By Jeffrey Hedquist
I’m talking about tree trimmers, carpet, rug & upholstery cleaners, duct cleaners, drain uncloggers, plumbers, water filter providers, electricians, window washers, painters, landscapers, hardscapers, garage door installers, snowplowers, remodelers, gardeners, septic tank servicers, insulation providers, interior decorators, staging pros and others.
Entering people’ homes is a very personal thing, so you need to help them build trust.
In addition to being very good at their professions, every representative of the company should exhibit a sharp, neat appearance. They should leave the area of the home they worked in as clean as or cleaner than when they arrived.
If they’re not doing this now, get them to do so. Remember, you’re business builders, not just radio ad people.
Even if they’re just doing the basics mentioned above (and even if their competitors are as well), explain it thoroughly in your advertiser’s commercials. It may be the first time your audience has heard it. You’re creating trust here.
As you interview your clients, find out if they do anything extra, special or different than their competitors… extra services at no charge, bonuses, guarantees, etc.
Tell stories about those differentiators. Make them dramatic. Interview their customers for specifics. In a competitive marketplace, those stories can make the difference between getting and losing a sale.
As an example, a hardscaping company we did marketing for always provides their own portable toilet facilities on the job site. I thought it was a nice gesture, but not earth-shaking.
When I interviewed their customers, I learned that it was one of the most impressive things that company does to make their customers feel comfortable. People were amazed. The advertiser’s service people didn’t ask to use their customers’ bathrooms while at the location, they just brought their own as standard procedure.
They also never knocked on the door. When they needed to meet with them about the project, they always called the homeowners from outside to ask for an appointment. Those practices, told in the customers’ voices helped position the company as extremely respectful of their customers’ privacy.
The first contact with a customer is the opportunity for the in home service provider to establish a continuity plan with discounts for regular visits. It could be a simple as no obligation inspections done at regular intervals.
Does your advertiser have a newsletter? A Blog? Your station should be a resource for helping them stay in touch with their customers in lots of ways.
What about joint venture opportunities? Connect your clients with complementary services. When your plumbing advertiser notices that a homeowner’s tiles need repair, he can recommend a tile installer (another one of your advertisers) with whom you connected him.
These are just some of the ways you can go beyond your narrow role as “the radio guy or gal” and become a marketing and business-building resource for your clients.
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