If you’re in the home improvement business then you’ve felt the pain of losing a bid to a low-quality competitor whose only asset was their willingness to provide rock bottom prices. Fortunately, home improvement marketing can be planned in a way that allows you to maintain the integrity of your prices while still continuing to win business for your company.
The strategy addresses both your actual marketing and the sales process that the marketing initiates for you. It’s a very easy and inexpensive strategy to implement.
The idea is that we’re going to find a way to reach those customers for whom price is not the sole consideration when making a decision about your services. We want people who are more interested in quality and who have money to spend in order to get that quality.
You also need to make sure that you’re selling on that value, and not on the price. If you start selling on price alone then a race to the bottom is all that you’re going to have left.
Strategy #1: Adjust Your Website
Is your website a full blown authority site with tons of interesting blog posts addressing problems and questions that your target customer might have? Or is it a 5-page electronic brochure?
If it’s the latter it’s time to create a regular supply of helpful, friendly content.
The content that you put on your site only has to be related to what you do. I understand that, as, say, a person who replaces roof tiles that you might find it challenging to come up with vast quantities of cool stuff to say about, say, how homeowners can maintain their roof or tell if it needs replacing.
But you can expand. If customers want to know how to maintain their roof they might want to know about other aspects of home improvement and home maintenance as well.
A fence contractor can build goodwill by talking about rose bushes as well as fences. In fact, adding this extra content demonstrates that you care about the total package – all of the issues that a homeowner might care about – and that you’re not just looking for excuses to write “roof” or “fence” over and over on your site to impress the search engines.
Along the way you can also spend some time talking about what makes you different and better. For example, if you only use the finest wood to build fences instead of the cheap, low quality wood that your lowballing competitor likes to use, then you’ll give yourself a lot of opportunities to say so without attacking that competitor. A homeowner who is shopping around will take this into consideration when it contacts you for a bid.
Strategy #2: Adjust Your Presentation
The second part of this strategy happens when you actually get in front of a customer. Now you’re there to make the sale.
Make no mistake, going to deliver an estimate is an opportunity to actually make a sale. Don’t just run in, quote a figure and run out again.
Spend zero time stressing your low prices, too. Instead, you need to take the opportunity and the time to ask your prospective customer a lot of questions.
Your goal is to understand the customer’s situation and concerns. Then you can walk the homeowner through what you do, how you do it, and why it will solve the problem that they’re hoping to fix.
Once that’s done you can ask the customer if he or she has any other questions. Answer them thoroughly, demonstrating your care, concern, and expertise.
Really take the time to build that relationship and that trust. Then, when it’s all done, hand off the quote without any additional comment about the price and ask when your prospective customer would like to schedule the work.
Ask “when,” not “if.” If is a yes-no question.
In sales, you’ll find that a “yes-no” question is always answered with no, so avoid them. Just assume they want you.
If you want to take it a step further, suggest two open dates and see if the customer picks one. If so, then you’ve just written the other competitors out of the equation. You can wrap up any additional paperwork and be on your way, knowing you’ve made that sale.
Now of course, customers whose budget is smaller than your price are still going to go with a lower bid if they don’t have any other choice. But that’s okay. They were never really in your target market as you were looking for people who were capable of paying in the first place.
And those who can pay will want you. They’ll want you because the biggest fear a homeowner has is that you’re going to screw up the work and cost them more time and money than they’re prepared to lose.
If you take the time to work with the customer you’ll dispel those concerns. That means the customer will want you even if you’re the MOST expensive – especially if they’ve already spent time on your website being pre-sold on your services.
As you can see, the two strategies work hand in hand to win more bids for your home improvement business.
- Begin blogging at least twice a week.
- Change your sales approach whenever you’re in front of a customer.