Qualified Remodeler magazine interviewed the members of their most recent HIP 200 (Home Improvement Pro) list to discuss their upcoming opportunities and challenges to maintaining a growth mode.
What we found interesting is that most of these top home improvement companies rely on repeat business and referrals for their most of their revenue and that they list both as being the most effective when it comes to marketing dollars spent. Internet marketing, which comes in 3rd in both categories, is a source of new inbound leads to issue to their sales reps.
We know how important it is to ask for referrals and to reach back out to previous customers – they can be some of the best leads for home pros with higher conversion rates and better average sale expenditures. But what surprised us in these interviews were the “Top Challenges” they listed:
While finding and hiring employees and tradespeople are always a challenge, It was interesting to see that bringing in leads for new business is listed at 26%. Some companies are concerned about reduced profit from inefficiencies.
Our suggestion for growing home pros is to keep the focus on what is working, or most effective, when it comes to overcoming these challenges. Companies spend a decent amount of money generating new leads every year – from internet marketing, canvassing, home shows, or other advertising – which can reduce overall profit. But they already have a treasure trove of potential in all the leads they’ve collected over those years.
Whether you’ve got old sales book full of prospects or a CRM database, you’ve got a group of past customers and past prospects (who never bought from you) that you can use to your advantage:
- They already know your business and they may have more work for you
- May have friends and family who need your services
- Could be ready to finally complete their project
The best part is that you don’t have to spend any additional money to market to them.
Plan call, e-mail or snail-mail campaigns – or better yet, all three – and reach out to your database asking them for referrals or to hire your team to complete their job. Use canvassers, your call center, or your marketing team to follow-up with these homeowners.
One of our customers, Comfort Windows, told us they recently found a folder full of New York state fair leads that had been filed away for over 2 years. They used our call queue feature in our system to set up a campaign to call them. Their call center reps reached out to those homeowners and managed to set appointments for 55% of them! They had $600,000 in sales in 1 month for old leads that were about to be thrown away!
So, if one of your top challenges is making sure you’ve got enough new leads for 2018, consider taking advantage of what you’ve already spent marketing money on. Like the companies on the HIP 200 list, you’re already aware that repeat business and referrals can generate a large amount of revenue and that marketing to them is very effective.
Create campaigns exclusively for the old leads that have been sitting around because even if they don’t buy from you, they can provide you with those referrals. And those past customers could give you positive reviews on Houzz, Angie’s List, or Yelp to help you generate more word-of-mouth business.