of your salespeople has the strongest closing ratio?
  • Which segment of your customers are the easiest to close?
  • Which of your products are performing the best?

If you cannot answer any of these questions, then you do not have the data you need to determine where your company is struggling and where you are succeeding.

The greatest “Wealthy Contractors” I know can answer all of the questions above instantly. By constantly measuring their company’s performance, they are able to quickly address any declines before they become major issues and capitalize on any high-performing areas.

The key to this is having a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System that will do most of this tracking for you. If you don’t have one, you need to get one TODAY.

By knowing your numbers, you’ll have a strong foundation to help you get more leads and grow your home improvement business.

You’ve Got to Raise Your Prices to Grow Your Contractor Business

It seems obvious, but raising your prices is one of the quickest ways to boost your profits. While it’s so simple, many contractors are terribly frightened to do this.

So to help you overcome this fear, consider that there will ALWAYS be someone who will do the same job as you for less. There is some desperate contractor who will take a loss because they need the cash, or a contractor who will skimp on labor or materials. But as you know, those are not sustainable strategies.

The one way you can stand out is by offering more value to your customer than any of your competitors. And you may get a few less jobs than you’re used to. But doesn’t working less and getting paid more sound good to you?

You’ve Got to Deliver More Value to Generate More Referrals for Your Contacting Business

So to build more value into your services, you must first examine your customer experience from beginning to end – from the very first contact made before the sale to long after the project is completed.

Survey your customers or ask a friend to play customer and get their feedback – which parts of your customer experience are impressive? Which are disappointing? Which need a slight tune-up? Which need to change dramatically?

Then, once you have these detailed evaluations of your current process, you can take action to make every step of your customer experience a “Wow” moment – one that completely knocks their socks off.

These “Wow” moments are essential, not only because they make your higher prices worth it to your customers, but because they encourage word of mouth recommendations (the most effective and cost-efficient form of advertising), positive online reviews (helping to you close more leads) and referrals (the easiest leads to close).

So you may find out that you need to have a new sales presentation, or better communication during the installation process, a system for following up after the sale or a more professional sales team. This will result in a little bit of work, but it opens up the opportunity to truly impress your customers and will pay off in dividends for years to come.

You’ve Got to Invest in Your Team to Grow Your Contracting Business 

As mentioned above, maybe it’s your people who are preventing you from creating a memorable customer experience. More than anything else, it’s your team that differentiates you from your competition. No other business in your industry has the same team as you – it’s impossible. So, it’s essential that you invest in them (and in yourself).

You may find that your staff needs training in a particular area or the right materials to do their job. For instance, your receptionist may need some training on how to sell callers on the value of an in-home estimate, or maybe your installation crew would feel more confident with new uniforms or training on a particular product.

Whatever the case, making these tweaks so that your team can be at its best will radically change the way you present yourself to the marketplace.

But don’t forget about the most important part of your team – yourself. As the leader of your company, your entire team relies on you for guidance and for steering the direction of your company.

So start blocking out time in your week to work ON your business rather than IN it. Read a book about how to be a better leader or how to better manage your business. And attend events where you can learn from peers and industry experts on what’s working for THEM (and you may actually be able to return the favor by sharing some of your own successes).

One of these events is Accelerate LIVE 2017 – being held in Philadelphia February 22. There’s still time to save your seat at a low introductory price so you can find out the latest success strategies from home improvement sales and marketing experts – just click here now.

By investing in yourself and your people, you will see a dramatic payoff through higher closing ratios and more satisfied customers who become your company’s fans and advocates who will in turn provide more leads for your contracting business.

 

So as you start 2017, remember to focus on PROFITS rather than just revenue. By taking these four steps, you’ll be able to take your business to new levels not only this year, but for years to come.