Getting To The Right Customers At The Right TimeOliver Olinger, Writer
When prospecting for customers, contractors can draw on many tactics to help land the job. Getting to the right neighborhoods at the right time, networking with other contractors and participating in your community can help put your company at the front of everyone’s mind, in a positive light.
Reaching Out And Being Seen
A successful outreach campaign involves a combination of strategies, including:
- Targeting older neighborhoods at the right time
- Working overtime during and after storm season
- Networking with other contractors
- Establishing a presence at festivals, home shows and special events
- Being active in the community
- Customizing campaigns on social media
Targeting Older Neighborhoods
Older neighborhoods can be good places to scout for business. Assuming you don’t want to drive all over the place, visit the property appraiser’s office and research areas where homes might need new roofs. Most property appraisers also have searchable databases online.
Once you've identified the neighborhoods you want, you can reach out through fliers or door hangers. Be sure to include a customized call to action on each flier so you can track your efforts. Also consider placing yard signs at busy intersections in your chosen neighborhoods, and step up your signage after a storm or in the spring when people receive their tax refunds and are more likely to have the funds for a new roof. (More on how to use fliers, yard signs and print advertising to promote your business can be read in Winter Business Strategies, Part 3.)
Storm Season Overtime
Keep an eye on Mother Nature. After a storm, homeowners want roof repairs or replacements as soon as possible. AnythingWeather offers a suite of services called HailWATCH that is marketed specifically to roofers. It offers real-time weather alerts and detailed maps. Read more about post-storm roofing business in Handling The Surge.
Expand Your Professional Network
Get to know contractors who don’t work in your business. Homeowners who just had their kitchen redone might mention to their contractor that they’re thinking of getting a new roof. Wouldn’t it be nice if that contractor handed the homeowners your business card? And when you’re installing a new roof and your customers mention that they need a new kitchen, you can confidently reply, “I know a guy.”
Maintaining a network of contractors allows each contractor type (carpeting, painting, tile, cabinetry, roofing) to share leads with each other. Just remember that “sharing leads” is a give-and-take relationship, so don’t forget to send some work to your friends.
Making Your Presence Known
Participating in events can be an effective way to get to know potential customers. Rent a booth during festivals, county fairs, home and garden shows or other special events. Ask local hardware stores about setting up a booth for a weekend, and then host a contest or a giveaway. Atlas Roofing has branded merchandise available for promotional events through its Atlas Pro™ page.
Events also present an opportunity for you to do some research through polling. For instance, ask people:
- Have you ever had your roof replaced?
- How old is your house?
- Have you ever had your roof inspected for damage?
- What zip code do you live in?
The answers will help you zero in on neighborhoods with a concentration of potential customers. And don’t forget to provide a form for customers to schedule their free inspection.
Building Trust In The Community
Community involvement is a great way to network and market. Contractors may overlook community participation because it doesn't involve any direct call to action. In other words, you might not have an opportunity to say, “call now for a free estimate” or “schedule a roof inspection today,” but that doesn’t mean you won’t see long-term benefits.
Name recognition coupled with visible activity in your community can influence homeowners to think of you first when they consider a new roof. Community involvement also lets you associate your name with a popular event, organization or location. Here are some examples:
- Sponsor and/or coach a local sports team
- Sponsor an event or a festival
- Contribute to a public park
- Help build a community center
- Hold a fundraising event or race
- Get involved with your church
- Get involved with a charity such as Habitat for Humanity
Just being present at an event means meeting and networking with potential future customers.
Hand out your card, offer to take a look at someone’s roof and show off some of your previous work. You never know when you might meet someone who has a roof problem.
Targeting Customers Online
Consumers shop online these days, and contractors should understand how to target potential customers in cyberspace.
Facebook lets you set demographic criteria, business goals and objectives and variable messaging to place ads into the social feeds of thousands of people who might not otherwise notice what you’re selling.
Prices are reasonable and budgets depend on the size of the audience and the length of time the ad (or boosted post) runs. Be sure to include a call to action with your phone number, email and/or a link to your website.
Google My Business is a free, easy-to-use tool that lets contractors manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps, and improve their local search rankings.
For more information on using Facebook or Google My Business, including Google AdWords and Pay Per Click, check out our Winter Business Strategies, Part 2 article.
Atlas Roofing And Quality
Targeting customers can be a challenge, but knowing where and when to find them can help you generate more leads and close more sales.
Contact Atlas Roofing today to learn more about Atlas Pro contractor services.