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The Importance of How You Do Business as a Remodeler.

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Sep 27,2017 @ 05:00 AM

The Importance of How You Do Business as a Remodeler.

contact us in hand-WR.jpg

How you do business as a remodeler serves certain customers.   And, just as there are many different customer types there are also many ways to do business as a remodeler.   For example does your business charge for design or does it do it for free?   Does your business help consumers pick out their products and colors or does it expect customers will research and find their own products?  Do you offer fixed pricing, cost plus, T&M or all three?   So, have you decide how you will do business and then stick to it as you prequalify prospects, or have you decided to do business whatever way those who buy from you want?  

If you are fortunate enough to get referrals from past clients, do you want to do business with their referrals in the same way you had to do business with them?  If you do business differently each time, will you even remember how you served the referring customer so you can repeat it?   Is that what the referral is expecting or do they have their own plans for how they want you to do business with them?

 

Choosing how to do business as a remodelerThe importance to your brand

Deciding how you will do business is one way to define the brand of your business and therefore the type of clients and project types it will attract.   For example if you offer professional design, and charge for it, people who value design will likely do business with you and be willing to pay for it.   On the other hand if you do design for free some consumers will like free and may be attracted to your business.  However my experience as a design/builder was that people who want free design also expect other things for free.  Which customer would you prefer to attract?

 

Become a specialist rather than a generalist

If someone asked you how you do business what would you say?   Have you already decided and defined it?  Or, would you be at a loss to explain it in a logic order?   If you do business differently, depending on who you take on as customers, what will you decide to say next time someone asks you?  Will your answer attract or detract the prospect you are in front of?  Are you hoping they just won’t ask?

Juggling oranges-WR.jpgManaging one way of doing business is hard enough.  Do you really want to manage an unlimited number of business methods?

Rather than think you need to serve everyone why not decide who your ideal client will be and how you will do business, to both attract them to your business and serve them like they have never been served before by any other remodeler.

Remember, if you are just like all the other remodelers you will become a commodity and will be forced to compete on price.   If you stand out as different, and customers want different, they will have little choice but to pay the price to get different.

Who’s running your business anyway?

 

Related articles:

Contractors and Remodelers: Decide Your Niche and Then Go Get It!

Three Ways To Get Fewer Leads But Close More Remodeling Sales

If One Of These People Asks, Can You Explain How Your Remodeling Company Does Business?

How A Contractor’s Web Site Marketing Can Speed Up The Sales Cycle

Topics: Business Growth, Differentiating your Business, Customer Relations, Creating Referrals

Networking & Dating: How the Two Go Hand in Hand

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Mar 14,2017 @ 05:00 AM

Networking & Dating: How the Two Go Hand in Hand

Networking guide for remodeling contractors

Not sure how to get started using networking to help grow your business?

Building a professional network can often feel like dating: putting yourself out there to strangers, not knowing what to say and carrying that fear of rejection. But just like dating, there are ways to make networking much easier. Here's how.

 Getting Out There

The first step in professional networking is simply putting yourself out there, but many of us don't know where to being — it's not like there is a Tinder app for professional networking, right?

Actually, there is. Shapr works just like Tinder, where users swipe right and left when matched up with others in their field. Many young professionals enter a room with little to no information about anyone inside, so Shapr takes the guesswork out of the equation by only pairing you with people you're interested in meeting.

But if a Tinder-like app is just too close to dating, there are always more established sites, like MeetUp.com, to connect with others in your business.

 

Networking options for contractorsMaking an Introduction

While apps like Shapr make it easier to find others, there is no avoiding introducing yourself in person every now and then. If that sounds intimidating, just remember that you're not alone in this endeavor — some of the world's most reputable entrepreneurs stood in your shoes, and found themselves not knowing anyone in the professional world.

Tim Terriss, speaker and author of Tools of Titans, spoke to a crowd at the South By Southwest Conference and Festivals about building a world-class network from nothing. He goes into extensive detail during his presentation, but the core of the story is very much like dating: be yourself, don't be afraid to say hello and ask people to tell you about themselves — people love to talk about themselves.

 

The First Date

You have a match! You met someone in your industry and the professional sparks are flying. It could be tempting to sell your service or product on day one, but you wouldn't propose on the first date, so the goal here is to take things slowly.

The best way to create a long lasting relationship — and make the sale — is to give, give, give and then ask, says investor and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk. A good example would be a graphic designer offering marketing advice for a company or group he or she knows. After some time, if the advice has value and the graphic designer gains credibility, some will eventually become customers willing to pay.

 

Going Steady

Networking tips for contractorsIf you've ever played the game "The Sims," you know that maintaining relationships can sometimes be harder than starting them. And like dating, you often have to take the initiative to keep the relationship strong. Treating clients or close professionals to gifts or flowers will never go out of style, and many find the extra effort is appreciated by the recipient.

Once you've established a relationship, going back to the beginning can always be a pleasant surprise. Just like taking an old girlfriend or boyfriend to the place where you first met, a young professional remodeler might go back to their first industry conference to brush up on basics, or set up a few coffee dates with friends in their networking groups to chat about the market.  Many great business idea can come from chatting with peers over coffee or a cold beer.

 

Jim Burch

 

Guest Blogger: Jim Burch - Jim is a copywriter from Phoenix and avid admirer of alliteration. His goals are to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, see all 30 baseball stadiums, and eliminate the improper use of "literally," but he figuratively can't even.

 

Topics: Differentiating your Business, Marketing Ideas, Lead Generation, Guest Blogs, Creating Referrals

Is Your Business Ready For The Expected Surge In Remodeling Spending?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Dec 23,2016 @ 03:58 PM

Is Your Business Ready For The Expected Surge In Remodeling Spending?

Puzzle pieces on money-WR.jpgRemember back in 2006 before the great recession how much work there was for remodelers?  Remember how busy you were and how easy it was to sell your services?  And, back then, there was a good supply of experience workers and subcontractors.  Then the recession came and things changed forever.  Well, the remodeling economy has become healthy again and is predicted to get even better for the next year.  According to one article in Qualified Remodeler magazine the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts an 8% increase in remodeling spending between now and the end of 2017.  That means a lot more work for remodelers, but only if they and their businesses are ready for it.

Below are three things to consider if you want to be ready to take advantage of the surge in sales predicted to begin in the first quarter of 2017.  How you address the third one could make or break your ability to take advantage of the surge.

 

Decide what your price point will be:

Raising remodeling pricesWhen demand for services picks up so does the market price for those services.  If you have been selling on price and as a result haven’t been making enough money to live the lifestyle you desire, both today and when you eventually retire, now is the time to start charging more.  And, in addition to raising your prices, be careful how much work you say yes to. The point here is to make sure you don’t pre-sell a whole bunch of work at your current margins.  If you do you will prevent your business from being available to sell and complete work when demand and therefore job prices rise due to supply and demand. Although having a good backlog of work can be comforting, coming to realize you could be making a lot more money may lead to strong regrets.  Also, keep in mind that material and subcontractor costs will also climb due to supply and demand.  Make sure you estimate direct job costs based on when you will actually do the work, not what it would cost if you were doing it today.

Related article:

Why Building a Backlog of Work Could Cost Some Contractors a Lot of Money

 

Be selective about customers and job types

Targeting the right remodeling clientsThe surge in spending will lead to a surge in job leads. This will afford remodelers the opportunity to be much more selective about who they will allow to become customers as well as what job types they will accept from those customers.  Remember, the customers you serve will be sending you referrals. Those customers hang around with other people just like them.  If you work for customers who beat you up on price and micromanage how you do business, their referrals will likely want to do the same.  To avoid working for the wrong customers first define the profile of your target client.  Then, armed with that information, make sure you also have a great prequalify process to help you filter through you leads.  When it comes to job types be selective there too.   If you have been doing so I suggest you stop allowing customers to buy their own materials.  It may save money for them to do so, but at the same time it costs your business if you cannot get any margin on those materials.  Instead concentrate on material intensive project types like kitchens and baths.  Earning gross profit by selling more and more expensive materials is much easier than trying to do so by selling and managing labor.

Related article:

25 Sample Questions Contractors Can Use For Prequalifying Prospects

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Get your production resources ready

Carpenters_with_nail_gun-wr.jpgSelling the work and selling it at high margins is one challenge.  But in my option that’s a much easier challenge these days than trying to find and keep enough quality production staff and trade subcontractors to keep up with the work, and complete it with quality. Don’t wait until you already need the help to start looking for them.  Instead, recruit good workers now and test them out to be sure they are right for your business and your business is right for them. During the winter months many employees are let go or laid off by contractors who lack good sales and marketing skills. This makes the winter a good time to look for prospective employees because there are more to choose from and because their options of available jobs are limited. Use the next few months to vet out the good ones and send the underperformers back out looking for jobs. Using this strategy it’s likely you will be able to produce the work you sell much easier while your competition has to do the best they can with the workers you passed up and or let go.

Related article:

Afraid To Hire Employees For Fear Of Running Out Of Work For Them?

 

Topics: Sales, Hiring and Firing, Business Growth, Prequalifying, Creating Referrals

To Really Take Advantage of Design/Build Rethink What You know as Normal

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Jun 03,2016 @ 05:00 AM

Design/Build Coaching

 

A lot of remodelers have contacted me recently looking for help with Design/Build.  Unfortunately many think they are doing or claim to be doing Design/Build, but they are not.  I know this because I know what Design/Build is, how to market it, how to sell it and how to manage it.  I find it sad to see how many hours and dollars are lost and wasted by contractors trying to figure out how to do Design/Build.  Worse, many pretend to be Design/Builders and actually have no idea what they are missing out on through their ignorance.

I find too many contractors pretending to do Design/Build lack the skills and experience to do it right.   Unfortunately their lack of knowledge coupled with their decision and or stubbornness to figure things out on their own leads to them to repeat the same mistakes so many other remodelers made before them.

I suggest there is always more than one way to do things.  I also know that the many things you are concerned about changing were things that I found were holding back my company and our ability to attract the right clients and project types for Design/Build.  I too was hesitant and said no one would pay that much to design and estimate, and pay for it in full up-front.  I also said people would not give up bidding.   I also said they would never go for Design/Build if they could not have the plans unless they also contracted for the construction. 

 

I was wrong and I was really glad I found out I was wrong.

Evolving to Design/BuildYes, becoming a real Design/Builder will be an evolution of change, if you are willing and able to commit to making the changes. The changes will not be easy and will require getting out of your current comfort zone to gain new experiences and results.

In the beginning selling real Design/Build will be challenging.   If you do it right you will come to trust Design/Build and so will your clients.   Here is what one of my clients shared:

“Shawn McCadden is the best business mentor and coach I have ever met.  He has a special talent for getting right to the heart of an issue, helping you find the solution that is right for your situation and then helping you implement the solution and monitor it.  His communication skills enable him to relate to a wide variety of people in ways that make his message interesting, understandable and memorable.  I have called on Shawn many times to help me through situations and am always glad I did.”

Selling Design/BuildTrust is earned.   If you do Design/Build well with some clients they will come to trust you and will then let those they refer you to know you and your process can be trusted.

Just remember there are plenty of contractors already doing the things you are challenged to consider doing.  Once I discovered that fact I knew I could do it too.

Let me know if I can help

 

Topics: Business Management, Design/Build Process, Building Relationships, Opinions from Design/Builders, Creating Referrals

Great Way to Filter Through Leads and Get Better Remodeling Customers

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Jun 01,2016 @ 05:00 AM

Prequalifying Remodeling Leads

 

With the Remodeling marketplace booming this spring and predictions of close to a 10% increase in remodeling spending this year over last there will be plenty of work out there for remodeling contractors in 2016.   With the surge in mind I have been coaching my contractor clients to be smart about how they do business.   I have been stressing that they should take advantage of this surge by being selective about the customers they choose to work with and by raising their margins now before they get too booked up and regret becoming unavailable.  If this makes sense to you and for your business read on to find out how to do fewer sales calls but at the same time close higher margin deals.

 

Agree on an agenda before committing to a sales call

Before you even commit to a sales call get your prospect’s commitment to discuss and commit to an agenda for the first sales call.  Doing so can help you control the sales call as well as how your valuable and limited time will be invested.  

The agenda should include the things they want to accomplish as well as the things you want to accomplish at that first meeting.   If you can’t or won’t agree to what they want to accomplish, or they won’t agree to what you want to accomplish, then simply let them know you won’t be able to help them. 

 

These three things should be part of your agenda

After you hear and approve of the items they want on the agenda ask permission to share the items you want on the agenda.  You can include anything you want on your agenda but make sure at a minimum you get a commitment to discuss these three things before asking them if it still makes sense to invite you over:

 

Can we talk about why you want to do your project?

How to prequalify remodeling leadsYou will need to know this info to create a unique solution and to have confidence in what you suggest to them when discussing options.  You will also need to know this information to avoid becoming a commodity contractor by just giving them a price on what they thought they needed.  You know, just like pretty much every commodity contractor does every day.

 

Can we talk about your budget for this project?

Let them know you will either need to get a realist budget from them in order to help them, or that you can let them know what they should assume for a budget.  But, be clear that a requirement of getting together will be to discuss and decide if there is a fit between their budget and the scope of work they would like completed.

 

Can we talk about how you plan to make your decisions?

how remodelers can set a sales call agendaYou need to get their commitment to discuss how they will decide about important project details as well as which contractor they will ultimately partner with.  If you don’t know how they plan to make these decisions how can you possibly help them make decisions and why should you be surprised when they don’t or can’t decide? 

If they don’t know how they plan to make decisions think of it as your job to help them figure that out.  That alone can help differentiate you from the commodity contractors.    

      

Setting the agenda shows you’re serious and filters out the commodity buyers

Many of my consulting clients are now using what I call “the agenda step” as a way to prequalify who they are willing to visit.  By creating this agenda they essentially give their prospects some homework to do to get ready for the visit.  After my clients get good at setting the agenda they experience much better close ratios and they all report selling to much better customers.  They also report most of these better customers are also willing to pay higher prices.  

After setting the appointment several of my clients even send a follow-up appointment confirmation email documenting the agreed agenda.

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One more thing to keep in mind

Good customers who are willing to have honest discussions and are willing to pay more for “different” hang around with other people just like them.  After successfully putting the agenda step in place at your business, like my clients, you will probably get referrals to more good customers who will pay more for different.

If you want some help improving your sales results contact me today!

 

Topics: Sales Considerations, Differentiating your Business, Earning More Money, Lead Generation, Prequalifying, Creating Referrals

The Difference the Right Employees Can Make For Your Construction Business

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Jan 14,2016 @ 05:30 AM

The Difference the Right Employees Can Make For Your Construction Business

 
choosing good construction employeesHaving the right employees at your business can make a huge difference to your business in so many ways.
It should not be left to chance. In addition to your construction company's profitability the right employees can also make a huge difference for your customers and the way they view and or will share their experiences with others. In this article I share my experience with one United Airlines employee who helped make my experience and day way better than I had come to assume it would be.  I bet by sharing it you can use my experience as a guide to better seek, choose and train your employees.
 
Over the holidays this Christmas season I went on an annual goose hunting trip in Illinois with some contractor buddies.  My first return flight was delayed and I was at risk of making my connection to get back home. I was obviously bummed out.  But, thanks to just one exceptional airline employee, I made the connection and got back in time to celebrate the New Year with my family.  Here's what that employee did and why you should seek, choose and train your employees to be just like her.
 

First off she had a great attitude and presented herself well

The woman who checked me in was well dressed and well groomed.  Sure she had to wear a uniform (and so should your employees), but in addition to wearing professional attire she obviously also had a lot of self-respect and presented herself well.  Unlike others I observed working around her she was professionally groomed, interacted with a genuine smile and spoke with a professional vernacular. I suspect someone raised her to be that way and I could tell it was natural for her, not an act.  In my opinion hiring her was a great investment.

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Next, she managed my expectations and offered proactive assistance

how to choose the right construction employeesAs she checked me in she made me aware that my flight was likely to be delayed and therefore making my tight connecting flight might be at risk.  I had never had anyone else at any airline do this at check in.  She also told me why it might be late before I had chance to ask her why.  By doing so my attitude about my situation was already less stressful.  She then helped me make a "Plan B" in case I missed that flight.  By doing so I went to the gate in a much better frame of mind than the frame of mind I would have been in if I discovered my possible dilemma at the gate.  
I soon found out the flight was expected to be delayed by at least 30 minutes, I was now assuming "Plan B"
 

Then she was at the gate and was working hard to mitigate potential challenges

Yes, the same woman who checked me in soon came to work the gate, and was all by herself.   I suggest, like a small business, the gate at that small airport could not support additional overhead.  She was obviously cross trained by her employer to perform a wide variety of tasks and to do so very efficiently.  For that I not only credit her employer for properly training her, but for also hiring an employee with the right cognitive abilities and a desire to learn.  For that I can probably also credit her as well as whoever raised her and or mentored her in her formative years.  With her actions, knowledge and a professional demeanor she got the incoming passengers squared away, prepped things for my outbound flight, and very efficiently got us all boarded faster that I have ever experienced before.  And I travel a lot!  She minimized the potential delay big time like it was second nature.

Related Article:

 

The good news was that I made my connection to get home. 

how to hire the right employeesThe better news, for me and her employer, is that she restored my faith in her company as a preferred option.  The next time I have a choice when deciding between available airline options to serve my traveling needs my experience that day with her will definitely become part of my buying decision.

I hope sharing my experience that day will help you make better hiring plans and decisions.  For additional help and insight check out his article titled "One Simple but Powerful Tip for Hiring the Right Employees”

 

Topics: Hiring and Firing, Worker Training, Recruting, Team Building, Differentiating your Business, Culture, Customer Relations, Creating Referrals

How You React To Your Own Frustrations May Set The Example For Your Team

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Apr 15,2015 @ 06:00 AM

How You React To Your Own Frustrations May Set The Example For Your Team

Frustrated construction business ownerDealing with customers, subs and employees isn't always easy. All too often they can say and do things to us that can really strike a nerve.   How you react in the situation can really make a statement about your professionalism as well as what they might actually share with others about your reactions.

Besides the people who get your goat others may be observing your reactions as well.  The observers may include your employees, trade partners as well as your customers.  How you react to stress and frustrations will definitely leave a lasting impression on them.

Consider these examples

If you beat the snot out of a chunk of wood with a sledge hammer as a way to cope with frustration and or stress your employees will likely think it’s ok to do so as well.  What if after seeing you do it they are frustrated by a client the next day , go out to the back yard of the job site and do the same in view of the customer?  What will the customer be thinking and how might it affect the atmosphere on the job site for the rest of the project?  How might it affect future referrals?

Construction leadership stylesNow consider this example.  If you asked a prospective lead carpenter you are considering hiring how he or she deals with stress or frustration on the job and they share that beating the snot out of a wood scrap with their 28 oz Estwing works best, would you hire him or her?  I certainly wouldn't.

 

A better suggestion 

Instead why not consider the difference between your roles and your identity.

Your true identity is who you would be if all of your roles were stripped away.  It's who you really are as a person and in reality has nothing to do with what your job position is.  

By contrast, your roles are the responsibilities and activities you assume in the course of life, or while on the job, whether by choice or otherwise.  And no matter what roles you serve in life, they are not who you really are as a person.

I've learned from experience that until owners, managers, and employees can separate their identities from their roles, they may be personally affected by the comments, attitudes, and expectations of their clients and co-workers.  This doesn't have to be.  Life is stressful enough already.  Don't let job stress add to it.

For more specific information on the differences between your roles and identities check out this Remodeling magazine article I wrote several years ago.

Summary

Construction leadership roles

The next time someone really upsets you at work stop, before you react, consider you are only at work and it's your job position that is being questioned or judged, not your identity.  Your ability to keep your identity and roles separate will help you keep a cool head in otherwise stressful situations.  And, how you react and act will serve as a much better example to everyone with whom you interact.  If what I suggest doesn't work for you or one of your employees you might want to seriously consider anger management therapy.

 

 

More articles related to leadership:

Breaking Past $1M in Remodeling: Getting Ready To Do It

Invest In Your Remodeling Business Now, Or Pay Forever

Information and Guidance To Evolve From Being A Contractor To Being A Construction Business Owner

Five Great Books for Remodeling Business Owners

 

Topics: Employee Relations, Differentiating your Business, Culture, Customer Relations, Leadership, Creating Referrals

How to Keep Bubba From Bidding On Your Plans and Specification

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Apr 02,2015 @ 08:33 AM

How to Keep Bubba From Bidding On Your Plans and Specification

Protecting plans and specificationsDon’t you just hate it when a prospect you expected to do business with gives your detailed plans and or specifications to another contractor?   That’s bad enough, but isn’t even worse when they give the job to the other contractor and that guy would never have been able to offer the work or price the job without your specs?

Here’s a quick look at the simple process I share with my coaching clients to help them remove themselves from that frustrating way of selling.

 

Consideration #1: Do they already have them or do they need them?

If you have a good sales process and approach you can find out if your prospect has or even needs plans and or specifications. Simple projects may not require elaborate specifications to price them.   If your prospect’s project needs specifications to properly price it, and or if your prospect needs specs in order to make a buying decision, you will have to decide whether you will leave the specs if they do not buy from you or you will take them with you when you leave.

 

Consideration #2: Do they see a value in your expertise?

The next time your prospect needs plans and or specs to make a decisions try asking them something like this:

Remodeling sales advice“Will you need help discussing and specifying the details and products to be used in your project in order to make good decisions about your project and how much money to invest in it?”

 

Assuming they say yes, you could respond with something like:

“That makes sense. If I were to help you do that could we set up a time for me to come back and review what I put together for you and get a decision from you about working with my company or not?”

Again, assuming they say yes, you can now let them know the information will remain your company’s property if they choose not to work with your company.

If you choose to not leave your proposal with prospects unless they commit to your company, it is imperative this policy be discussed with your prospects during the initial sales call. Your policy should not become a surprise to them when you come back to present your proposal. Surprising them will likely erase any trust or confidence they have in you and your process.

 

You are presenting, not emailing proposals, right?

 

Confirm your policy inside your proposal

Construction proposal adviceHere is some sample language you can consider using inside the remodeling proposals you create for prospects. This information is for your reference only. Be sure you have it reviewed by your own legal council before using it.

 

Sample text:

This proposal and any related plans and specifications shall be for the exclusive use of; and will remain the property of “Construction Company” until a Construction Contract agreement for the proposed work is reached between both parties. The acceptance of this agreement will require the owners’ signature(s) and payment in full of the specified deposit.   If this proposal is not accepted at the time of presentation, owner(s) are welcome to view all plans and specifications at the contractor’s office at a mutually agreeable time.

 

This language is best used at the beginning of your proposal so you can remind your prospect about your policy very early during the proposal presentation meeting. If they have a problem with your policy, the one they should have already agreed to, you can discuss their concerns and both of you can decide whether it makes sense to continue presenting and discussing the rest of the proposal.

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Need a new sales process and or a sales coach for yourself or your sales staff?  

Send me an email now. I’d be happy to set up a time to discuss what you are looking for and let you know if I can help.

 

 

Topics: Contracts, Sales Considerations, Estimating Considerations, Plans and Specifications, Creating Referrals

Contractors Are Unknowingly BUT LEGALLY Giving Away Their Identity To Lead Gen Companies

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Feb 18,2015 @ 06:00 AM

Contractors Are Unknowingly BUT LEGALLY Giving Away Their Identity To Lead Gen Companies

Lead Generation services for contraciorsI constantly read forum posts about contractors’ being shocked to discover they are being re-directed away from their own company when searching for their own company online, and then are directed to a lead generation service. The issue is rampant – but unfortunately, the situation is typically inadvertently created by the contractors’ themselves.

 

 

So let's just jump to some research we did at MyOnlineToolbox

We never intended to focus on the specifics of Lead Generation Terms & Conditions.  The issue started to intrigue us when a handful of our contractor website marketing clients were having challenges getting website leads.  We discovered through our research that these contractors signed up to one or more Lead Generation Services over the years.  The contractors simply did not realize how hard it was to literally compete against themselves based on how well the Lead Generation companies were using their information against them.

Problems with Contractor Lead Generation servicesWe read the Terms & Conditions of numerous Lead Generation companies.   It is important to note that every lead generation company views anything you submit to their site for content as their own. That includes your business biography, services, testimonials and pictures.  The terms sometimes have a permutation of wording that states "the contractor agrees that a consumer MAY NOT be directed back to the contractor if the contractor does not have the appropriate spending limit and other limitations".

We think it is fair to replace MAY NOT with WILL NOT when money is not to be made.  And considering the whole issue is already ambiguous, we also wish someone could explain what "OTHER LIMITATIONS" means since we feel the limitations are definitely directed against the individual contractor.

And, to make matters worse, the terms also state the contractor agrees the lead generation company can take the content (reminder: your Business Bio Information that you submit) and use, copy, reproduce, and sublicense any content on your profile page to drive traffic to the content.  But they do not have to pass the consumer to the contractor.  

So let's guess what the lead generation company will do next... You wonder?

 

We interpret the situation this way:

Concerned_contractor-wrThe contractor is asked to sign up, pass along his/her identity to the lead generation company, and the lead generation company can use the information anyway it wants if you do not pay them forever.

Just imagine if every contractor knew up front, in big bold explanation what he is giving up when he agrees to join a lead generation service (for free or paid, doesn't matter).  But many times we feel the contractor is being misled into not only what he is getting for free, but also what he is not getting and how their company information may no longer be used to their company’s benefit

It begs to wonder why anyone would agree to one way terms with something as important as their business identity.

 

Maybe we are wrong

If we are wrong about this let’s hear from a lead generation company who feels we are wrong and can offer a specific explanation as to their terms and conditions to ensure contractors know the difference between your services and other lead generation services.  But it would also be nice to hear that, unconditionally, your company would never use a contractor's business data to drive traffic to your site in order to then connect a potential consumer with different contractor.  

 

For more information

Unfortunately we discovered so many ways information is used against a contractor that it was easy to organize and share our findings with a visual understanding.  We do that here in a few short videos lumped together as Say No To Lead Generation Companies.

 

Advice for choosing a contractor lead generation serviceSo in summary, there are only two ways to win at getting more online lead opportunities:

  1. Do not sign up for any Lead Generation Services to avoid content being used against your company over a period of time.  And if you feel so compelled to try a service, then by all means just read the Terms & Conditions first since you may have second thoughts.
  2. Have your own website and learn the basics of website marketing (referred to as SEO Search Engine Optimization).  A little bit of website tweaking will give you years of ongoing opportunities.  It is not that hard all.

 

Brian Javeline

 

Guest Blogger: Brian Javeline is President & Co-founder of www.MyOnlineToolbox.com, providing business software and the industry’s popular Contractor Website Online Marketing Education Class.

 

 

 

Topics: Web Site Related, Lead Generation, Guest Blogs, Marketing Considerations, Creating Referrals

Sales System Considerations for Remodelers Looking to Break $1Million

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Jan 23,2015 @ 06:00 AM

Sales System Considerations for Remodelers Looking to Break $1Million

Passing $1Million in RemodelingWell before attempting to break past $Million in installed sales remodelers and home improvement contractors should already have an established and tested sales system in place.  The system should be well defined. Those involved with selling, as well as supporting the sales department at your business, must be trained and held accountable to using it correctly and consistently.  

It’s also imperative to get a salesperson other than the owner in place and productively selling well before passing the $1Million threshold.   Doing this is important because the owner's time will most likely be pulled away from sales for more important activities as the business grows.  

Here are several important sales system related considerations for business owners looking to break past $1Million in installed sales.

 

Decide on how fast you want to grow your business  

Growth can't happen without sales, sales won't happen without talented sales staff, and having enough quality leads won't happen without a strategic and effective marketing plan in place.   All three of these things must be worked on consecutively and put in place as soon as possible to support a fast pace of growth. Remember, the biggest cause of remodeling business failure is growing the business faster than the systems needed to support that growth.


Choosing a sales system for remodelersDecide what Sales System you will use

I suggest you choose a known and proven sales system and sales trainer you feel will be a good match for your desired brand as well as your target customer type. If you are preparing to grow your business I recommend the owner take the training first. Then, after the business owner embraces the system new sales staff can be sent to the same training and trainer.

 

Put sales goals and metrics in place.

The markup your business uses to price projects should be based on two interdependent factors: the volume of business you plan to do and the combined cost of overhead plus planned net profit. By creating sales goals for the business, as well as each individual salesperson, you can track against those goals to be sure you will meet your planned volume of sales. Also, by having individual goals for each salesperson, you can support them and hold them accountable to achieve the goals and or decide you need to find their replacement. Hitting the goals will be important because coming up short on installed sales will mean you will come up short on the gross profit dollars you needed to earn to grow your business.   Your financial system should be designed to support measuring sales volume by salesperson and determine their commissions earned.

 

Summary: Remain committed to using the system!

Remodeling Sales system considerationsI want to stress that consistency of and with your company's sales approach will be really important as the business grows.  Without consistency it will be difficult for the owner to become a sales manager, or transfer sales management to someone else, because each sales person may approach selling in a different way.   And, without consistency of sales approach, repeat customers and their referrals may not experience what they expected when a new salesperson visits them. Plus, by having a consistent sales approach that successfully helps prospects buy the right solution, you can market the advantages of that sales system with confidence prospects will experience what they expect if they respond you your marketing.

 

(Note: This is the eighth article in a series of articles written specifically for remodelers who want to successfully break past doing $1M/year in installed sales.  Click here to see a list of all the published articles in the series.)

 

read blog articles about breaking 1 million

Topics: Margin and Markup, Sales, Business Growth, Sales Considerations, Creating Referrals, Breaking $1Million