HOW TO CONSISTENTLY ATTRACT AND CONVERT MORE OF THE RIGHT CUSTOMERS FOR YOUR HOME SERVICE BUSINESS
When it comes to growing their businesses, one of the biggest challenges home improvement and local service businesses face is unconverted leads or rather, missed sales opportunities.
People are out there, they are looking for a solution to their problem, so why is it so hard to attract and convert the “right” customers into sales?
There are three core problems that we see in the market today:
1. Businesses are struggling to attracting enough of the right type of customers
Businesses are wasting time and money dealing with the wrong people who either don’t know what they want, aren’t ready to buy or don’t see the value of what they’re asking for.
2. Even when customers find their website or landing page, they’re not always making an enquiry
People don’t respond to your marketing because they’re confused as to how you can help them and don’t trust that you are the right business to solve their problem. They end up doing business with your competitors.
3. Converting the enquiry to a sale
Most businesses are not keeping track or following up enough with leads and are losing out on sales. They’re stuck selling to only 3% who are ready to buy and are missing the opportunity to convert more sales by staying “top of mind” consistently.
Most small businesses struggle to get found, get found and convert quality enquiries into sales. They are constantly chasing new customers until they either burn out, get wiped out by their competitors or by a recession (or some other shock to their life or the economy).
The reality is that businesses that don’t adapt quickly to the rapidly changing marketplace will be pushed out and superseded by faster, more agile competitors who are using marketing technology to dominate their market.
The chokehold to most small businesses is not innovating or investing into the activities that will help them grow sustainably in this fast-paced digital world, and what threatens their survival long term is falling back on the “common” methods that only got them to a certain point.
In this modern age where many business processes, including marketing, are automated and AI-driven, it seems like many businesses are on the back foot – chasing leads, managing cash flow, following up with quotes, trying to hire and manage reliable staff..the list goes on.
And very few businesses actually have a reliable system to attract and convert the “right” kind of customers..customers that truly understand the value of what they’re asking for and don’t waste your time.
Additionally, the competitive pressure from bigger market players who are taking a hit on the front-end, selling services nationally at very low prices are making it increasingly hard to compete.
If you didn’t get the memo, the reality is that being “good” is no longer enough.
These days, the customers you’re targeting have more options at their disposal than ever before. If they don’t understand clearly what you do and how you can help them within a few seconds, you’ll lose that opportunity. Additionally, if they don’t get a near immediate response, they’ll be on to your competitors in a flash.
Luckily, small businesses now also have access to affordable technology and marketing strategies that can dramatically improve their lead generation and drive higher conversations.
Have you realised that the old methods of lead generation don’t work as well as they used to?
SEO is getting harder than ever. Sites like Checkatrade are over-saturated by one-man bands ready to under-cut you.
The major problem facing most small family trade businesses is not a lack of skill or customers.
As a Trades person, you’re probably great at what you do, but the reality is that most-likely, they didn’t teach you marketing or how to run a business in college.
If you don’t have an effective marketing strategyand system, not only does that make planning for the future and hiring staff frustratingly difficult, but you’ll likely end up wasting your time talking to the wrong people who have no interest in what you’re selling.
However, with the right approach, you can get your business in front of those looking for your services and who are ready to pay a premium for your value.
IF YOU WANT TO
YOUR WORD OF MOUTH
I see so many “myths” spread around the internet…do any of these sound familiar?
“If you’re good at what you do, you don’t need marketing”
“You can do advertising yourself”
“The best kind of marketing is world of mouth”
“I’ve built a business through rod of mouth and referrals…I don’t need marketing”
Word of mouth is certainly important, but it’s not enough to grow predictably.
You can’t survive the competition with word of mouth and referrals alone. And “dabbling” in online advertising when you don’t really have a strategy is a bit like throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks.
We call that “hope marketing”.
If you’re looking to grow a secure and profitable business – consistently and for the long-term – you simply cannot rely on the old ways.
“But Francis, you mean I can’t hire a marketing consultant or an agency?”
You’re no longer a technician! Whether you started out replacing boilers, installing smart home systems or rewiring a new home, it’s essential to make the transition from business “operator” to business “owner”…and that means gaining a fundamental education and understanding of marketing. The market, message and MAP – marketing plan.
There’s also a prevalent misconception of how marketing works. Many businesses see marketing as a cost – something that you reluctantly have to pay in order to bring in more leads.
The problem with that thinking is that marketing takes time, what works is constantly changing, marketing needs to adapt – and most importantly must be consistent.
What happens when you market your business for 3 months?
Chances are you start to reap the real rewards in the 3rd month – that’s because it can take time for those sales to manifest. It takes following up 5-7 times, consistent quoting, speaking to customers, building relationships…
What happens when you stop?
You get busy serving customers and dealing with the work you’ve got off the back of your marketing, and then guess what? Your sales pipeline goes dry! No more work.
“FEAST OR FAMINE” SALES
What about when you need to take a break, say take a holiday, it becomes a problem. Without you, the business crumbles. That’s because frequently, the success of the marketing and sales is dependent on the performance of the business owner – meaning you have to be there all the time.
This is a major challenge facing many small businesses today. They often fall into this feast or famine situation because they have no system or marketing structure working for them.
WORK DIARY FILLED - “CHICKEN & EGG”
Another issue affecting small local businesses is the constant pressure to keep their work diary filled – to keep getting enough work and stay busy. Unfortunately, while you may actually be able to get enough work in, you may end up getting trapped in the never-ending “chicken and gett” spiral.
Focusing only on getting more work will keep you busy if you’re a one-man band, but won’t scale your business as you desire. After some time, businesses realise that they’ve been stuck at a plateau for years. Some perceive this as “normal” – as a normal part of being in the Trades.
Others wake up and realise they need to start doing things differently.
Business owners realise that in order to grow a real business (a business that can run without them), they need to invest in marketing.
However, they also need to hire, attract, and retain good staff and engineers – which requires money. But before they can even hire and sustain the payment of additional staff members, they need to have enough work on ground. In that case, they end up doing everything themselves.
Chasing work only keeps you reactive, which is not a sustainable approach for growing your business. You’re constantly burnt out and overwhelmed, and you realise that your business is actually stagnant. As a one-man band, you will at best earn a wage from what they do – and that’s it. Instead of owning a business, you own a job, and there’s no difference between you and someone working a job.
ONLY SELLING TO
3% OF THE MARKET
When you’re reactive, you’re missing out on a huge revenue opportunity.
Many businesses only focus on a small percentage of customers that are always ready to buy from them. They remain stuck selling to only 3% who are ready to buy and are missing the opportunity to convert more leads by staying “top of mind” consistently.
Consistency, in this case, means following up regularly and always being in the exact places where your customers or prospects are. But that is not even enough; you need to be found with the right message at the right time. By staying top of mind in your market, you can be the first choice when people are ready to buy.
So, what do you need to do?
You need to create a system that attracts and converts the right people and can convert those people into sales – consistently.
This saves the time and money that would otherwise be wasted on chasing the wrong people who aren’t ready to buy or appreciate the value you offer. Make no mistake, customers will not just come knocking on your door just because you’re “good”. Complacency can trap you.
If you really want to start owning a business instead of owning a job, where you’re constantly looking to get more work in, you need systems, and you need marketing.
Marketing is a long-term game. When you have a predictable marketing system that provides you with sales “certainty” you can confidently employ more staff to do the work. With a steady stream of qualified customers and jobs flowing into your business every day, you can start to delegate the repetitive tasks like sales, follow up and quoting, and finally put in place the systems your business needs to run with or without you. (And take your family on that holiday you’ve been dreaming of!)
A robust marketing system involves different components, including your content, email marketing, social media, company reputation, SEO, paid advertising or PPC, and automation. This essentially forms your Trade Business Marketing System. The system will help you consistently attract, nurture and convert a steady stream of quality leads and customers – and ensure that your business (and your message) is in the right places at the right time, for the right people.
“OWN” YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING
While you can outsource your digital marketing, you can’t delegate 100% ownership of your marketing to a vendor. You need to have a fundamental understanding of how marketing works. You need to know your numbers (cost per lead, cost per acquisition etc…), and “dial in” your marketing message.
As a business owner, having an understanding of your marketing system and processes allows you to identify what’s doing more of what’s working and stop what’s not working. Marketing is all about “optimisation” – looking at the data to improve the results.
Having a system to generate a predictable, steady stream of qualified leads and customers will enable you to plan for the future and make business decisions like hiring more staff to help you fulfill the work.
You want to also keep in mind that only 3% of sales are made during the first point of contact. 80% of sales are made during the fifth to 12th point of contact. And people who follow up within the first five minutes are nine times more likely to convert. With automation and AI, you can systematic your marketing and sales so that technology can do the work for you.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS CONSTANTLY ATTRACT THE RIGHT CUSTOMERS
Now that you understand the importance of developing a marketing system and strategy, let’s dive right into the strategies you need to win more customers over the competition.
Set up an email nurture campaign:
A good way to acquire emails from leads is to offer visitors to your page an exciting opportunity and get them to sign up for more updates from you.
You can use lead magnets like whitepapers, ebooks, how-to content, etc. Once you’ve got their email to accept communication from you, keep sending out valuable content. Consider automating your marketing and sales so it doesn’t rely 100% on you.
Develop an SEO strategy:
SEO helps you achieve organic visibility on search engines. It goes hand-in-hand with content marketing. The main idea behind SEO is to use valuable content to address the pain points of your customers and attract them to your website. However, SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, so the result may take a while before you start seeing them. PPC, on the other hand, is a short-term outbound lead generation strategy that requires spending. When it works, you can turn it on and off like a tap.
Define your business goals:
This is probably the first thing you need to do before building a marketing campaign. The strategy you eventually adopt for reaching your customers will definitely depend on the focus of your business at the time — whether it is awareness, building engagement, winning more conversions, etc. You can’t always delegate this aspect of your marketing to an agency. You must assume 100% accountability.
Create unique landing pages:
Using specific landing pages for every service or product increases your chances of converting prospects that visit your site. Sending all customers to the same landing page can send confusing signals to them – and that’s besides making it hard for them to find what they’re looking for. Every product/service should have a landing page of its own so that when a customer lands on it, they know specifically that you have what they’re looking for and there’s enough information there for them to make a decision.
Create a strategy:
The importance of a strategy can hardly be overemphasized. This will include your message, your market, a map or “plan” that will help guide you from where you are to where you want to be,
Build a compelling website:
Your website is the online alternative to a brick-and-mortar shop. To attract and retain customer attention, you want to invest in building a quality website with the right content and clear message.. Your landing pages need to speak to your customers’ problems or pain points. Your website can either make or break your online marketing campaigns. If people are landing on your website but not making inquiries, a number of factors, such as the loading speed, the content on it, ease of navigation, design, and call to action (CTA) can impact who finds you online, and most importantly, your conversion rates.
Targeting the Right People:
Invest in a robust and effective marketing system. You may think that you can do everything for everyone, especially if you are a home service company. But that’s casting the net too wide, and can lead to attracting the wrong people, thereby wasting so much time and effort with people who are not the right fit for what you do.
Every time you say “yes” to the wrong prospect, you’re missing out on the opportunity to work with the right one. That said, your business needs to target the right people.
Lead generation and conversion:
Beyond attracting prospects, you need a system that can also qualify and convert leads. This is where marketing automation and AI come in. With automation in place, you can follow up and nurture leads and stay top of mind with consistent marketing messages. It is also important to keep in mind that successful marketing is a long-term game. It doesn’t end with sending out a few fliers and getting a few customers. Bring in team members to help you with marketing and sales. You want the technology to do the bulk of the work, so your team can spend more time with the right opportunities.
If you’re aiming for growth, referrals and word of mouth are not enough. Neither is your job management platform enough. You need a marketing system to deal with each prospect up until the point where they’re ready to buy. You can do “a level” of that in Servicem8 or simPRO – indeed your job management software is a place to hold your data, but you can’t keep in touch and nurture those customers. Job management software is not built for that.
In case you’re thinking you don’t have the funds to invest in a robust digital marketing strategy, you should also consider what it is costing you to remain where you are. Instead of viewing marketing as expensive, consider the opportunities you could be missing.
Unfortunately, the marketing landscape is constantly and rapidly changing, and businesses that don’t adapt quickly will either be pushed or lose their customers to more agile and innovative competitors. The chokehold to most small businesses is that the majority of them view funding as an issue. And that prevents them from innovating or investing in the activities that will help them grow sustainably in this fast-paced digital world. That alone threatens their long-term survival in the marketplace. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
When you put in place a Consistent Customer Conversion system for your business,
More of the the “right” customers find you consistently
You will consistently attract the right customers who value your services and see you as the most desirable choice, ahead of the competition.
You will get more qualified enquiries flowing in to your business
You have a clear marketing message and seamless sales system that filters out the time-wasters, and makes it easy for the right people to buy from you.
Your sales conversions will increase
You have a robust system to track every conversation, follow up and convert more leads to sales. You’ll win more new and repeat business, and automate the whole thing so it happens with or without you.
Now that you understand what has been keeping you from scaling your business all this time, it’s time to take action. You need to start implementing the strategies we’ve discussed so far to start attracting the right customers. If the content in this report resonated with you, I invite you to schedule a quick discovery call to discuss your business goals and where you’ve been having a tough time.
We’ll discuss different options and see to identify the best strategy that you can put in place to create a consistent customer conversion system for your business. This will allow you to gain quality leads and convert more prospects every time.