Have you ever had a customer who was so concerned with cutting costs, they tried with all their might to talk you down from your standard pricing model? There are several ways to avoid getting to that step in the process in the first place.
Here’s how to make sure you’re attracting qualified customers to your business, which will help prevent headaches further down the line like not getting paid or receiving unwarranted callbacks.
If cutting costs is the client’s biggest concern, it could be a bad sign — Let’s say the client wants Big Box Store laminate flooring because it costs only $1.99/sq ft, and they just won’t budge on this aspect of the project. They insist on their very strict budget, which is much too low to warrant your attention.
You know that you need quality products to do quality work. If a potential client won’t allow you that, you might have a problem on your hands.
They talk trash about a contractor they’ve worked with in the past — It’s one thing if the guy screwed up considerably. But if they’re complaining to you about minor gapping or something else that’s normal and trying to pin it on the contractor that installed the floors, you might have a callback-happy prospect on your hands.
Qualify prospects through your website first — On your “contact us” form, put a drop-down menu or text box asking them to specify their budget and some details about the project. If they don’t seem like a good fit, you can just respond with a canned, polite, and generic “no thank you” email instead of proceeding to the next steps with someone who ultimately won’t commit.
It also helps to list the details of your ideal client, budget, and project on a page of your website to discourage those who don’t fit the mold from contacting you. Vetting prospects through your website before talking with them over the phone or visiting them in person will cut exponentially on wasted time.
What if you don’t have a website? Get one! Or, have a secretary or some sort of gatekeeper talk to interested prospects over the phone. Make sure they discuss budget and project details with every prospect who calls. If the person doesn’t qualify, you don’t have to call them back.
Make sure you’re targeting the right market — If your business only deals with projects that warrant a budget of, say, $25,000+, make sure you’re actually marketing to the people that create those projects, like sports arenas, universities, commercial properties, condominium associations, and the like.
The information on your website should be tailored to appeal to project managers, not homeowners. If you don’t have a website but you run print ads, you’ve got to run them in the right places — for example, high-end local magazines as opposed to free local newspapers. If you give off the wrong image of your business, you’ll drive away ideal customers. Branding is also important for attracting the right clientele.
Does your logo look professionally made, or like something you threw together yourself? Are your trucks clean and respectable-looking? Does your crew act professionally on jobsites?
Once your marketing and branding efforts are spot-on, you’ll be much more likely to attract interest from prospects who would be a good fit, and you’ll waste less time talking to people who wouldn’t be.
Focusing on attracting the right people to your business can save you a ton of wasted time, energy, and frustration.