Why is it important for a contractor or home service pro to have a system?
First, let’s figure out what a “system” really is. A system is way to effectively manage your home improvement business with a set of procedures and processes, along with the tools required to support them.
Next, let’s consider how a system can help you reach your goals. Let’s say you want to grow your business or you really need to earn more “per sale”. The best way to do either is to increase the amount of leads you have to work with.
You’re probably thinking the next step would involve asking you to spend more on marketing to bring in additional leads. But there is a better way…
Instead of advertising more to get additional sales leads, your best bet is take advantage of what you have already paid for. Many contractors focus on the “hot” leads and the low-hanging fruit. And it makes sense – you want to reach out to every homeowner with money and a home improvement project they’d like to start tomorrow. It makes perfect sense to do that.
But when a lead doesn’t return your call or makes an excuse not to sign the contract, you give up and move on to the next “hot” lead. And then what happens? Due to seasonality, economic conditions in your area, or bad timing… you run out of hot or even warm leads. These up and down roller coaster rides take their toll on you and your business.
The problem is that so many of your leads still have a need. Maybe they aren’t ready to buy now, but they are still planning on completing their project. And many do… with your competition.
Based on a Reed Business Information study, 40,000 prospects were studied. These prospects had responded to an ad for products or services and it was discovered that:
- 23% bought the product or service advertised from the advertiser or a competitor
- 67% were still in the market planning to buy
And, looking back at older inquiries, Reed found that of those who bought:
- 11% purchased within 3 months of inquiring
- 17% purchased within 4-6 months
- 25% purchased within 7-12 months
- 47% took more than a year to buy
As you can see, a strong interest remains with all your leads and they usually do end up making the purchase. But how do you follow up with the warm or even cold leads while you’re focused on all the hot leads?
With a system.
It’s important to have a standardized process in place that everyone in your business follows. Every time. Whether you will track every lead in an Excel spreadsheet or track them with an online business management tool, you need to be consistent with each lead.
- Make sure you enter lead demographics the same way, every time, and always include phone numbers and e-mails
- Always track the source of each lead
- Note the product or service their interested in
- Set consistent reminders to follow up at specific intervals
- Utilize a variety of methods to reach out to leads: coupon mailings, newsletters, phone calls, emails, and invitations to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Re-set reminders to keep following up after you “touch” a lead
That is a lot of work to do, if you have to handle it manually, but it will pay off in the long run. You’ll keep your business in front of every lead and you will eventually be there when they are ready to buy.
It costs a lot to generate a lead – don’t throw that money away. Even if they don’t buy from you today, or they initially buy from your competitor, they’ll soon need your services again and you’ll be able to generate a sale on money you’ve already spent to capture them.
Even if you’re not looking to grow, having more leads means you’ll be able to choose the projects that will result in a bigger sale.
If you’re looking for a complete tool to provide you with a system that helps you manage leads, sales, quotes, appointments, jobs, and all your reporting features then consider scheduling a personal demo of improveit! 360. There’s no cost or obligation to see how you can improve your home improvement business.