The home improvement market is booming! Homeowners are expected to spend more and more each year on home improvement projects and remodeling. According to LIRA, the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, home improvement and repair expenses will reach an 8.0% increase by the start of 2017, well in excess of its 4.9% historical average.
With a thriving market it can be easy for home improvement contractors to remain busy during the start of the new year, well into spring and summer, but what happens to business growth as we move into this year’s fall and winter months? It can be hard to recognize and determine if you are experiencing real growth or are just busy. The question all contractors should be asking is, “Do I have a growth strategy to close more sales and finish the year strong?”
This is where your marketing efforts, coupled with your sales process and ability to provide a choice of payment options, become an integral part of your business’ growth.
You may feel like you have exhausted all your lead generation efforts, but there are simple ways to grow your business without relying on additional expensive advertising initiatives.
As a business owner, you know that many homeowners visit your website before they call to request an estimate or book an appointment. There are a few simple things you can do to transform your website and increase the trust a customer has in your reputation for being an expert in the industry, as well an increase your referrals and repeat business.
For example, just by adding a Before & After Page to your website you will be able to showcase your work, but also increase trust and referrals by displaying your range of expertise and project scope by featuring a variety of finished job photos. In addition, you can add a Testimonial Page that will showcase your customer reviews and positive feedback from homeowners whose opinions you may collect on a review card after every job your team completes.
Don’t slow your offline marketing efforts! In addition to small adjustments you can make to your website, there are also simple marketing tactics you can employ leading into the fall and winter months. There is no need to go crazy and start a new advertising campaign right around the holidays, but it is important to make sure you are still generating buzz about your business. The easiest way to accomplish this is through door hangers in neighborhoods, continuing to ask for referrals, as well as sending direct mail promotions. It is also imperative to remember to post your business cards around local coffee shops and hardware stores, or anywhere else there are community sharing boards in your market area.
In addition to making sure that your marketing strategy is primed for growth, it is important to make sure that your sales strategy is too. For most home improvement contractors, steady lead generation throughout the year is their top business goal.
So what changes can you make right now in your sales process that will bring new business your way? The answer is simple, offer a choice of payment options to every customer, and watch price objections decline, project upgrades increase, and your referral marketing efforts naturally strengthened.
When your sales team is responding to a prospect who wants to schedule an appointment or estimate, they should mention the availability of a choice of payment. This will reduce price objections later and allow them some wiggle room to adjust their budget if they so please. There are also other opportunities for the sales rep to mention a choice of payment options when building rapport with the potential customer at the beginning of a sales call and when presenting the project estimate. After your customers have a great experience and get the project they really want, with the freedom to make payments how they want, your chances at gaining referrals will increase as they will be more likely to talk to their friends and family about their positive experience.
Besides revamping some of your marketing efforts, integrating a choice of payment options into your sales process will help you achieve the following:
Your sales team will find that many homeowners like to finance their home improvement projects and they are looking for a contractor who offers a choice of payment options. It saves the customer time in finding a lender on their own to work with, and decreases stress because you are acting as a total solutions provider by making the entire process incredibly streamlined and simple.
It’s easy to make the assumption that your business is growing because you and your team are “busy.” But once you prime your business for growth by making a few updates to your website, devote attention to your offline marketing efforts and improve your sales process to include a choice of payment options, you will start to see immediate results and exponential growth!