How important is a first contractor impression? How do you want people to think of you and your company when it is mentioned? If you are looking to retain your existing customers and add to your customer base, the first impression of your contracting company is of great important to your business success.
As a remodeling contractor, first impressions will affect your business success, apart from the value and quality of your work. Within the first few seconds of hearing you, seeing you and viewing your marketing, your audience of potential clients will make a decision about you and your business. Either thumbs up or thumbs down.
FIRST CONTRACTOR IMPRESSION
First impressions have the ability to make or break any business. A positive first contractor impression can create long-lasting clients, repeat business and new sales referrals. It is essential that a residential contractor and company personnel understand this importance and work on creating that positive first impression.
Let’s take a look at where your prospective client may first run into you when they form their first contractor impression.
Let’s start with the most basic first contractor impression of any potential client: answering the telephone. This is fundamental to any successful business: answer the telephone promptly, be courteous, get the basic contact information, know how to respond to basic questions, follow up as needed, when promised.
Home Improvement Helpers’ own experience indicates that less than 50% of residential contractors answer the telephone or have an answering machine or third-party service. Ponder this to help separate yourself from your competitors.
It is important to note that all marketing communications, whether through advertising, direct mail, e-mail, networking, presentations, social media, or website visits, aim to achieve a single goal: a personal contact and the opportunity to make a sale.
As a residential contractor you invest time, money and resources to set up a homeowner onsite visit to discuss their project. Your perspective client expects you to be on time, so don’t disappointment them.
Punctuality is a characteristic of professionalism, which you wish to cultivate. This is a simple way for you to establish a positive contractor first impression with a homeowner.
Plan ahead to avoid unforeseen circumstances to ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to arrive when expected. If you are running late, advise the perspective client, but understand that you’ve blown your first impression before you even show your face.
Your homeowner onsite visit is a business meeting. Perhaps not in a formal company boardroom, but a business meeting nevertheless. Take time prior to the onsite visit to review information about the perspective client and their project.
Make the best use of your time and that of the homeowner. Know what kind of project the homeowner wants done and be ready with answers to frequently asked questions. Being prepared for a productive meeting shows that you know their time is valuable, and that you value their business.
The eyes of your customers and potential clients see many things. These will shape their opinions of you and your contracting company. There are steps you should take to ensure that their first contractor impression is one of a professional company.
The attire of your staff should be clean, ironed, well fitted with your company marketing, plus personnel identification badge. Your staff should be neat and well groomed.
Your work vehicles (whether one or five) should be well branded and serve as your fleet of moving billboards. Use distinctive color schemes, and promote your company, not the manufacturers that you represent. They should be clean, clear of garbage and washed at least once per week. Since your personnel driving them are 24/7 advertisements, they should be courteous drivers and obey traffic and parking regulations.
Customers will pay for value when they see a professional and clean-looking technician and vehicle compared to an informal contractor operating out of the back of a pickup truck. Your contracting business should not look cheap, nor be the cheapest in town.
YOUR BUSINESS PERSONA
People do business with people they know, like, trust and value. If you have successfully scheduled a homeowner visit, you have already checked some of these items.
Now is the face-to-face meeting. A firm handshake, solid eye contact, a genuine smile starts the process and shows respect and builds trust. Use formal names when addressing (Mr/Mrs) unless they give permission otherwise. Speak clearly and slowly to put them at ease.
Listen carefully to their questions, concerns and prior experience working with residential contractors. Be thoughtful in your responses and make sure they understand them by using examples. Be positive to help alleviate concerns and stress.
Ask plenty of questions as part of your project checklist so the homeowner gains a trust level and appreciates your level of professionalism and value.
CONCLUSION – FIRST CONTRACTOR IMPRESSION
By focusing on these positive first contractor impressions you will retain your existing customers and gain their repeat business, receive new client referrals and win new business clients.
For additional information on telephone-verified, exclusive home improvement leads for residential contractors and how they can help you grow your business, please Contact Us for a free, no obligation conversation.