Barry outlines his three-point strategy plan to help flooring contractors get growing, regardless of what life throws at their business.
OVER the past 12 years, we’ve been affected by the ‘Credit Crunch’ and Brexit. Now we’re learning to live with Covid-19 in its various guises, and all those who’ve continued to work normally, or as normally as possible, through the pandemic have had to find their own route to survival and future prosperity.
Whatever life throws at business owners, the bottom line is your business needs to flourish, so here is my three-point strategy plan to help flooring contractors to get growing:
Do your homework
Make it your goal to keep on top of flooring industry trends that could have an impact, no matter how small, on your business. As trends change, so do the demands of your customers. That is why it is important to keep a sharp eye on what’s happening – and what’s predicted to happen – to enable your company to prepare for the inevitable changes and take advantage of them.
Create a list of unique selling points (USPs) that define your business. USPs are the things that set your business apart from the rest and might include reputation, innovative ways of doing things, projects you’ve completed, and so on. Can you present yourself as a specialist in your field, offering something your competitors can’t provide? Being different makes all the difference and sets you apart from the rest!
Don’t forget that column I wrote last year about the ‘4 Ps’ – product or service, price, place, and promotion, and how that can help you focus your marketing initiatives.
Tell your customers how they can benefit from working with you I heard a psychologist speaking on the radio say this: ‘Selling – or indeed, marketing – is not about getting people to do what they don’t want to do. It is about giving them a reason to do what they want to do.’
He’s absolutely right. Marketing is all about setting your stall out to present all the biggest benefits of your product or service to the customer, overcoming any negative feelings they may have, and showing them the easiest way to specify your products or services when they are ready to buy.
Unless you’re conducting a telephone sales campaign, then it’s likely you’ll do this on your website, by direct marketing, on social media, through public relations, or e-mail marketing.
Keeping the thought that you want to give a customer a great reason to do what they want to do, you need to get those all-important messages over. One way to do this is write yourself a short briefing sheet, which will help you to think about the following:
- What it is you’re selling – keep it simple and limit it to one product or service at a time
- Decide who your customer is and what you think it is that they will want to know
Agree what you want them to do. Do you want them to ring you to talk about a particular problem, send a tender request, or something else?
Explain why they should do this. This is where you highlight the selling features of your product or service, and remember those USPs
Can you think of the one single thing that will persuade them to do this? Remember, marketing is about persuading rather than pushing, so
highlight and explain those BIG benefits
Think about how you can substantiate this by using testimonials, case studies, or by quoting other experiences you have where a customer has benefitted greatly from specifying your service
Once you’ve highlighted all these key points then you are well placed to expand each into whichever form of marketing communications you want to use.
Use technology to grow
Having an online presence is vital to the progress and growth of any specialist contracting business, and with society now heavily dependent on technology in daily life, the first port of call for anything is the web.
Key areas you need to focus on include your company website. This is the round-the-clock face of your business and whatever time visitors reach your website, your products, services, specialisms, and other information are there for them to read, watch or download.
The options now available for social media are increasing and even more businesses are taking to social media to put offers, news, and product information in front of potential customers. Video continues to grow as people digest information in ever smaller bites. More short videos that show individual aspects of your products and services are much better than one longer, ‘corporate’ film.
Advances in automated email marketing and integrated customer relationship management systems (CRMs) are all designed to make keeping in touch with customers and prospects more effective.
Technology-wise, we live in exciting times. However, it’s important you don’t lose sight of basic practices and common sense. Knowing who your customers are, where they are, and what they are looking for is still the key to increasing sales.
‘Google My Business’ changes its name
As I’m sure regular readers of this column will know, here at StreetwiseSubbie.com we are great fans of low-cost and no-cost marketing. Some of the best no-cost marketing tools around are those offered by Google, and one of these is Google my Business, which I have previously written about in detail.
To bring you right up to date, Google my Business has now been renamed Google Business Profile.
Google Business Profile is an essential marketing option for all businesses, whatever their specialism or wherever they are located. Appearing as a panel on Google search pages, it’s best described as a free tool that allows you to take charge of the way your business appears on Google Search and Maps, enabling you to connect with customers, post updates, list your products, and services, upload offers, add news and more.
Any business, large or small, can have a free Google Business Profile, which is, to all intents and purposes, a mini website that gives businesses increased traction in Google. As such, it should be a hugely important part of your marketing toolbox and something that should not be overlooked.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can benefit from Google Business Profile, claim, or manage your profile page, or need help with any other aspect of your marketing, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.