Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 12, 2017.
Here is a list of some of MYM’s most recently completed contractor websites:
Explore these great websites. Then read this blog post about underperforming contractor websites. Then ask yourself if it’s time for YOU to update, overhaul, or even ditch your current website.
I get it…
The decision to change your website can be hard.
You’ve poured a ton of effort and money into it.
You feel like your pride is on the line.
As if you’ve somehow “failed” by admitting your website isn’t pulling its weight.
But if your website is not getting results (traffic, leads, appointments)… what choice do you have, really?
Remember: The first step to fixing a problem is to admit you have one.
So swallow your pride if your website is a money pit. Say to yourself, “What I have is NOT working, and it’s costing me money. I need to resolve this ASAP.”
When you do, you’ll feel liberated. And you’ll have taken the first step to turning your prospect-repelling, money-hemorrhaging website into a profit-producing cash magnet.
If you need help deciding whether you need a new website, that’s what our Lead Generation Audit is for.
We’ll rigorously analyze your website for visibility, conversion power, and a LOT more.
It’s $4,500 worth of services… for the grand total of $0.00.
P.S. We have quite a few websites launching soon. I’ll keep you posted because some of them are COMPLETELY different than anything you’ve ever seen from MYM.
We’ve recently improved our website-design process to offer our clients MUCH more flexibility and choice. You’re going to see some truly amazing websites in the near future.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 6, 2017.
Want to know the #1 reason contractors don’t close sales meetings?
Hint: It’s probably not what you’re thinking.
While “no money,” “needed more info,” and “bad timing” are all solid answers, they’re not the most common reason for sales meetings that end… well, without a sale.
Not. Even. Close.
The biggest reason people don’t buy during that initial meeting (which radically reduces the chance they’ll buy at all) is good old-fashioned sticker shock.
Yes, really. I’ll explain.
You are asking people for a lot more money than they were likely expecting you to. Though they may be able to afford it, the collision course of their flowery expectations with a (much) more expensive reality is enough to kill a sale.
Think about it…
Contractors sell a fairly expensive service that people don’t often buy. This means most homeowners don’t have a frame of reference for how much they should expect to pay. And when they don’t know, they tend to underestimate the cost.
So when you show up to sell to prospects, you have to cover a lot of ground to close that gap. This leads to frustratingly long sales cycles, sales meetings that stretch well beyond what they’re supposed to, and the prospect raising phantom objections (because they’re too scared to admit that, holy cow, this is more money than they were expecting!).
Here’s how you prevent sticker shock in your prospects and make closing ratios soar…
Utilize Pre-Positioning Materials
One of the best ways to quell sticker shock is to start building a case for the value of your services before you meet with the prospect.
You can do this by sending the prospect Pre-Positioning materials—informative sales materials and reports (printed work best, but PDF documents work in a pinch) that showcase a bit of your Identity while educating them on how to make good decisions for their home and project.
Two examples of Pre-Positioning materials we include provide our clients are the Contractor Standards Guide (a guide that helps homeowners choose the best contractor) and Product Reports (a brochure that provides specific info about a product you sell).
Contractor Standards Guide (Roofing Contractor)
Product Guide (Hardwood Floors)
The goal of Pre-Positioning materials is lay out all the main points you’d make during the sales meeting to win them over on price. The key here is that you’re setting expectations BEFORE dropping a price on them. And since it’s in writing—rather than coming from a salesperson’s mouth—it has more credibility and authority.
The next step is to make sure your prospect has read the Pre-Positioning materials before your meeting. When you call to confirm the sales appointment, ask the prospect if he’s had to review the materials you sent. Let him know about the important information he’ll find in the report, and direct him to the most relevant parts.
Don’t just say, “Hey, read this because you have the wrong idea about price and I don’t want to battle you on it.” Instead, frame yourself as the prospect’s advocate and tell him that the Pre-Positioning report will educate him on the right questions to ask during your meeting (or any sales meeting, for that matter).
Let Prospects Go Price Shopping
If you’re not able to close the deal at the appointment, by all means, let your prospect shop the competition with the Pre-Positioning materials you’ve armed him with. It may seem counterproductive, but if you’re a quality company, you should never be afraid to let an educated prospect shop around.
Besides, he already knows you may cost more than your competitors. And since you gave him the materials he needs to see that low price also means low quality, low service, and low reliability, there is a fantastic chance he’ll come back to YOU.
If you want to increase closing ratios, boost your average sales amount, and eliminate sticker shock in your prospects, click here to learn more about MYM’s Pre-Positioning package.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on May 23, 2017.
What if you put your customer references directly on your website?
I’m talking names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least 15 past customers… and putting them on your website for the world to see. No opt-in required.
Do you think that would help your website conversions?
A better question…
How could putting customer references on your website NOT help conversions?
Think about it…
If you have a strong Identity that’s powerfully communicated on your website, you’re going to need to provide social proof to back up all your big claims.
And there aren’t many better ways to do that than giving prospects an instant way to talk to living, breathing people who have hired you, worked with you, and love you.
Putting references directly on your site—instead of providing them to prospects only when asked for—is also a supreme show of confidence.
You’re telling your prospects, “I’m so confident in my work, I’m giving you the names and numbers of 27 of my customers you can call right here, right now.”
Since calling a stranger can be first date levels of awkward, it’s also a good idea to provide the prospect with a list of “ice-breaker” questions to ask your references. These can include…
- Were you satisfied with the results produced by the company?
- Were there any issues during the project? If so, were they handled appropriately?
- If you needed the company, were they easy to reach and responsive?
- Did you ever feel pressured or stressed by them?
- If you had to do it over, would you choose them again?
Of course, I’ve had contractors object to putting references on their website. Here are the most common ones…
Objection 1: What if my customers don’t want to be on my website?
Easy—don’t put them on your list!
Getting a customer’s written permission is necessary, but you’ll find it is much easier to get than you think.
For example: If you’ve completed 500 jobs, and you’re shooting for a reference list with 20 names, that’s only 4% of your past customer base. Doesn’t that seem doable?
Objection 2: What if my references get too many phone calls?
Then, by all means, remove them from the list.
Let your references know up front that they can request to be taken off your list at any time, whether permanently or just for a breather.
A good solution is to rotate two or three different lists once or twice per month. You will quickly find out that only your most earnestly interested prospects actually take the time to call your list. And most of them actually WAIT until after they’ve engaged you in conversation to actually pick up the phone.
Objection 3: What about my customers’ privacy?
If you don’t want your customers’ names showing up in Google searches, have one of your website geeks code your reference page so it’s not indexed by search engines. This way if someone searches your customer’s name, your webpage will not show up in the results.
Objection 4: What if my competitors see my customer list?
What could your competitors do with the information, exactly? Call your customers, tell them you’re awful and try to make them talk crap about you to your prospects?
Remember, the people on your reference list are HAPPY customers. Your competitors aren’t going to do anything with this list, and even if they did, it wouldn’t affect you in any way.
Asking Can’t Hurt…
Ultimately, there’s no harm in asking your customers to be on your online reference list.
The worst that can happen is that they say “no.” The best that can happen is that you create a powerful form of social proof on your website—one that NONE of your competitors have the guts to utilize.
P.S. Is putting customer references directly on your website a gamble? No, not at all. Simply follow the steps above, and you’ve got a powerful new persuasion tool for your website. Give it a shot!
Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 22, 2016.
How do you measure a website’s success?
Traffic? Search engine rankings? Compliments from friends and family on how great it looks?
Wrong. Wrong. And really wrong.
The one true measure of a website’s success is QUALITY LEADS.
Period. End of story. Finito.
It’s like the one time a remodeler I call “Randy” called me sounding down in the dumps.
Here was the basic conversation:
Randy: My new website is first on Google and my traffic is higher than ever.
Me: So why are you calling me?
Randy: My old website never came up in search results, but it pulled in 5 to 10 leads a month. My new website is getting practically ZERO.
Me (looking at his website): That’s not surprising. How much did you spend on this new site?
Randy: $17,000 for the site and one year of SEO services.
Me: Can you get your money back?
Randy: (silence; possibly tears)
Here’s the deal…
SEO, PPC, and all of that other stuff are required to survive and thrive in the Wild West that is the World Wide Web.
But those things just bring the horses to water. It’s your website’s job to make ’em drink (i.e., get them to contact you).
Unfortunately, 99% of internet marketing companies focus solely on slick design and SEO. They don’t actually do what’s needed to make their clients’ websites CONVERT.
Here are some of the more common blunders I see when it comes to the average contractor’s website…
Blunder: Prioritizing Google Over People
Sure, optimizing your website for search engines is crucial. Necessary, in fact.
But most internet marketing companies concentrate on creating content that is so SEO friendly that they forget living, breathing human beings are the ones actually reading it.
So when a prospect reads the keyword-stuffed word salad on your website, they can’t click away fast enough.
For example, here was the main headline of Randy’s new website: “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Randy, if you’re reading this, this photo sums up my reaction to your headline:
Sorry, my friend.
Seriously, though, would you ever say the claptrap in the headline to a prospect in person? They’d think you’re an idiot and run as far away from you as possible.
It’s the same when the prospect sees it on your website. They read this garbage and instantly click away to find a contractor whose website CAN answer the question, “Why should I pick THIS company instead of all the others?”
And when that prospect finds someone answers the question, guess who they’re gonna call?
Hint: NOT the guy who says, “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Blunder: The Bait And Pounce
Stuffing your website with buttons, forms, and offers (“Get A Price,” “Visit Our Showroom,” “View Our Special Offers,” etc.) is what I call the “bait and pounce.” You give the prospect something to fill out, and then you pounce and sell.
Randy’s website had six—SIX!—of these bait-and-pouncers on his homepage. No wonder his shiny new website wasn’t generating leads.
Trust me: The bait and pounce is not a good way to sell in 2016.
I mean, let’s be honest… why would Joe Blow give you his precious contact info before he knows who you are, how you can help him, and what he can expect?
But if your website takes the time to explain who you are, why you’re better, and how you can help (in powerful, persuasive language), you build trust. Mr. Joseph Steven Blow will then naturally come to his own conclusion that he should call you.
And, yes, having a “Get A Quote” form on your site is okay. Just make sure it’s not the MAIN/ONLY thing prospects see when they first click on your website.
Website traffic, search engine rankings, PPC impressions… all of those things are important to your website.
But if you truly want to measure your site’s success?
Look at how many high-quality leads it’s generating.
Because leading a horse to water is pointless if you can’t make him drink.
P.S. Tomorrow I’ll spill the nine secrets to effective billboard advertising. You might already know a couple, but I guarantee a few surprises… especially number 5. Stay tuned.