There are many strangers desperately looking for the product or service you provide. While that sounds like a great problem to have, the real issue is that many have never even heard of you! How do you get in front of these people, and once you do, how do you convince them you’re the right person for the job?
Getting In Front of Your Target Market
Your target market is anyone who may be interested in your product or service, but may have never heard of you. In order to get your name out there you need to start marketing.
Ask your past clients how they heard about you and how they went about looking for the type of work that you do. If they used review services like Angie’s List, make sure you have a presence there by asking clients to review your company. If they use Google or another search engine to find services in their area, use search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure potential customers can find your website.
Do many of your customers and potential customers have Facebook accounts? Let social media and referrals work for you by asking clients to review your business on your page and setting up a Facebook Ad or two. Ads are reasonably priced and you can make sure yours are shown to the right audience. For example, you could target ads to people within 25 miles of your address that identify themselves as homeowners.
Once someone from your target market has shown an interest in your service they become a lead.
Even though they’ve shown an interest, they may or may not be ready to make a purchase. Provide the information they need whether they’re ready to buy or not. Have your services and pricing listed for those just beginning their research, and more detailed information including why your lead should choose you over your competition for those ready to buy.
If you’re not sure how you differ from your competition, a simple web search for similar services in your area, and a look through your competitors’ websites and social media should give you a good idea of what they offer and how to differentiate yourself.
Have an open line of communication with your lead. If they have already contacted you, you have a phone number or email address. Give them a quick call or send an email to see what they need help with. They may be hesitant about the price or unsure about what services they need. Whatever it is, show them how you can help!
One of the best experiences I’ve had with a contractor involved a busted sump pump in the middle of winter. A string of single degree days lead to an abundance of frozen pipes, so it was impossible to find anyone to come out on short notice. Fortunately for me, one plumber called me back, even though he was booked solid for weeks, and walked me through a temporary fix for my situation. He may have not gotten a sale right then and there, but you can be sure he will be at the top of my list for all my future plumbing needs.
Building Loyal Customers
Just because you’ve landed the job and your lead is now a customer doesn’t mean you stop caring. Cultivating a relationship with existing customers is just as important as making them a customer in the first place.
An open line of communication isn’t just important in the lead stage. Take the time to really listen to your customer’s wants and needs and build their trust. Trust makes people want to do business with you again and makes it likely they’ll refer you to others.
Show that you know what you’re doing and that you have the customer’s best interests in mind even after the job is done. Write a few blog posts on your website or send a newsletter with info on things your customers care about, like tips on care and maintenance, or ideas for related projects.
The common thread here is communication. Communicate with your past customers to find out the best places to market your business. Communicate the value of your business to your leads. And communicate with your current customers to find out what they need and want, to build trust, and to ask for referrals.