No matter if you’re just starting your own home improvement business or if you’re a veteran in the industry, you should always be looking for ways to increase your sales. Even if you think if you have a solid client base, it’s better to have too many requests for your services than not enough. And with today’s technological business landscape and clients looking for reliable contractors, it’s as easy as ever to increase your sales.
Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
1. Market your business.
Even if your strategy is a simple as using a Facebook page with photographs of your past work or a local radio ad, if you don’t market your business, no clients will find you or your services. Word-of-mouth is great, but why rely on something that is unpredictable when you have numerous easy and affordable methods marketing at your fingertips?
In 2020, the internet is the first place people go to find a specialized service. If you don’t want to spend that much, remember that Google and Facebook are the two biggest ad generators on the internet, with around 60% of the entire online market share. Be sure to search your own business’s name to make sure your contact information and website or social media links are readily available to potential clients.
Marketing tip: No matter how you choose to market your business, remember to always present it as reliable and trustworthy producer of quality work. Clients are looking for these critical aspects in a contractor.
2. Call back your potential leads.
One of the biggest complaints homeowners have about contractors usually involves not calling potential clients back. You may be busy with other projects, or you may be overloaded with business at the time, but don’t ever shy away from potential business.
By calling back leads, even if you tell them you won’t be available for six months or longer, you are still laying the groundwork for potential revenue. The world changes, and just because your calendar is packed now, does not mean it will be later in the year. It’s good business practice to never turn down your services voluntarily ー and by not calling potential clients back, that’s precisely what you’re doing.
3. Be presentable during client meetings.
Although it seems like a fundamental aspect of a meeting, some contractors may overlook personal hygiene and a clean appearance during meetings with potential clients. Looking clean and orderly at meetings shows that you are a professional.
Remember, though, that you’re a contractor and not a lawyer, so you don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but you should always have a a clean pair of jeans or shorts and a decent, unstained, non-graphic shirt. You don’t want to turn up to a job potentially worth thousands of dollars with dirty, smelly clothing. It’s not the right thing to do as a business professional.
Tip for being presentable during a meeting: If you are on a job site and you have to quickly get to a meeting, make sure you have a clean shirt in your work vehicle and a few small hygiene products such as a mouthwash, deodorant, and a comb or hairbrush. If your hair is too unruly or has been under hard-hat all day, always have a clean baseball cap - preferably one with your company’s name or logo on it - to wear. It also won’t hurt to leave a few company hats and business cards behind when the meeting is over.
4. Be relaxed and engaging around potential clients.
When you get a meeting with a potential new client, be sure to stay personable and relaxed in the situation. If you know your services are top-quality, there’s no reason to shy away from talking glowingly about your work, but don’t come across as over-confident - that’s an instant turn-off to many.
Be sure to include the potential client in your conversation with them, and don’t just begin rattling off your credentials. You can start by asking general questions about their home and how they like living in the area, then ask them if they have any questions or input into the project. This makes you seem less pushy in negotiations and makes them feel at ease around your presence.
A great tip for staying relaxed during client meetings: Go in with the mindset that you already have the job. It will help you talk to the clients in a professional yet relaxed manner, and open up your personality to potential clients. This will help them feel comfortable around you, thus helping your chances of getting the job. After all, if they feel as though you're already working for them, it only helps your chances.
5. Be punctual to meetings and follow-up.
This step is self-explanatory. Don’t be late to meetings with potential clients. It shows respect for their time and lets them know that your project timeline will be accurate.
If you are held up at another job or meeting, be sure to call your potential clients beforehand to let them know you will be late.
After the meeting, be sure to follow-up with your potential clients 3-5 days later with a brief phone call or voicemail. Just kindly ask if they are doing well, and ask if they need any more information on your services or have any more questions about the project. If they are interested, they will call you back. Even if they don’t call you back, you will have still left a good impression for other potential client referrals down the road.