Contractormag 10272 Heartbreak

All of your advertising is worthless unless you get this right

Jan. 12, 2018
What I’m referring to is the old “love ‘em and leave ‘em” scenario. You know how it goes. Home service companies spend tons of money or time, effort and hard work advertising to suspects with the hopes of finding some prospects.

It’s a fact. Not a pretty one, but a fact just as well. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to you. It’s happened to my customers. And it’s happened to yours. And worse, it’s likely happening to you right now and it’s probably costing you a lot of money.

What I’m referring to is the old “love ‘em and leave ‘em” scenario. You know how it goes. Home service companies spend tons of money or time, effort and hard work advertising to suspects with the hopes of finding some prospects.

Eventually, some of those prospects contact you by phone or website for an “estimate” or service call. Then we send a salesperson or technician to visit them, make some sort of sales presentation with the hope that enough of them will sign a contract and turn into a paying customer.

Then, an amazing thing happens. After all the work of making the lead, setting the appointment, dispatching the service tech or salesperson, proving our value, getting the customer to approve our proposal.... then, finally getting to the actual work we’re being paid for...we complete the project for the customer, collect our final payment and without so much as a proper “thank you,” we’re off to the next job, the next customer, the next check.

You see, we “loved ‘em” enough to get them to purchase one time, but once the transaction was complete we “left ‘em”… never to contact that customer again.

Too many in the home service business view their customers as one-time, one-and-done sales events. Or, worse, naively believe that just because you serviced them once, they are now somehow magically loyal to their business and will return every time they need their product or service. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

How do I know… because I made the same expensive mistake. As someone who has owned five home improvement companies, spent a fortune on advertising and now works with home improvement companies to grow their sales, profits and equity value, I can tell you without hesitation, this is a critical and costly marketing mistake.

Here is the sad truth — your customer is human, and they’re busy, busier than ever, in fact. So, anywhere from five seconds to five hours to five days after the transaction/service/job has occurred, your customer has likely forgotten about you, your business and your product or service.

And unless you do something to continually jar their memory... to reinforce your relationship... to remind them of who you are, how to find you, the solutions you provide and a constant incentive to do business with you again... chances are good that you’ll never see them again.

Create, keep and multiply. Don’t only be focused on creating, the real money is in the keeping and multiplying.

You want lower lead costs? You want better quality leads? You want to close more sales? You want more referrals? You want your business to be worth something one day?

The great Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” Notice, he didn’t say the purpose of a business is to create just a sale. The truth is, you can make a very nice living off of just hunting for new sales every day, but, if you want long-term success and real wealth in your business, you better get good at extracting the maximum profit value of every customer.

So how do you do it?

If you are really serious about having a business that makes as much money as it could, affords you the opportunity to have a life away from the business and builds real wealth for you and your family, the only way is with a system for creating profitable relationships with your customers.

You see, if you’re in the home services business, your job is to not just create a customer, but to also keep that customer, and multiply that customer. Create, keep and multiply. Create, keep and multiply. Don’t only be focused on creating, the real money is in the keeping and multiplying.

Every successful home service entrepreneur I know and/or work with has a system for not only creating customers, but keeping them coming back for more and multiplying their value.

To create a system like this, you can follow these steps:

1)    Everything starts with delivering nothing less than a wow customer experience from the very first interaction with your company.

2)    Expand your footprint off of each job — job signs, canvassing, mail, etc. — to get the word out.

3)    Sincerely say Thank You and show your appreciation to make your customer feel special, reinforce their choice and boost their trust and confidence in you.

4)    Get their feedback, make sure they really were thrilled — not just “satisfied” — with the job you did for them. Then, get them to go offline — family, church, work, neighborhood — and online — Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. — to tell everyone they know — and don’t know — about you.

5)    Immediately and proactively work to get them to come back for their second, then third purchase. Here is an interesting and potentially profitable statistic for you: A customer who has only purchased from you once has a 27 percent chance to visit again, but someone who has made three purchases has a 54 percent chance to make a fourth. The beauty of plumbing and HVAC businesses is that there is always a need in the home. Your job is to incentivize your customers to come back again.

6)    And, finally, keep in touch with them regularly using a mix of all forms of communication, phone, email, direct mail and personal visits. And by all means, have a customer newsletter.

Might sound like a lot of work to some, but not to those who want to build a solid business. In fact, build a system like this, and your business will market itself.

So, stop with the old love ‘em and leave ‘em. Have a little more respect for your customers and for your business. Get your system in place for turning your customer into one, two or five more — otherwise, your business will never reach its full profit potential. If you want to see what a system like this looks like, go watch this video:

Brian Kaskavalciyan is the co-founder of gFour Marketing Group and the author of “How to Double Your Profits in Six Months or Less.” Since 2009 he has been providing automated marketing solutions for hundreds of home service/improvement companies around the country. Their focus is on increasing customer value, generating more repeat business, more referrals and more online reviews. You can find them at

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