Most landscape contractors don’t need their phone to ring more. Every contractor I’ve known their phone is both a vital business tool and the bane of their existence. The frustration is because there are so many calls from people who aren’t the type of customer you want. So instead of working, you spend an enormous amount of time filtering through all the calls to find the few that are worth pursuing.
It is understandable that doing additional marketing would be nerve wracking. The last thing you need is more phone calls from looky-loos, price checkers, and bargain hunters.
The trouble is these are the exact type of customers that call when you don’t have a definition of your ideal customer, also referred to as your target audience. Although you can never filter all your calls, targeting the right audience with your marketing will increase the number of calls you convert into paying customers.
In this video I breakdown how to get started with collecting, organizing, and reviewing your customer information so you can find your most profitable clientele.
Click here to download the presentation.
To get started you are going to need as much information about your previous customers, projects, and jobs. This is probably going to be the most challenging portion in your research. Most small companies do not have a unified central system for customer resource management (CRM).
If you do not have a CRM, pull together as much info that you have from recent jobs. Try to get as many different types of projects you can. Variety will be key to come to some strong conclusions. To do this it might take someone to organize the info from job sheets into a spreadsheet so the data can be easily viewed.
Going forward, this is your opportunity to find a quality CRM that will scale with your business. There is a huge world of CRM’s, from as small as a spreadsheet to annual licenses to Salesforce. When getting started, keep it small. The biggest impact will be entering information on a consistent basis. The more complicated and expensive the process, the less likely you are to maintain it.
Types of fields to collect data:
- Project type
- Property type
- First contact date
- Quote total
- Quote date
- Final invoice
- Days to payment
After compiling as much information you have on your customers as possible, its time to analyze data. Thsi is the qualitative step of your research.
Look for trends in the data, such as:
- Your most common customer type. Residential? Commercial?
- Project type. Custom contsruction? Repair? Maintenance? Service work?
- Most profitable jobs. This one is critical. Just because you do a lot of one type of work doesn’t mean it makes money. Which customers and projects make you the most money.
- Length of time from first contact to sale close.
- Customer demographics.
What is critical in this step is that you are consistent with your measurement. Let the numbers do the speaking. Your role in this is to make sure all the data is present, accurate, and transparent.
In addition to the data you have, understanding your customers emotions is just as important. This is done through customer interviews and surveys along with discussions with your staff. In the qualitative step, you are looking to answer “who” and “why” questions.
In these discussions and surveys, you’ll want to ask questions like:
- Why did they choose you over the competition?
- How satisfied were they with the work performed?
- What didn’t they like?
- Would they refer you to a friend or family member? If yes, why? If no, what could you do in the future?
You will want to find out, aside from price, why did the customer choose you. The answers will give you two opportunities.
1) What are your strengths?
This is what to market to your potential clients. Finding out what your differentiators are will make your marketing more streamlined and consistent, increasing the effectiveness of your message.
2) What are your weaknesses?
Once you know these you’ll be able to create a plan fix them. These are the leading factors on why you don’t close more deals with hilghly profitable customers. Identifying and then creating a plan to rectify them should be your top priority.
Performing a qualitative and quantitative review sound like something you need for your business, but still overwhelmed? I’m here to help! Contact me and we can work together with on a consulting strategy to help you convert more highly profitable customers just for your business.
Reviewing this information as a team will provide a roadmap to growth. With quality data (quantitative) and customer insights (qualitative) you can now select which projects to target, then work with a marketing professional to deliver your message to the right audience.
Keep in mind this is the beginning of the journey.
Imagine you are standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon wanting to get to the otherside. You could spend thousands of dollars building a huge ramp, a fast car, and training a driver to attempt a jump across the entire chasm. But that’s fraught with danger, low odds of success, and a massive budget.
Instead, you can prepare a quality pack, find a trail, and walk rim to rim in just a couple days.
The point is that there are now big jumps. The safest and surest path is one small step and at time. As you go, you’ll see other amazing things and more opportunities for your next hike.
Using this data, you can build an effective marketing plan plus have a better understanding of your business. You may find custom construction customers really enjoy working with you, but your margins are low. Knowing this you can likely raise your prices. You may also find service work is highly profitable, but customers are unhappy with their experience. This will allow you to develop a training plan with your employees to raise the overall customer satisfaction and in turn get more referrals for your most profitable offering.
Just remember this isn’t a one-and-done process. Make sure each year you perform a similar process and update as necessary.
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