TOMA or top of mind awareness is a very important concept to practice in your daily business. Tapping your existing customer base and referrals are the best source of future work. I am reposting a very popular blog post that has helped many contractors from late 2011.
From The Contractor Coaching Partnership Archives; Generating Referrals
I spoke with a contractor business associate this week and as always the subject of how is your business doing came up. He said he was doing great, plenty of work, backlog of 6 months. I said good for you how are you doing it?
He said he is working hard on his TOMA. (Top of Mind Awareness)
He said he was disappointed with conventional marketing and his web site was getting hits but not leading to enough business to keep things chugging along. He was sick and tired of paying for advertising, home shows and other media.
I asked him what did you do? He said I am focusing on 5 things.
- I contacted everyone I have worked for in the past 11 years. I called some, made in person visits, sent some emails. In the process I was able to update their information, obtained emails and removed those who no longer live in the house I remodeled. What I found out was many thought I had gone out of business due to the economy. Thank God I called them because I landed some great projects. I love working for people I already know.
- I asked my past and current clients for referrals often. I used to be weak at asking for referrals but now I make it a point to do it 3 or more times when I am working for someone.
- I made a simple flier and hand deliver it to the neighbors of my clients. I usually deliver 30 plus fliers. I make a point of doing it when I am at the job. In addition I have found if I make a point to visit my client on the weekend I can usually get a personal invitation to meet a neighbor. Plus the neighbors are usually home on the weekend. Sometimes I take one of the kids to help daddy. People love to see dad the contractor.
- I started a strategic mailing campaign to the homes around my projects. I send a post card out at the beginning of the job, the middle and the end. They are pre made and go out on a schedule.
- Now that I have my email list up to date I send out brief email newsletters to my clients. I learned how to use a simple newsletter service. Another side benefit I did not expect is my website is starting to produce good opportunities.
Now all the people I am working for are either former clients, referrals from from former clients and current customers and the neighbors.
Another great lesson that I learned is that you need to stay in touch with your clients. Everyone is busy. You would like to think that they will always remember you, however people forget you if you are not on the top of their mind. When one of my long time customers thought I went out of business with the economy it became clear to me that I needed to make an effort to get in touch with all my clients. I have learned that I need to at least touch them every other month or more if possible."
Who knows how much business my associate lost because his clients forgot him. A very important part of marketing your business is to stay in touch with your customer base. Second it is vital to ask for referrals as well.
- Are your former clients going to call you for their next remodeling or home improvement project?
- Do they know that you are still in business?
- Or do you think because they haven't heard from you since you worked for them then either you are out of business or maybe you forgot them?
How is your TOMA (Top of Mind Awareness) program doing?
If your too busy to do it or not sure where to start call us and we can help.
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