Home Improvement Advertising During COVID
Home Improvement Advertising During COVID
I get this question all the time. Some of the best home improvement advertising fails during the best of times, now we have COVID. The main reason I see this happen is…
During the presentation, no one asks for the sale!
If you can’t bring yourself to ask for the sale after you’ve gotten in your truck, drove to the appointment, spent the time it takes to build credibility and rapport and spent whatever you’ve spent on home improvement advertising, then be OK with “we’ll let you know.” Shame on you!
What to do instead
There are a number of ways to get to a decision, and it really is a decision you want; either yes or no, but a decision nonetheless.
Taking all the little no’s out of your home improvement advertising
There is a way to get to a big yes simply by answering a lot of the little yes’ and taking away all the little no’s in your home improvement advertising. Things like “yes we finance” or “we can complete jobs quickly” can answer a lot of the questions homeowners have before you ever sit down with them.
Now you are removing all the little obstacles that the homeowner could throw at you. This leads to a higher closing ratio and a higher ROI and ROAS for your home improvement advertising efforts.
But you have to make sure you ask for the sale!
You have gotten to the end of your presentation, you are sitting there waiting for the Jones’ to say, “great stuff Bob, when can you start”? But that doesn’t happen…ever. Instead, you have to take the lead and direct them to the answer you want by confirming all your little check-in’s from your advertising and during your presentation to once again remove any lingering doubt they may have…then you move in and ASK FOR THE SALE!
More jobs are lost because the job wasn’t asked for than for any other reason. There is no mechanism in place in most presentations to actually try and deliver the business.
What you may see is something like; the calendar is open next week, or I am on a job now but will be able to fit you in three weeks. Again, this isn’t asking for the sale.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones, have I answered all of your questions satisfactorily? If yes, do you have any further questions that have come up during the presentation? If no, do you think the price is fair? IS THERE ANY OTHER REASON THAT WOULD PREVENT US FROM MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER?
That is asking for the sale. So go back and run through your sales call process right now, and ask yourself this question:
Do you ask for the sale during the call? If not, it’s time to make some changes!
Selling Doesn’t Have to Be Salesy-Sell Your Personality
Selling and home improvement advertising with personality is what helps you stand out from your competition. How? If you can translate your profession into a conversation or an ad without even talking about selling, you can sell. Some of the best craftsmen I have even come across can’t “sell”, but they can speak to their work with such a passion that it is infectious, which makes people want to buy!
That’s Why Emotion Beats Square Footage
You have to realize that you are probably selling the second or third most expensive item (major remodeling) that the Jones’ are ever going to buy. That means you have to be able to take away any objections you can. A great way to do that is by selling with emotion, not selling the additional square feet. Everyone can sell added storage, a bigger kitchen, or new appliances, and that’s why you will do better selling on emotions.
What’s selling on emotion mean?
You take all those things I just mentioned and you paint a picture, in both your home improvement advertising and your presentations. You talk about spending the holidays in their new kitchen, more family time spent in their new family room or media room, and you talk about better mornings and easier evenings in their new master bedroom. Learn how to tell a story predicated on emotion and you won’t have to sell square footage, you will simply be the dream maker!
But it Starts With Treating Your Website Just Like Your Best Salesperson!
Your website is digital salesmanship. In fact, it’s the same as print, TV or radio. The principles are distinctly similar which means the successes and failures are usually because of the same things.
That’s why your website needs to answer common sales questions as well as be a champion to your home improvement advertising both online and off.
Let me hammer home that point. The only reason to have a website today is to help you sell.
Your website is either profitable or unprofitable according to the actual sales you can attribute to it. It is not a Rolodex card, your website should be YOUR BEST SALESPERSON!
So force your website to justify itself. Compare it with other salespeople in the organization. Compare it to the rest of your home improvement advertising, figure out the cost, and what are the results.
You wouldn’t accept excuses from salesmen, bad ad copy, art, shitty mailing lists, or radio spots that suck, so why do so many contractors accept poor sales results from their websites?
Because it’s the last thing they think of but the first thing their prospects see!
As a matter of fact, your website SHOULD OUTSELL EVERYONE IN YOUR COMPANY! Your website is multiplied by salesmanship. It is sales to a factor of 10 because it sees more eyeballs than any other home improvement advertising you do!
Maybe you are trying to justify the cost of your first website, or maybe it’s time for an upgrade, how do you justify a website’s cost? Do you compare it to the rest of your home improvement advertising?
Well, you spend thousands per mail drop, magazine placement, or radio run, but a good website is going to be around long after the sound of the announcer’s voice has fallen silent, and since this has to be your digital representation, don’t be cheap.
Salespeople cost A LOT and even the best hit for average. The superstars swing at 10 pitches and maybe hit .500. Sure, that’s Hall of Fame material but what we all forget is the other 50%, they bought from someone…just not you.
Before you spend a dime on home improvement advertising, salespeople, or trucks, your website should sell.
To build a great site, think of your website as ad-writing. You need to present the problem, agitate the problem, and solve the problem all on the same page, on EVERY page.
Your website needs to get your point across quickly, clearly, and convincingly, just like any salesperson.
You are hiring your website to do a job. Spend some time making sure you have the right website for that job…and remember…
This is How You Keep Selling Simple
You may be a great carpenter, a fantastic handyman, or a skilled cabinet maker, but you are a salesperson first.
Too many contractors forget about that last part. They think, I can do this well, so people will come and buy it.
That isn’t how it works.
Everyone is in sales, and most contractors overcomplicate it. Selling is a contact sport.
1: Talk to a client or customer who can buy
2: Find out if they are interested
3: Make your offer, talk price, and ask for the sale
It’s really that simple, but it isn’t always easy. The most successful contractors figure out how to simplify their sales process and then repeat it often.
Stop producing poor
Home Improvement Advertising and Start Doing This
Turn your sales process into a solutions-based system that gets people what they want. This will cut down your sales cycle, keep your margins, improve your ROAS on your home improvement advertising. Or you can just keep selling more square feet or a better countertop. Up to you.
But Who Says You Have to Be The Salesman Too?
You have spent years developing your craft. No one can spackle, paint, build, remodel, or demo better than you. But you can’t convey that message to a prospect to save your life. Then maybe, after you have a kick-ass website, hiring a salesperson is what the doctor ordered.
Selling is a tough business. Maybe not as tough as digging a trench, but there are times I would have traded you. Seriously, being told no is one of the toughest things for people to hear and you have to really develop a thick skin.
But you don’t take kindly to no, do you?
That’s why bringing a salesperson or team into the organization might be your answer. Salespeople are used to doors being slammed in their faces both figuratively and literally. The one bit of advice I give to contractors who bring on sales staff is this: make them get their hands dirty too!
A lot of times sales teams are put together by former workers who have aspired to get out there and close business, and that is really a win-win for the contractor-owner. But more times than not, you are going to be working with someone who is good at selling, but not good at digging trenches. My advice is to make them dig trenches or paint fences or unclog toilets or whatever it is you do BEFORE you let them talk to a client.
Whatever it is you do, a crash course for a week or two will do wonders during future sales calls. It will give your new sales pro an intimate understanding of what it is you do, and better still, how to explain it to a client or customer. And you get a bit of free labor too since you don’t pay them during training!
While We Are On The Topic of Salespeople
Construction marketing today is more about a story than being the best at price, service, or craftsmanship. If you use these 3 attributes in your sales presentations, you need to come up with 3 other things. Price, service, and craftsmanship should all be the best, they are the ante, not something you aspire to. Distinguish yourself from your competition based on something else besides price, service, and craftsmanship.
Keeping it Real With Yourself and Your Home Improvement Advertising
You do that by keeping things simple. In a fast-paced world, simply keeping things simple isn’t so…nah, I’m not going to do it, but you get the point.
In an era where serving the public is as hard as ever, we all fall victim to trying to serve as many masters (clients) as possible.
You’ve done it, I’ve done it, and what do we get for it?
You want as many prospects as possible to know that there isn’t a square inch of their house you can’t fix, build, paint, plaster, replace, re-tile, or repurpose. That should all come out in your home improvement advertising.
As a digital agency serving home improvement companies, we can do it all too.
But it was time to eat our own dog food
Eating your own dog food is a Silicon Valley term meaning to use your own product, or in my case, taking my own advice.
By eating our own dog food, we stripped away the fancy homepage design with the big image slider and the never-ending homepage scroll typically seen on agency sites or any site today for that matter. Instead, what you will see today is what made us successful in the first place; a site layout that features simple campaigns that get the job done.
But the change wasn’t just aesthetic
If you go to the homepage of the site, you see our Apprentice plan, our Journeyman plan, and finally, our Master plan. You see a pricing grid, a big headline promoting The Contractor’s Toolbox (the sales page for the three plans mentioned above), a testimonial, and finally, a pricing table.
That’s it. That’s all I wanted because I want the site (and our services) to be simple to consume, easy to manage, and easy to navigate.
Sure, we’ve updated our Apprentice, Journeyman and Master plans to include reviews management, Instagram posting (replacing Google+), and added blogging support, but this is where we saw the most growth over our last 15 years and we are doubling down by stripping away everything that I think got in our way to provide you with the core service offerings that give you the two things we sell; time and expertise.
And that’s the other thing you should know, and your home improvement advertising should convey, what exactly are you selling?
We don’t sell social media management, blogging help, or website design, we sell TIME and EXPERTISE! By giving you back your time each month, you get to spend the hours you would be spending on this stuff doing things that you are an expert in. By selling your expertise, you can feel comfortable knowing your online world is taken care of.
That’s it, we keep it simple. We sell time and expertise.
What is it again that you do? Now, is that consistent with what YOU sell?
A 3-Step Plan to Kick Your Competitor’s Asses
I’ve got a great tip for you, and it doesn’t matter if you just started your construction business this summer or if you are celebrating your 40th summer.
If you want to beat your competition and spend the least amount of money on home improvement advertising doing it, then listen up. I’m going to give you the best way to do it…and it’s right there on your own website. Ready?
Instead of trying to outspend your competition on advertising, you out-teach them right there on your own blog!
You spend your time creating content that helps people. By out-teaching your competition via blogging, you will become the expert that everyone goes to.
Here’s a quick three-step guide to kicking your competition’s ass:
Step 1: Use images of completed work as the foundation of your content. Talk about the products and processes you used. How you integrated it into the project, what difficulties you overcame. This makes you THE expert, not a salesperson, and people love to buy from experts, and avoid salespeople.
Step 2: Use social media outposts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to post project updates. It’s all about pictures, right? Pictures of completed work on social media are porn for home improvement junkies!
Step 3: Let go. In the process of educating, some people who are just not going to buy. Maybe they aren’t in your market, your target demographic, whatever the case may be, it doesn’t matter. You to be willing to let them walk away from you because you’re not the right fit. Not everyone will/can buy from you.
Out-teach your competition and you will beat your competitors trying to outspend you. How do I know? We do it every day for ourselves and for our client’s home improvement advertising budgets.