Marketing Power Archives - The 7-Power Contractor

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Two Roles You Can Never Leave as an Owner

“I fired all of them,” said the Canada-based condominium developer I was helping to optimize his business. “Wow,” I said. “What happened?”

The developer continued. “You said you wouldn’t work through a bunch of layers, and so I fired all my vice presidents. And you know what I found out? They were keeping things from me. If I hadn’t done that, my business would have been out of working capital within six months. Now you just have to help me navigate out of this.”

I told him in a nice but direct way, “I blame you… not them. It was your job to know for yourself what was and wasn’t happening at your company, and we’re going to fix that starting with getting you to a much better designed Box Org Chart.”

And we went on to do just that.

Unfortunately, this is a story I’ve heard all too many times over nearly 20 years of 1-to-1 consulting with contracting clients. The owner would delegate responsibility for their financial position to someone only to discover all kinds of impropriety once that person went on vacation, departed — or the bank or creditors started calling!

The Financial Manager role is one of two roles you can never give up. The other is Marketing Manager.

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Marketing Needs Great Testimonials

It’s not that potential customers don’t trust what you’re saying about yourself in your marketing. It’s just that… they don’t!

That’s because they figure you’re just saying what you’re saying to sell them something. You do want to sell them something, and that’s OK because you’re typically there because they have a problem or a need they want addressed. The thing is, the saying “Perception is reality!” holds true here.

They need to trust you first, and to do that they need more than the words you’re saying.

Think about it. When you go shopping for a car or need some kind of work or service at your home or office for something you don’t do, don’t you ask your friends, family members if they know someone good?

We’d rather not be a guinea pig, or worse, be taken advantage of!

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Marketing to Pick Up Dollars, Not Dimes

If you’ve been in the service contracting business for any length of time you know what it’s like when business slows down and money gets tight. And if you’re like most service contractors, marketing spend is usually the first thing to go!

My dad, Irving, called that “stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.”

Why? Because without marketing your phones are going to go dead and/or stay dead.

It might seem counter-intuitive but those slow times are actually the best times to be doing testimonial-based marketing, which I’ve seen work well not just for my own service contracting business but also for dozens of other contracting businesses ranging from plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, roofing, garage door service—to name just a few.

To make sure the marketing of your contracting business hits the mark you’ll want to focus your time, energy and your money on three main drivers such as:

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Appleseed Business Has Grown Into The 7-Power Contractor…Here’s Why!

Appleseed Business Has Grown Into The 7-Power Contractor. Here's Why!

I started Appleseed Business, Inc. because I know all too well the enormous stress and struggle for success you face as a contractor. Why? Because I once was one just like you. I worked for 25 years in my family’s plumbing, heating and cooling business.

My family’s business continues to flourish with a 4th generation at work because of a seven-concept system my brothers, dad and I put into place. It’s a powerful approach that helped us run our contracting business with a lot less stress and a lot more success.

The success of those systems allowed me to sell my share to my brothers and retire from that business at age 48, knowing all would be well.

I could have walked away from it all right there. But I felt honor-bound to help my fellow contractors discover these powers and use them to get results, too. And I started Appleseed Business, Inc. to do just that.

That name was a nod to the legendary Johnny Appleseed. I envisioned traveling this great country planting the seeds of systems and processes that would help contracting businesses grow and thrive. And that’s exactly what I’ve been up to for over 15 years now.

I chose “The 7-Power Contractor” because it reflects the business philosophy that was cultivated in me as a young man working in my family’s business. We were serial entrepreneurs who came to know, without a doubt, the key to creating a successful company were those 7-Power concepts.

That’s why, effective immediately the name of my business is changing to The 7-Power Contractor.

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Can Radio and TV Marketing Still Make the Phone Ring?

Have you wondered whether or not radio and TV marketing still make the phone ring? Well, yes they can.

This isn’t just my opinion. It’s an opinion based on the work I’ve done with clients and partners recently as well as over many years.

Here’s what I do know about radio and TV marketing … it doesn’t work unless you plan out and execute the campaigns way ahead of time.

When planning radio or TV campaigns, there are four key things you must do to be successful:

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Marketing Ahead So the Phone Won’t Go Dead

Have you ever picked up your company phone just to check if it was working?

There’s nothing scarier than a phone that’s gone dead.

Most contractors are great at the work they do but they’re lacking when it comes to making phone ring at all much less in a way where they will end up with these three (critical) things:

1. The right amount of calls

2. From the right customers

3. At the right time

The key is to cultivate skills and techniques you can use to make your phone ring with more calls than you can handle. That’s because having more opportunities than you need is what will finally enable you to be picky about what work you pursue and how much you charge. If your phone isn’t ringing off the hook, you’re not likely charging what you deserve and need to be paid to operate a highly profitable business.

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7 Rules for Direct Mail Done Right

A popular myth today is that “direct mail marketing doesn’t work.” If we’re talking about direct mail marketing done wrong – we can confirm the myth often proves true.

In reality, direct mail marketing done right can be very effective but only if you respect the rules. Here they are:

Rule #1: Use oversized direct mail postcards to send to people who are not yet your customers. It’s got to stand out from the pile of mail you’re working your way through when you’re in your kitchen and the garbage can is right by your feet.

Rule #2: The oversized postcard has got to have a great headline to catch people’s attention or they won’t see a reason to read on. The power of a great headline was true when newspapers were dominant and it’s still true in the digital world today. Headlines are best if they are short (5 words or less).

  1. Put the headline in the form of a question because a good question creates the need to know.
    Ex: Want to make twice as much money at work with half the effort?
  2. Put the headline in the form of a profound statement.
    Ex: Lose 25 pounds in two months and never feel hungry!
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Marketing Information, Not Scare Tactics

Among the many things I do with clients I work with over time is marketing.

One part of that work entails making them better at creating marketing that hits home with their target audience. The trick to great marketing is to know what makes that audience tick.

I must admit. I was once oblivious to what made my customers tick so both my sales and my marketing efforts fell flat on their face.

But once I sought to get better, like any skill you learn, I got so much better at this that miraculously my sales and marketing took off.

Here’s a question: which comes first, sales or marketing?

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Why Buy Another Contracting Business Book?

Good question!

Is there a shortage of business books out there or business information out there on how to be successful in the contracting business? Nope!

Can trying to figure out what to do with all that information be overwhelming and confusing? Yes!

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What Your Messy Truck is Saying

I was visiting a big heating renovation job our company was in the process of doing many years ago. On Long Island, which is where our company continues to provide service, people often buy homes that cost a fortune and…

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