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 in a way where they will end up with these three (critical) things:
- The right amount of calls
- From the right customers
- 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.
One trait the best contractors I’ve worked for have in common is they don’t wait until they slow down to work on making the phone ring.
It’s human nature to put off thinking about what’s going to happen months later, especially when we’re still busy. The problem with this is that if you wait until the slow season to market, then it’s too late. And if you pull back on your marketing because you’re already busy, it’s going to come at a cost later.
When it comes to marketing, the absolute key to success is to be proactive. You want to have a proactive marketing calendar filled with planned activities to push out the message way before you actually need the phone to ring.
What’s the best way to create a proactive marketing calendar?
Start by taking full advantage of software calendars like Outlook, Google Calendar or another shareable calendar. Begin by determining your marketing goals, due dates, and then breaking down each marketing effort into individual tasks that need to be accomplished.
Here’s an example of the steps necessary to populate your calendar in order to make sure the phone is ringing in January:
Set A Marketing Goal
You want to make sure prospective customers will receive or “be touched by” this postcard and its message three times in a six-week time frame before January. This means you need to obtain a really good testimonial and picture from a happy customer in the service area you plan to mail to. And you also have to figure out when you want each mailing to go out.
Establish A Time Frame
Let’s say you want the third mailing to go out by December 30. That means you need to work backwards from there.
- Third mailing December 30, second mailing December 16, first mailing December 2.
- Get postcards designed and printed by November 25.
- Send copy and testimonials, photos etc. to designer/printer by November 10.
- Obtain testimonials and releases by November 8.
- Start planning specific marketing goals and strategies on November 1.
Put all these dates on the calendar. Do you see what we did there?
Determine Geographic Locations
The next thing you must do is narrow down the areas you’re going to mail to and the demographics so you get the most bang for your buck by purchasing a list that will fit. This will allow you to have about 1,000 really good prospects for this first test marketing. You’ll be well-served to get a good mailing list with websites like infousa.com or coleneigborhoods.com.
Go to your calendar and put in the date that is going to happen. For the sake of continuing the example above, I’d recommend doing this on November 2nd.
When you do marketing this way you have a much better chance for the phone to ring off the hook and to experience what it’s like to finally be getting the right amount of calls, from the right customers, at the right time—not as the exception but as the new and very welcome rule.