Increasing Contractor Sales

By Robert Robillard on Contractor Advice

Getting Customers:  Word-of-mouth advertising is still the best!

Word-of-mouth advertising has long been revered as the best form of marketing.  When looking for a carpenter or contractors, people tend to look to friends for advice and guidance.   Often times basing their decision on a trusted friends prior experience.

That “prior experience” is something we need to focus on and work towards achieving.  Call it value but a  positive experience is often what leads to a solid referral and subsequent project.

Referrals also tend to generate better quality customers in terms of profitability and loyalty as compared to the traditional “tire kicker” or people responding to advertisements or an Internet searches.

Studies have shown that people are twice as likely to go with a contractor that was referred to them by someone they know and trust.  That means we need to be working harder at getting quality customers to refer us!

How do we do that?

Here are some tips:

  1. Quality Service; That Is Memorable:

Your customers need to truly believe that they received a quality service that has value.  Value translates 100 percent into your customer service for your customer.   You need to consider the “totality of the circumstances” in order to quantify the service you provided. 

The “total circumstances” start with returning the first calls and end with exceeding your customers’ expectations.

It means delivering on your promises and not leaving the project until it is 100 percent finished.  Accomplishing this standard and setting yourself apart from the competition means successfully handling the hundreds of menusha details.  You need to consistently handle issues, details and problems so the customer does not have to worry. 

And did I mention you need to do this better than your competitors.

People often do not appreciate the quality of your work as much as you do, they just don’t have the eye for it.   They don’t remember or care if you used glue in your miter joints but they do remember the experience!

That’s what I’m talking about!!

 Be positive:

Train your employees to always say hello, smile and be polite.  Wave to the neighbors and pat the dogs!

They should never to say anything negative about your company to customers or to friends. Reward those who speak positively. It’s also good policy not to badmouth the competition.

Talk to customers :

Ensure your customers know how important referrals are to your business and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Plant the seed that you would like a referral.  When clients express their satisfaction with your goods and services, acknowledge their kind words with a sincere thank you. Then, take it a step further and let them know how much of your business is as a result of referrals from satisfied customers like them.

Maintain face time:

One of the best things you can do is to simply stay top of mind with your customers. I call this “face time.”  Ensure your company maintains a presence by sending emails, doing free warranty or inspection work or by inviting them to special events if appropriate.

Network with play-makers:

Another key to building word-of-mouth referrals is networking. The only people who are going to give referrals to you consistently are people who know and trust you.

You need to spend time with the right people in structured professional environments, building friendships and lasting professional relationships.

Return The Favor :

Referrals are like boomerangs, what goes around comes around.  So be sure to remember those who have sent you referrals when it’s time to pay back!  That may translate in a small handyman project completed pro bono, a gift card, or a simple thank you note.

 

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of ConcordCarpenter.com and ToolBoxBuzz, and a has a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”. Contact Rob at: info@aconcordcarpenter.com

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