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.
The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
Contractors' can employ effective marketing strategies even though they do not have a website. Most marketing experts recommend that all companies build a website but what about those who flat out refuse to do so?
Contractors are starting to get busy with spring projects in the Boston and Metrowest Mass markets. Many clients are starting to see their marketing efforts pay off with more lead generation. These contractors are getting back to basic marketing they left when things were very busy and a blind squirrel could find work. Most of the basic steps cost little or no money.
Contractors Report 2011 Sales Are Up Over 2010; Are Your's?
- Have your customers gone to your contractor competition because they forgot what you do?
- Are you marketing your contracting business to your client base?
- Does your customer base even know if you are still in business?
- When is the last time you spoke with all your customers?
Many contractors are contacting us to see if we can help them generate leads right away. Their phone is not ringing like it used to. You may have noticed that referrals are not enough to keep lead flow where it needs to be. Marketing approaches that used work are not working in the current climate.
A few months ago I discovered a company on ContractorTalk that is a great resource for marketing ideas for remodeling and trade contractors. The owner of the company is Mark Buckshon and he has been working with contractors for many years. He is in touch with the contractor's needs, understands consumers and has great insights for marketing your business. I frequently read and learn from his site and always come away with ideas that can help my business as well as my contractor coaching clients. I recommend you sign up for his newsletter and visit his site frequently. Here is his blog link.
This past week I posted a simple question on the Linkedin NARI group. It was, should contractor organizations and trade publications lead the charge to protect contractors from lead gen companies tactics. Little did I realize, that the thread hit a nerve in a big way with many contractors throughout the country. The responses blew me away and started a strong and passionate debate about the subject. This debate is likely to continue for weeks. The basic problem is how lead gen sites use questionable tactics to sell low quality leads to contractors. There are thousands of verifiable complaints about lead gen firms all over the web on forums.
When business is slow it is prudent to find cost effective ways to lower costs. Some items can be pared down wisely with minimal adverse effects to the operation, and some should not be cut, instead increased. A common belief is that marketing should be cut. Cutting marketing is a huge mistake that precedes serious damage to the health of a business. We are hearing from many contractors and businesses that they are falling short in the sales and lead generation department. We ask if they are marketing their business and most say "no we are cutting marketing and not doing that right now. We need more business then we can increase marketing." Go figure!
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.