I am very excited about this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report because we’re going to discuss one of my favorite subjects – Referral Maximization. But, first, I want to mention two very important upcoming events that you will not want to miss.
- On Thursday, July 12, we’re holding a conference call at 11:00 a.m. Eastern featuring Frank Farmer, president of American Metal Roofs and Metal Roofing Consultants. Frank has built a highly successful multi-million dollar business installing high end residential metal roofing. In this call, he will discuss the keys to success and the opportunities that abound in this high-growth industry. To be a part of the call, dial in to 857-232-0476 at 11 a.m. Eastern and then enter the password 332616.
- Next, our Mid-Year Training Event is scheduled for August 13-15 here in Piqua, Ohio. Free online registration is available. We’re limited to 120 participants so please register soon. Whether you currently are involved in the high-growth field of residential metal roofing or just thinking about it, this is your opportunity to learn all about the in-home sales process. You will go home with an immediate plan to enhance your company’s marketing and sales efforts.
Now, on with our series regarding “ What Does It Take To Be Successful?” Throughout 2018, this series will take a look at core attributes of successful home improvement contractors and, in particular, successful residential metal roofing contractors. In previous issues, we have looked at Business Systemization, Professionalism, Commitment, Knowing Your Numbers, Marketing and Lead Generation, and Leadership. Again, in this issue, we will look at Referral Maximization.
The uniqueness and high visibility of metal roof installations allow you to base a significant portion of your business on referrals from past customers. It is not uncommon for successful metal roofing contractors to have 30% or more of their business come via referrals from past jobs.
In fact, here’s something that will blow your mind. if you do normal advertising to bring in homeowner leads for two years in your business and then you stop all advertising and instead focus on maximizing referrals to the point of where you sell one referral each year off of every job you have ever done, your business will double in size each year after year three. While it may be a bit far-fetched to go to that extreme, the numbers do work! Imagine doubling your business year after year after year – with no conventional advertising!
Okay, so that may seem unfathomable to you, but what about this idea! What if, at the very least, you take a minimum of 20% of your Marketing budget each year and spending it not on traditional advertising but on maximizing the referrals from your past jobs! You could spend it on things like:
- A robust monthly or quarterly e-newsletter program for past, present, and future customers. (This e-newsletter is also part of how you cultivate older leads into sales in the future by staying in front of them.)
- Periodic surprise visits and gifts for past customers, especially at peak roofing lead generation times such as in the spring and after severe weather events.
- Incentives given for leads they give you – not for leads they give you that you’re able to sell. Selling is your responsibility. Giving you the lead is theirs.
- Job signs not only during the installation but also at 5, 10, 15, 20-year installation anniversaries pointing to the roof and announcing how it still looks great after that many years of service.
- Testimonial videos from past customers promoted on your website and through social media as well as in your in-home presentation.
- Do radius mailings around past jobs and, now get this, you can even do radius mailings around metal roofs that your company didn’t install! Of course, in that case, never claim the job is yours but, still, metal roofs of all types are high visibility and create neighborhood chatter that can last for years – capitalize on it!
- Send a rebate check after you have completed the job, explaining that you analyzed your costs on their roof and, because they helped the job go so smoothly and efficiently, you knew that you owed them a rebate.
Again, these things are all funded by dollars you would have normally spent on traditional advertising but have diverted instead to Referral Maximization. Traditional advertising just keeps getting more costly and less effective. Referral Maximization can change your marketing costs now and into the future!
One more thing to help build sales and customers who want to help you – interview customers and also prospects you did not sell to. Find out what went right, what went wrong … and then make adjustments in your business accordingly. You want both your customers and your “pitch and misses” to recognize you as being different from other contractors. If you do things that make your “pitch and misses” wish they would have worked with you, you will get referrals even from folks you didn’t sell to. (After all, how many times have you talked to a “pitch and miss” that told you they wish they would have chosen you as their contractor? Capitalize on that!)
Let me know if you’d like to discuss Referral Maximization. One thing we love doing is helping contractors discover even greater success by brainstorming, thinking things through, and networking. As always, thank you for being a loyal reader of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. Please feel free to contact me anytime to talk about what’s working well in your business, and also those areas where you may feel that improvement is necessary.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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