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Be Proactive With Your Remodeling Prospects and Especially Those That You Have Done an Estimate or Consultation For

One of the worst things that can happen in any business is investing time with someone (a prospect) who you feel is worth it, and doing a free estimate (or even a paid one) and not getting the job.  First of all, please don't do free estimates with the hope and pray method - "I really hope and pray that if I do this free estimate that the price will be right for them and they will hire me." This is just not a smart way to do business and doing an estimate does not increase the likelihood that you will land the job. But for all those who still do estimates or consultations as part of your sales process I have a proven method for helping you land more of the jobs. 

Keep in mind that even those contractors who have great sales processes still get burned by tire kickers and those who are only looking for the cheapest quote. It happens to the best of us. Be aware and stop investing your time into people who aren't committed to you financially or those who say things like "I am getting like 10 quotes for my new deck remodel". Pass! If you haven't done your job with positioning yourself in your local market correctly, the free estimate seeking prospect sees you as nothing more than a quote. 

Flat out, free estimates are a terrible business strategy and completely kills your positioning and will waste a lot of your time. Estimates should only be used after an intitial consultation (phone or in person), and maybe not at all. Every person that conacts you is not a good fit for your business so why are you doing an estimate for everyone that asks?  Offer to do a free consultation or project review where you ask lots of great questions and get to the bottom of what they are really looking for. Price is not going to be priority #1 for most reasonable people. Asking lots of great questions will quickly reveal if the person(s) sitting in front of you is a good fit for you or not. This should all be part of a consistent sales process that is documented and repeatable. 

Now, if you do get to the stage where you have taken the time to do free estimate or extended project consultation as part of your sales process, you need to improve and perfect your follow up process. These are big ticket sales and you should be able to afford to send them something really nice in the mail a day or two after you send them the estimate or project consultation.  Emailing them is weak. Calling them is better. Inviting them to a special event is even better.

But the #1 strategy you should be implementing in your post estimate and consultation process is direct mail in combination with some automated nurturing email nurturing.

No matter what you send in the mail, make sure you include a handwritten personalized note or letter. This will go a long way and your competition is NOT doing any of this. I had a client tell me the other day that they were "way too busy to stop and send

Here are some ideas for direct mail (lumpy mail) pieces you can send after the estimate or consultation:

  • Send Them a Copy of Your Book:  Yes! You should consider writing a book. You would be the only person in your local market that has authored a book and would give you a huge step up on your competitors. 20-30 page books are highly effective and there are all kinds of topics you could write about. If you are a terrible writter, have a ghost writter do it for you. 
  • Send Them a Gift:  Thank them for considering you and show them you appreciate them even before you do business. This will plant a big seed in their mind that if this is what you do before they are even a client, they can only imagine how well you would treat them during and after becoming a client. 
  • Personalized Video Message: There are several direct mail companies out there that can help you develop a personalized video book that you can mail. Connect the book to your computer, upload a quick 2-5 minute personalized video and send in the mail. Your prospect will be blown away!
  • Personalized Message in a Blueprint Tube: This works really well for those in the custom whole house remodeling, additions, or home building business. Send them a really cool message, sample design, or something creative in a large blueprint tube and mail it. This will certainly grab their attention. 
  • Anything Lumpy: Lumpy or bulky mail gets opened so brainstorm some different things you can send in the mail that are 3-D. Think about what your prospect may like or might grab their attention. Do they have kids? Are they into sports? Do they like wine?  

I hope you get the idea and I could go on forever with direct mail ideas and post estimate follow up for this industry. The point here is that you cannot just leave an estimate out there and hope that they hire you. You need to go after that business and that communication needs to come from multiple places with direct mail being the most important. If you believe 100% in what you do this shouldn't be a problem. You have already invested the time in the estimate now it's just a matter of making sure that they know how much you wan to help them.

Be a pest by being nice. Be memorable. You will earn more business and a higher post estimate close rate if you become more proactive after the estimate is in your prospects hands.  Don't let your estimate just sit there!

Need some help figuring out your strengths and weaknesses in your remodeling business? 

You are probably losing over a million dollars per year or more from bad marketing or NO marketing. Let me help you figure out what to do next with my Free Marketing Strategy Session. I also have a couple of additional bonuses I want to put in your hands as well. I am not sure how long we can offer this so sign up today to get on my schedule. Click here to find out more....

3 Strategies to Generate and Measure Growth in Your Remodeling Business – Part 3

Part 3 of 3

3) Automate Your Lead Nurturing and Retention:

If you already have a great web presence for your remodeling business and are currently getting lots of traffic and conversions from different marketing sources, you are most likely in a great position to double sales in the next 6-12 months by automating your lead nurturing and retention strategy. Yes, that's right, you can DOUBLE sales in the next 6-12 months by implementing this. Retention and automation is actually something that I have struggled with for years and put it off because I just did not have time and felt it was too complicated to implement. Boy was I wrong! Once you have the right system in place, you can let the system do most of the work for you.

There are several great solutions out there to help you implement and manage automatic follow-up and retention marketing, it’s just a matter of find the right one for your business. Its take a little bit of time and effort to get it setup properly, but this is not something any business should go without. Getting a new lead is only about 1/2 the battle. That prospect wants to be nurtured and you have to do a better job than your competitors at positioning you or your company as the expert. I don’t care if you are a siding contractor, dentist, or water damage remediation company, you need to develop a series of automated follow up “touches” to let your prospect know the following:

  • Appreciation - thank them for requesting more information, estimate, consult, etc.
  • Next Steps - let them know what the next steps will be (phone call, series of emails, questionnaire, etc).
  • Confirmation - let them know they made the right choice by choosing your company.
  • Information - be the clear expert in your industry by providing great information after the conversion and on a monthly basis (Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Roofer, 3 Key Things to Look for When Choosing a Siding Product).
  • Referrals - ask for referrals, this can easily be automated and done in a very classy yet effective way.

The simplest way is to generate an email follow up sequence using an software that can do this for you. Personally, I love Infusionsoft and think it's a great tool for remodeling contractors as well. And don't forget to create another automated follow up sequence for those customers who you just finished a job for. Customers want to feel appreciated every time they give you their hard earned money. You are not doing them a favor no matter how much money (or lack thereof) you charged them for your work. Believe me, your competitors are not doing any of this and wasting valuable leads that just need a little more information and nurturing to help them make a decision.

There are many ways you can nurture prospects and get more referrals and have the entire process 100% automated. Stop complaining about the recession and too much competition and implement the 3 strategies I have laid out in the series. I guarantee that you can become the leader in your market if you do all of the above even just marginally well. It does not have to be perfect, just good enough or better than your competition. Learn some basic copy writing or hire an expert to do it for you. Implement a track and measure strategy and be everywhere your customers are. The money is out there in every marketing and it is not going away. Baby boomers and their children are in position to inherit $27 Trillion over the next 4 decades (source: WSJ) and are going to invest in all kinds of goods and services.

That’s why I personally love the remodeling industry and I feel its positioned for some of the biggest growth the industry has ever seen. Are you in position to capture a big slice of that $27 Trillion?

Didn't get a chance to read Part 1 or Part 2? Part 1 - Track and Measure Part 2 - Be Everywhere Your Customers Are

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and my download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today.