Traditional marketing mediums are not producing the quality leads residential remodelers, general contractors and home improvement companies need to keep busy. Newspapers, post cards, newsletters, print advertising are not producing the needed results. Contractors are saving their money and focusing on marketing efforts that have a higher return on investment. We are seeing a huge investment in time spent on networking activities.
The benefit in belly to belly or face to face marketing, is you decide who you will invest your time with. Identify your target customer, preferably the one with discretionary spending ability or in your chosen niche. Figure out what you have to do to fish where the big fish are located and do it.
Before you embark on your networking activities prepare you elevator speech well in advance and brush up on networking etiquette.
Here is a list of some networking activities to consider;
1. Join the local chamber and go to business after hours, breakfasts and lunches. Chamber members are usually business owners or higher disposable income professionals.
2. Join a BNI referral group.
3. Go personally visit all your professional service vendors and encourage them to share customer contact lists. This includes your insurance agent, CPA, banker, lawyer, dentist, doctor, chiropractor, nutritionist, personal trainer, health club owners, hair dresser and don't forget your shrink.
4. Hold networking events at your showroom for all your subs and vendors and develop strategic alliances to exchange leads. If you don't have a showroom work with someone who does like your cabinet supplier. Offer a door prize like a tool for a carpenter or one day of handyman service for a homeowner.
5. Hold catered open houses at your clients house after the work is completed. Invite prospects, vendors, subs and people who worked on the project.
6. Encourage your employees to generate referrals and give them a $75.00 referral fee whether you sell it or not.
7. Attend community events where movers and shakers tend to congregate. Hold your own event to support some cause specific to your community.
8. Attend road races, bike races, church events, fairs, political fund raisers.
These are just some of the things creative remodelers and contractors are doing all over the country. The key is to make sure that you are thinking outside the box and investing your time and money wisely. If something is working keep doing it. If not, move on to something else. The monetary cost of networking is low and the ROI tends to be very high if you do it well in front of the right people. Remember to be prepared to network, stay positive and have fun.