So now that you have your advertising campaigns and your marketing funnels set up, you are receiving a lot of leads and getting a ton of referrals from existing clients. What is next? How about closing those leads and turning them in to sales? Even though there is lots of work available for home improvement businesses, there is a lot of competition out there. How can you stand out from your competitors? More importantly, when a customer does find your business, how can you turn that lead into a closed sale?
1. Build an online reputation that people trust
The first place anyone is going to look for a company to hire is the internet. This fact is true now more than ever. Nearly every single call you get to your business will have found your information and phone number online. You can believe they’ve looked at online reviews and other sources before picking up the phone or emailing you. Phone books, newspaper directories, and some other forms of marketing and advertising are now a thing of the past.
You must invest in building a brand and reputation people can trust, and you must do it online. If customers can’t find you, you’ll never get that lead. That means you’ll never get the sale. Even if they do find you, if they can’t navigate an ancient website or discover social media profiles that haven’t been updated in years, they’ll likely move on to a different company. The way your business appears online matters to customers and can mean the difference between getting leads or not.
Invest in digital marketing and third-party certifications
If you need assistance with boosting your online presence, we can give some advice. Building a user-friendly website, investing in search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and using content marketing can help.
Since homeowners are looking for contactors they can trust, they want to make sure the company they hire has been screened and checked. Studies show that most consumers will look at ten sources of information before they hire a home service company. They’re looking for proof that the company can be trusted and that they do quality work. That is why third-party certifications can make a difference when attracting customers and closing a sale. If your company is RenovationFind Certified, make sure web users can see that easily. Post the certification logo, and any other third-party certifications you might have, on your website and all your marketing materials.
For more tips on boosting your online presence, read 5 ways to grow your home improvement business online.
Third-Party Certifications & Accreditations
Over 71% of consumers look for a third-party seal of approval.
2. Reply to leads and estimate inquiries AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
We hear from hundreds of homeowners regarding their experience trying to find a contractor to work on their home projects. Their number one complaint is that they’ve contacted a company about a project, and that company has not returned their call. They had a chance to quote a customer on a job, and they just never did. Those warm leads that would have likely turned into a sale are lost.
Being in the renovation industry, we understand that you’re busy. Maybe you think you won’t win the job because you can’t complete the estimate for another week or two. Most homeowners are more than willing to wait for the estimate. They’re even willing to wait longer to get the job completed if it means working with a quality, trustworthy contractor. By not returning their call, you’re harming your reputation.
Call them back with a timeline, even if they’ll have to wait
It would be best if you gave them a reply as soon as possible. Tell the customer you would like to help, but be honest about your availability. If you let them know what your timeline is and have good communication from the start instead of putting them off, you’ll have a good chance of getting the job. If you brush them off, you have zero chance of getting the job. Worse, they’ll likely tell their friends and family that you ghosted them and might even post a negative review online.
From our experience at RenovationFind, companies that return calls to customers and get estimates out fast win jobs. You can email the customer, but always follow up with a phone call. Sometimes emails can get lost, or go to a junk mail folder. Plus, a phone call is an excellent personal touch that can help you build that personal relationship with your new customer.
3. If you promised your customer a timeline, stick to it
If you tell your customer they’ll have an estimate or a call back on Friday, then you better make sure they get that estimate or call back on Friday. Not sticking to the times and dates you’ve promised a customer is an easy way to lose a job. You are already not delivering something you promised them – so why should they trust you to provide a quality service or product when it comes to their home project?
Consider Customer Relationship Management software
If there is a delay, and delays happen, let your customer know beforehand and not after-the-fact. If you need help managing your calls and leads, consider a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM). A CRM offers tools that can help you organize leads, conversions, callbacks, and other customer service activities. Utilizing a CRM will help make sure no lead gets lost, and that you can keep your promises to customers regarding callbacks, estimates, and installation dates. RenovationFind has had good feedback on CRM software like Hubspot and Pipedrive.
4. Send detailed and professional estimates
We are operating our businesses in a time where competition is high, and customers are nervous about hiring contractors and spending money. If you’ve won the opportunity to provide an estimate to a customer, do not slack off on this critical step to closing a sale. What you offer them in an estimate can either win the job or send them looking elsewhere.
Customers want to see detail on a professionally formatted document. Verbal or hand-written estimates will not do. You need to include information on the job itself, and break down the cost as much as you can. That means including details on the costs of labour, materials, permits, sub-contractor fees, and other potential charges. You should also break down the job into phases and give each stage a completion time.
Customers are not interested in ‘ballpark’ quotes. They want to see those cost breakdowns, and they want an accurate estimate that they can fit into their budget. Providing them with this will also show transparency and start building a relationship of trust with that customer.
If you haven’t put much effort into the way you’re putting together estimates, you should take a look at it as it is now. Then imagine it sitting next to a detailed, formatted, professional-looking estimate a competitor might provide. Which one do you think the customer will choose?
Today’s Consumers are Digital.
Did you know Google released a stat indicating users check out 10.4 sources before purchase.
5. Follow up with customers on estimates promptly
We’ve touched on this previously, but quick communication with customers makes a big difference. It seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many companies don’t bother following up with customers after providing them with an estimate. If you think following up feels pushy, there are ways of following up that are not too forward.
Hello there, this is Company XYZ. We sent you an estimate last week for your bathroom renovation project, and I was wondering if you had any questions regarding the estimate?”
This way, you can find out if there were any concerns or objections you need to overcome to get the job. Sometimes the customer might feel too shy to object to something in the estimate. They could have been on vacation or responding to a family emergency. Life gets in the away; sometimes, people forget or get busy. If they haven’t gotten back to you, it doesn’t mean the sale is lost. You will never know if you don’t follow up.
As mentioned, CRM software can help you keep on top of your follow up calls.
6. Offer financing for your customers
Times are tough for a lot of people, now more than ever. Whether their home project is a want or a need, many homeowners will go through with it if they don’t have to pay for the entire cost at once. It lessens the financial burden and allows them to go through with a purchase they are ready to make in all other aspects. It also means you don’t have to lower your pricing to accommodate. Offering customer financing can help you close sales more often, and make more significant sales while increasing customer loyalty.
If you’re not sure how to offer financing options for customers, some third-party financing programs can help. RenovationFind has heard good things about Snap Financial and Financeit.
RenovationFind can help you close sales
RenovationFind.com is a free online listing of certified trades, contractors, and home service companies. Every company on our site has been through a vetting process, and are checked and continually monitored on strict criteria. Each company is given legal and financial background checks, are checked for business insurance and licensing, WCB coverage, and customer reviews are monitored. The companies are rated and put on the website so that homeowners can find quality, trustworthy contractors for their home projects. Companies who are a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau have a higher rating.
If your company is RenovationFind Certified, it shows customers that you are vetted for quality, customer service, and trustworthiness. It’s an excellent first step in building an online reputation with customers. When they see your listing on our directory or our certification logo on your website, you can automatically put yourself above the competition.
In addition to a listing, and the use of our RenovationFind Certified logo on your marketing materials, you’ll also get a fair amount of digital marketing to help customers find your business. That includes professionally written blogs, social media posts, email marketing campaigns, online banner advertisements, and search engine optimization. We provide marketing opportunities for your business that are proven to increase leads, so you can start closing more sales.
Learn how we can help.
Another Helpful Article is >>> HOMESHOW ROI FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANIES IN THE “NEW NORMAL”
This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com