Posted by Rich Harshaw on March 29, 2018.
They’re like flies buzzing around your head: They don’t pose much of a threat… but they sure are annoying.
I’m talking about The Undercutters—your competitors who constantly bid less than you for the same jobs.
You know the ones.
They’re the guys meet with the prospect AFTER you. The guys who say, “Whatever THAT company bid, we’ll do it for [XYZ] less.” The guys who—let’s face it—lack the professionalism, passion, and skill to do the job right.
Some prospects won’t take the bait.
They know better. They’ve done their homework. So they know that a “too-good-to-be-true” price is just that.
But other prospects? They’re not so lucky.
For the majority of homeowners, this is their first time contacting a contractor for a home improvement project. They don’t know that—in the remodeling industry—the “best price” and the “cheapest price” are NEVER the same thing. So they’re naivety is what makes them choose The Undercutter.
Don’t, however, get the wrong impression about these prospects. Most of the folks who choose The Undercutter over you do, in fact, want the highest quality. The kind of quality YOU provide. They just don’t know any better.
So… how do you keep Undercutters from poaching your customers and ensuring good, honest people don’t get swindled?
Here are four ways to quash an Undercutter’s powers during your appointment with a prospect:
1. Positioning, Positioning… POSITIONING
There’s no way you can match The Undercutter’s price. So you must make it abundantly clear that you—and ONLY you—are the best contractor for the job. End of story.
You use the proper clearances—to the millimeter—when installing siding. You protect new granite countertops with an industry-grade impregnating sealer. You have in-house installers who are passionate about their craft. You install kick-out flashing when putting on a new roof.
In a nutshell: You focus on ALL of the details that make ALL the difference.
This is all part of a powerful Identity—THE cornerstone to your marketing message. If you don’t have a powerful Identity to communicate to prospects, you’ll find it difficult to crush The Undercutters.
2. The “Nanna” Philosophy
Psychological studies show that a consumer is more likely to buy from a person/company they like than one they don’t.
This seems obvious. But it’s difficult for many remodeling companies to understand WHAT makes them seem likeable to homeowners.
There’s a surefire way to make every prospect love you: take on every project as if it were your dear old grandmother’s.
If you sat down with your sweet little nanna to discuss remodeling her kitchen or installing new windows, how would you treat her?
Like the Queen of England, naturally.
So why not treat EVERY prospect like royalty?
Be a homeowner advocate. Educate them instead of selling them. Answer all of their questions (no matter how silly) with a smile on your face. Give them your cell number during the estimate, and tell them to call any time—day or night—with a question. Heck… have a box of dog treats stashed in your truck to give to your prospects’ pooches.
Bottom Line: Make the appointment—and overall project—100% about them. And kill them with kindness.
Yes, tell the prospect how and why you’re better. But do it in a way that shows how your greatness benefits them, Them, THEM.
3. Look The Part
People judge books by their covers. Period.
This natural human instinct gives you a huge advantage over 99% of Undercutters.
Most Undercutters are one-man shows who work out of their 15-year-old unbranded Chevy Silverados.
Their dashboards have papers scattered all over. The contents of their truck beds look less like they’re carrying expert equipment for a remodel and more like they’re hauling junk to the dump. And the rust forming around the tire wells doesn’t exactly scream “professional business.”
A professional appearance subconsciously communicates quality. Your clean company truck, nice button-up shirt, iPad (for presentations), branded brochures, and modern website all play a part in convincing prospects you’re going to do the job right.
After all… if you put that much effort into your appearance, why WOULDN’T you put the same amount (or more) into a customer’s project?
4. Tell Prospects You’re Here To Stay
Let’s be honest: Undercutters can’t possibly be turning the type of profit to be financially stable.
And we all know what happens as a result: Undercutters go belly-up left and right.
Industry estimates show that 50 to 60% of contractors go out of business within four years of opening. And, naturally, the overwhelming reason is because these businesses didn’t make enough money.
Honestly, you can’t know for sure how well an Undercutter is doing financially. So don’t actually tell prospects an Undercutter probably won’t be around in a few years if warranty work is needed. (You don’t know, after all.)
Instead, make it abundantly clear that YOU are financially stable. You’ll ALWAYS be there—5, 10, 20 years down the line—if they need something.
This is when you bust out things that prove you’re on firm ground: Years in business, number of customers served, how much experience you have, and so on. Beat it into the prospect’s brain that you’re as reliable as Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals.
By doing so, you give them peace of mind Undercutters cannot possibly provide.
Want More Ways To Improve Your Close Rates?
If you want to boost your close rates and land more jobs, I’ve got the resource for you.
The MYM blog contains numerous articles about improving your closing percentages. Go here now and consume every morsel of marketing goodness they provide: https://mymonline.com/mymblog/tag/pre-positioning/
Posted by Rich Harshaw on March 27, 2018.
One of the biggest reasons contractors hate PPC is the monthly ad budgeting.
To come up with a proper monthly ad spend budget (i.e., an ad budget that will actually produce leads), you have to consider factors like…
- What keywords to bid on. (Ugh…)
- The quality scores—and costs—of those keywords. (Bleh…)
- Impression share. (What IS that, anyway?)
- Amount lost to ad rank. (Seriously?)
- Return on ad spend. (How is that done?!)
- Cost-to-click ratio. (Too much math!)
Basically… a bunch of extremely technical stuff you don’t have time for and only PPC pros actually understand.
(I won’t even get into actually CREATING pay-per-click ads that make prospects want to click on them. That’ll come in a few weeks.
But determining your budget isn’t even the worst part.
How quick and easy you can blow through an entire month’s budget well before the month is up.
Here’s the deal: If a PPC campaign is not PERFECTLY optimized, you can wind up spending your entire month’s ad budget (whether it’s $3K or $30K) in a week or two.
The remainder of the month?
You’re riding the pine while your competitors are still in the game, running up the score on you.
A well-calibrated and appropriately-budgeted PPC campaign will bring droves of leads to your doorstep. But optimizing a campaign to those levels is about as fun as a root canal.
Open up (your wallet).
When MYM sat down to develop No-Risk PPC, we recognized ad budgets were a gigantic pain point for contractors with pay per click. And it was one of the biggest issues we wanted to fix.
We didn’t “fix” the PPC ad budget problem—we simply eliminated ad budgets!
That’s right. We’ve created a PPC program that requires you to spend precisely $0.00 on a monthly ad budgets.
Literally all you do is tell us how many leads you want. We take care of ALL the technical stuff and number crunching. Then we deliver the leads to your doorstep.
No budget necessary.
How are we the only PPC company in the universe (to my knowledge) that requires no ad spend from its clients? How could that possibly work?
I can’t share ALL the details.
Needless to say, our competitors would jump at the chance to steal our “Secret Sauce.”
All I can tell you is that we’ve got contractor-related PPC down to a hard science. Our crack crew of PPC experts has more experience and knowledge than ANYONE else when it comes to generating remodeling pay-per-click leads. Period.
As a result, we’ve developed a system other PPC providers would give their left legs for a peek at.
Fortunately, our proprietary PPC program is tucked away in an underground vault, guarded by former Hells Angels and their pet Rottweilers.
(Not really. But I am considering it.)
Most importantly, our budget-free PPC system WORKS.
Here are a few hot-off-the-presses results for No-Risk PPC clients:
Client One (Roofer)—14 leads; $145.83 per lead
Sample Chat Leads:
Client Two (Windows)—28 leads; $146.28 per lead
Sample Chat Leads:
If you’re looking to generate tons of high-quality internet leads—without the stress of risking your hard-earned money—fill out the form on the official No-Risk PPC page.
P.S. Don’t you hate it when you feel like you’ve landed a job… only to have another contractor underbid you and steal the job from under your nose? If you have a problem with contractors undercutting you, the next blog post is for you. I’ll tell you how to quash the “low ballers” who pilfer your customers.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on March 27, 2018.
I”ve showed you real examples of how PPC leads are easier to close than a kid in a candy store.
This, of course, assumes your PPC “funnel”—all the steps in which prospects take from seeing your ad to contacting you—is effective.
As promised, today I’m following up that email with how to craft a PPC funnel that guides leads to your doorstep.
To create a lead-generating PPC funnel, it’s necessary to get in the right mindset. So imagine the following…
–You’re the guide on a hiking trail.
–Prospects who see your PPC ad are your tour group.
–Your objective is to lead this group down the proper path—making sure they don’t get lost at any point along the way—to the end of the trail.
For our purposes, the “path” consists of all the steps a prospect has to follow during a PPC campaign. The “end of the trail” is the prospect successfully following the path and contacting you about your services.
With that in mind, here’s a “trail map” for getting PPC prospects to stay on the correct path and reach the “end”…
- Your PPC ads get seen by the RIGHT people
To get clicks from the right people (i.e., people who are actively interested in your services), your ads have to be properly targeted. And to accomplish that, your ads have to show up for the keywords that raring-to-go prospects are searching.
This requires optimizing your keyword bids, and it often takes a fair amount of time and research. You need to find out what keywords people in your area are searching, what keywords your competitors are using, and the bid prices for every keyword.
After that, you must consistently monitor your campaign’s performance to ensure you get the most effective bids while getting as much leverage as possible out of your keywords.
In all, things get pretty technical. And it can be easy to blow through your budget on ineffective keywords. Or keywords that cost an arm and a leg. Or trying to compete with the companies that spend literally $100,000+ a month on PPC.
(Yes, they exist. We have a few as clients!)
The hassle of the keyword-bidding process is a major reason we unleashed No-Risk PPC into the remodeling world.
We handle the entire keyword-bidding process for you. We know the keywords that red-hot prospects search. And we know how to bid to get MAXIMUM value for minimum investment.
But you don’t have to worry AT ALL about any of that. We require a monthly ad budget of $0.00 from clients!
- Your PPC ads make people want to click on them
There are “trigger points” you can use in your advertising that, when applied, practically force a remodeling prospect to take action.
It’s like Pavlov’s dog. As soon as that pooch heard the ding of the bell, he automatically started salivating.
It’s the same with remodeling prospects. As soon as you hit their “trigger points” in a PPC ad, they almost instinctively click on it.
So, what are these “Pavlovian-esque” triggers that make remodeling prospects automatically click on your PPC ads?
That is a large topic, so I’ll save it for another email. That said, this webinar about Identity I held a few years ago is a good place to start discovering the answer. You can also search through past blog posts of mine—you’ll find dozens of articles about writing powerful, on-target copy.
- Your website or landing page’s message matches your PPC ad
Let’s say you’ve completed steps one and two like a pro. Your PPC ads show up consistently on the results page. The message of your PPC ads is on-target. And the right people are clicking on them.
To keep the prospect on the right path, there must be a logical flow between your PPC ad and the page it leads to.
For example: Does your PPC ad mention a sale for 20% off? If so, you better make dang sure the page the ad links to mentions 20% off IMMEDIATELY in big ol’ conspicuous writing.
The same goes for the type of service, product, and anything else you’re advertising via PPC.
If someone clicks on your ad with the expectation of learning more about bathroom remodeling, MAKE SURE to link to a page that talks about bathroom remodeling. If they want to know more about siding, make sure they are directed to a page that talks about siding. And so on.
This seems like common sense. But you’d be surprised how often a company creates a PPC ad for a certain service, and then links to a page with little to no information about that service (such as the contact page… or even the homepage in some instances).
And—to go back to the second point—powerful and on-target copy is a must for your landing page. If prospects can’t see why you’re the right company for them RIGHT WAY, they’ll leave your site in seconds.
- Your phone reps “seal the deal”
I remember watching a 1,500m track race during the Olympics years ago.
This guy was winning by a comfortable margin. All he had to do was keep pace, and he’d easily take home the gold.
He tripped and fell six feet away from the finish line.
All the other runners whizzed by him. And he finished last.
When it comes to PPC leads, it’s also possible to trip seconds away from the finish line.
Sure, PPC leads are raring to go. But they can change their mind if they don’t like even the smallest thing about your company.
That’s why whoever answers your phone and sets appointments HAS to “bring it home” during the last stretch of the PPC funnel.
Or, in other words, NOT SCREW IT UP.
That might sound kind of jerk-ish. But I’ve witnessed way too many remodeling companies botching easy-to-close leads with their terrible phone skills. (Here’s a blog post with actual examples. Prepare to cringe—hard.)
If setting appointments over the phone is an Achilles’ heel of your company, don’t worry. I’ll give you the exact blueprint to stepping up your phone game in the very near future. It’s actually MUCH easier than you think to step up your phone skills tenfold.
To recap, here are the four steps to crafting an effective, lead-generating PPC funnel:
- Get your ads seen by the RIGHT people.
- Make your ads powerful and on-target, so people want to click on them.
- Have a message on your PPC landing page that matches your ad.
- Make sure whoever answers your phone knows how to set an appointment.
It may not be quick. It may not be easy. But when you hit all four of these, you’ll guide your prospects from your PPC ad to contacting you about investing in your services.
Of course… if you’d rather have someone else do all the work for you, you know where to turn.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on March 27, 2018.
There are two reasons remodeling PPC leads are easier to close than a kid in a candy shop.
Reason One: PPC leads often want to get started A-S-A-Now.
The type of folks who click on PPC ads typically want to get started immediately or in the very near future. They’ve got money burning a hole in their pocket. And they’re looking to YOU to take that cash off their hands.
According to industry statistics, paid ads get 65% of all clicks for “high-commercial intent” searches. In other words, the folks looking to buy a product or service—not “looky-lous.”
Not only that, but research also shows people who click on paid ads are 50% more likely to buy than people who click on organic results.
Reason Two: PPC leads are hyper-targeted.
PPC isn’t a “spray and pray” marketing method like direct mail or media advertising.
When you send out postcards or run a radio ad, you’re reaching a TON of people in hopes of snagging a relative few who need your services at that moment.
PPC is the opposite.
If your PPC campaign is optimized correctly, nearly every single person who clicks on your PPC ad is in your service area and currently in market for what you offer. (Let’s be real—someone who finds your website through PPC probably isn’t looking for a new dishwasher.)
In a nutshell: PPC leads have a remodeling “sweet tooth.” And they’re looking to YOU to satisfy their cravings.
But I don’t want you to think I’m whistling Dixie over here.
Below are a bunch of real examples of how eager PPC leads are when they contact you.
These examples come from transcribed chats for various No-Risk PPC clients. I’ve removed all identifying information to protect our clients’ and their customers’ security.
I could show you more until what you’re reading is the new Guinness record holder for World’s Longest Email. But you get the picture.
Getting these kinds of clamoring pay-per-click prospects contacting you assumes, of course, that you can an effective PPC “funnel.”
What do I mean?
Think of PPC as a hiking trail. People interested in your services are the tour group. And you (and, by extension, your PPC funnel) are their guide.
The start of the “trail” is when someone sees your PPC ad. The end is when that person contacts you about your services.
Your job is to lead your tour group down the PPC “path”—making sure they don’t get lost at any point along the way—to the end of the trail.
On Monday, I’ll reveal these “paths” to you, so you can maximize your PPC lead generation.
P.S. If you don’t want to worry about any of the PPC stuff yourself—and just want to make some extra sales FAST—head over to the No-Risk PPC page. Fill out the form on the right side of the page, and let us know how we can help. Thanks!