Posted by Rich Harshaw on July 25, 2017.
Everybody likes a new car warranty.
Besides being included for free, new car warranties have high-perceived value because it’s easy for people to imagine a disaster. All vehicles have a decent chance of messing up somehow, and the cost to repair it can be catastrophically expensive.
Warranties on electronics are a little different.
Many electronics are so cheap and unlikely to break that the value of a warranty is low.
Seriously… why pay $24.99 for a five-year warranty on a $100 printer? It’s just easier to buy a new printer.
Conversely, it’s probably worth the extra seven bucks per month for a full replacement warranty on your high-school daughter’s $700 iPhone. It’s almost guaranteed to be dropped multiple times, fall into a swimming pool, or get misplaced at the mall sometime within its two-year contract.
So for electronics, the perceived value of the warranty depends on the perceived threat (or lack of threat) of large repair bills.
This brings us to your window warranty.
It’s hard for a homeowner to envision the exact kinds of things that can go wrong with their new windows (this also goes for home improvement projects like siding, roofing, kitchens, and so on).
So when you tell a customer your windows have a 25-year warranty, it doesn’t mean much to them.
They don’t “get” things like defects in exterior cladding, missing flashing, and damaged glazing. And in the event that something does go wrong, your customer believes it will be so far in the future that it’s not worth worrying about right now.
So your awesome warranty becomes just another semi-meaningless bullet point on a list of cool features you offer… unless your warranty covers glass breakage.
Everybody can relate to broken glass. Who hasn’t had to deal with a broken window in their life?
They’re like flat tires—it’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
And that’s the beauty of covering broken glass in your window warranty.
It’s the one thing that no one would expect to be included in a warranty. Broken windows are almost always the customer’s fault; nobody would ever expect YOU to cover THEIR carelessness.
Which is exactly what makes glass-breakage coverage so powerful.
Think about it…
By warranting broken glass, you have a unique selling advantage against the competition.
When prospects hear about it, they’ll instantly form an image in their heads of a baseball or football or golf ball crashing through a window.
And then they’ll be amazed that you’ll fix it. No questions. No cost.
But wait… won’t you get annihilated on service requests?
No. Here’s why…
Surprisingly, few customers will take you up on the offer.
Some won’t remember that you offer it.
Others might be embarrassed to request free service because they know the broken window was their fault.
And, to be perfectly honest, there just aren’t THAT many broken windows.
Case in point…
One of my clients has been offering a broken glass warranty for about 18 years. He’s installed windows for over 3,000 customers.
Guess how many service calls he gets per year to fix broken glass?
About four. PER YEAR.
To make the repair, it costs him about a hundred bucks (glass and labor included).
Most customers expect to pay something, and they’re thrilled when there is no charge. And thrilled customers leads to repeat business, referrals, great reviews, and more trust among you and homeowners.
So if you want a distinct selling advantage over your competitors, offer a warranty on broken glass.
It costs the equivalent of pocket lint, and you gain a huge edge on other contractors in your area.
P.S. Want the peace of mind a broken-glass warranty provides customers… but with your marketing? Check out MYM PPC. We promise hot-and-ready leads for a two hundred dollar Cost Per Lead or less.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 30, 2017.
“We’re up to sixteen calls today, and it’s only 2:30! We’ve never seen a response like this before—EVER!”
Sixteen calls by 2:30 may or may not seem like a lot to you, but for Dan, who answered the phone for the little sunroom company in New Jersey, sixteen might as well have been a thousand.
Prior to this, the most calls they’d received in one day was around ten… and that happened years ago.
When the sixteen leads grew into twenty-six by the end of the day—and seventy-three by the end of the first week—the sunroom company was floored.
They had never received more than twenty-five calls from a single ad in an entire MONTH.
What ridiculously simple, yet little-used, change to the same ad they’d been running for years caused this influx of leads?
Instead of only having the usual (and expected) incentive offer—which rotated between twenty percent off, a free heater, etc.—they decided to add an interesting information offer: A complimentary “Sunroom Idea Guide.”
The ad told readers to call in or go online to request the guide. The people who contacted the company supplied their contact info, and they’d get the guide. The guide would show readers the different styles of sunrooms available, photos of thirty-three sunrooms this particular company had built, and a pricing chart.
The massive improvement in reader response is easy to explain.
The incentive offers often used in contractor marketing—including YOURS, most likely!—appeal only to “now” buyers. If somebody is already in the mood to buy a sunroom, a discount or freebie might be just enough to make them call.
But the truth is that most people who see your ads are NOT ready to buy. Not yet.
They may be considering it. They may be planning for it down the road. They may even desperately want or need what you’re selling.
But for whatever reason, they’re not ready to move forward and give you a call.
And that’s where the information offer works its magic.
By creating an interesting guide that people request, you’ve essentially captured all the buyers for the next few months—or years—off the marketplace and into your database.
Sure, it’s disappointing that they don’t want to buy right now. But you now have the opportunity to continually hit them with postcards, emails, and other forms of marketing for years to come.
And you know what the sensei says to the student:
Let me break down all the pesky numbers for you, so you can see how effective the info offer technique is…
- First, determine your current marketing cost per lead deal. If you spend $250 per lead and close 33% of your leads, you’re spending $750 per closed deal. That’s a lot of money.
- Now assume you generate 100 “information offer” leads during a given month. Remember, you’re going to generate these leads IN ADDITION TO (not instead of) your normal leads. So the “cost” of these leads is essentially $0.00.
- Let’s assume you close 10% of these information leads in the next 24 months—that’s 10 deals out of the 100 leads.
- Allocate the same $750 of marketing cost per lead toward these information leads (for follow up), and you now have a budget of $7,500. Spreading that over two years comes to $312 a month.
- Let’s say you use this $312 per month on postcards, and each postcard costs $0.60 to print and mail. You can send five postcards PER MONTH to each of the leads. That’s 60 postcards per year FOR TWO YEARS.
Do you THINK you might close some of them?
The better question: How could you NOT close some of them?
Including an information offer in your ads is surprisingly simple…
Step One: Create a guide with valuable information that appeals to those who would be interested in what you sell. It could contain before and after photos, testimonials, comparisons of materials or brands, or information about how to choose the best product.
Step Two: Give the guide a good name. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Homeowner’s Guide To Replacement Windows; Everything You Need To Know About Gutter Protection; Storage Solutions Ideas & Inspiration Guide; The Metal Roofing Solution. Clear and simple titles like that.
Step Three: Make the offer stand out in your ad—put a picture of the cover of the guide in a conspicuous area, and use the word FREE liberally. Here’s an example:
Step Four: Ensure you prepare your lead handlers—everyone who will have contact with prospects needs to know that information seekers will be contacting you. This might require a culture change for your company. Don’t try to force an information seeker to set an appointment if they are clearly not ready—you risk running them off for good.
A free information offer sets you apart from your competitors because the results (i.e., sales) are not necessarily “immediate” enough for many companies. So they don’t even attempt it. But you WILL get more sales with a free information offer. Not only that, but you also effectively take information seekers off the market and hog them all for yourself.
And here’s the thing…
You don’t have to get rid of the incentives in your ads; “now” buyers will still want and appreciate your discounts and freebies. But if you want to cast a wider net to catch more prospects, and you don’t mind following up with the ones who don’t purchase right away, information offers are the easiest way to get more bang from your advertising buck.
This free information has been provided courtesy of Rich Harshaw and MYM.
P.S. We provide information guide-creation as part of our Pre-Positioning package. Visit our Pre-Positioning package page, browse our samples, and view additional details. If your marketing could benefit from this package, use the handy-dandy chat box in the lower-right corner of this website to talk to us about creating these materials for you. Thanks!
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 30, 2017.
If you know me even a tiny little bit, you know my favorite band is Rush.
Rush doesn’t just churn out awesome music; they are a highly skilled, highly technical three-piece progressive-rock band.
In fact, the band is so talented that fans have dubbed them The Holy Triumvirate.
That’s a lofty nickname to live up to. But, boy, do they ever do it.
As I was blasting Rush’s Moving Pictures album in my car on the way to the office this morning (I’ve gotta get pumped for the day), it made me think about another Holy Triumvirate: MYM’s Trusted Partners.
Our three Trusted Partners—Renoworks Pro, MarketSharp, and GreenSky®—are what I call The Holy Triumvirate Of Contractor Marketing.
Each company brings something different to the table… and each one provides a product that can launch your business to new heights of success.
Here’s how each member of The Holy Triumvirate Of Marketing is similar to the original Holy Triumvirate:
Renoworks Pro (Visualization Software)
Rush Member: Geddy Lee (Vocalist, Bassist)
Everybody knows Geddy Lee’s infamous, high-pitched wailing. But he’s also a helluva bassist.
The bass establishes the beat and is the backbone of the music; Renoworks Pro is the backbone of your sales presentations.
You take a picture of your prospect’s home and upload it to Renoworks Pro. You then apply products directly onto the photo from over 250 manufacturer product catalogs. You can then make your presentation in your prospect’s home or online with Renoworks Pro’s robust remote-selling features.
Since prospects can see what their project will look like, they are more likely to say yes… and at such HIGH prices that Geddy Lee’s vocal chords would be jealous.
What Gushing Groupies Say:
“Since using Renoworks Pro, I have increased my close rates and profit by 60%!” –Paul Sacco, JM Door & Hardware
“With Renoworks Pro, I can usually add between $3,000 to $10,000 of product and services to every job!” –William LaMonaca, Colorado Home Exteriors
MarketSharp (Contractor CRM)
Rush Member: Neil Peart (Drummer)
Fans, musicians, and critics alike consider Neil Peart one of the best drummers of all time. His beats and patterns can be so complex that you swear the guy is part octopus.
That’s why Neil and MarketSharp are one in the same. MarketSharp has a hand in almost every aspect of your business: lead generation, office operations, job scheduling, sales tracking, accounting, automated marketing campaigns, and a WHOLE LOT more.
Just like Neil is often considered drumming’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time), MarketSharp is universally praised as the best CRM for contractors that’s ever been made.
What Gushing Groupies Say:
“Thank God for MarketSharp. If we did not have this program, our leads and customers would be all over the place. MarketSharp allows us to keep track of almost everything in one program. WE LOVE YOU!” –Julia Falke, 21st Century Remodeling
“If we did not have MarketSharp, I would need at least 2 more people in the office working with me!” –Katlyn Gottbeheat, Gugger Home Improvement
GreenSky® (Financing Program)
Rush Member: Alex Lifeson (Guitarist)
Alex Lifeson is an extremely versatile guitar player. And that’s why the GreenSky Program fills his shoes in The Triumvirate.
The GreenSky Program provides your customers with a large range of financing options—there’s something for practically all of your customers.
And while a lot of progressive-rock guitar players dink around with obnoxious scales, time signatures, and effects, Alex keeps things clean, catchy, and filler-free.
It’s like how The GreenSky Program provides financing WITHOUT all of usual hassles that comes with it. There’s no enrollment fee. Credit decisions are done in seconds. It’s completely paperless. And you get 20% to 50% of the money within 24 hours of your customer’s approval.
What Gushing Groupies Say:
“Your financing options have afforded us the ability to land jobs that we would have lost otherwise. In June alone it was responsible for over $35,000.00 dollars in sales. Around 1/4 of our monthly totals are generated by your financing programs!” –Heath Braley, BullsEye Plumbing, Heating & Air
“This sale was headed straight for a competitor today without the very prompt and professional information from your representatives and the flexibility in your decision process. This sale is a testament to flexibility. I appreciate the great help. It was a team effort all the way.” –Ken Sorensen, At Home Services
If you’re a contractor who is not taking advantage of the Holy Triumvirate Of Contractor Marketing, you’re squandering your company’s true potential to maximize profits. It’s that simple.
Visit our Trusted Partners page to discover more about incorporating their services into your business.
I’ll see you in the limelight.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 15, 2017.
Let’s talk about Kim Kardashian.
I mean, what’s a more relatable topic for an email-subscriber list mostly made up of contractors?
But hear me out.
Because while she seems dumb—and a person you probably have ZERO in common with—Kim Kardashian is actually a covert marketing genius who knows 100x more about effective branding than just about anyone.
And she may well be one of your best resources to model your marketing efforts after.
Think about it. Not many people are as wealthy, successful, and well-known as good ol’ Kim K. Her brand is famous throughout the world. And according to Forbes, she has a net worth of $149 million.
How do you think that happened?
Yeah, she’s essentially famous for being famous. But to maintain that reputation and stay in the limelight, she’s had to flex some major marketing muscle.
Here are Kim Kardashian’s four ultra-effective marketing secrets… Secrets you can crib and utilize in your contractor marketing.
1 – She Knows Her Audience
A lot of people loathe Kim Kardashian. And she is A-OK with that.
She understands that to be successful, you can’t please everyone.
You have to focus on YOUR market… even if that means alienating other groups of people.
And you know what?
Who cares if you’re alienating a segment of the population? These are the people who would never buy from you anyway.
No harm, no foul.
If you’re a high-end home builder who won’t accept a project under $100K, you don’t want someone contacting you about a $30K kitchen remodel.
If you’re a contractor who likes to take his time to ensure everything is perfect, you don’t want people calling who need a project, like, yesterday.
Yeah, Kim Kardashian’s book comprised completely of selfies might seem like the world’s biggest waste of trees… to YOU. But her audience ate it up, and the “book” made millions of dollars.
So don’t be afraid to craft a marketing message that may filter out a segment of the population you don’t want anyway.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: Having an ultra-specific message geared toward a specific group of people is how you get that specific group of people to buy from you. So market to YOUR target audience.
2 – She Gets Attention
Kim Kardashian is virtuoso at getting attention. She’s made it an art form.
Whether she’s marrying Kanye West or “breaking the internet” with her butt, she knows how to make people sit up and take notice.
Let’s be clear. I’m not telling you to pose scantily clad for a photo and put it online. (Please, don’t.)
But home improvement marketing is like Attack Of The Contractor Clones…
Every contractor says the same things. Every contractor loads their marketing with platitudes. And not one of these contractors stands out.
That’s why a powerful, passionate, attention-grabbing identity is THE key to marketing success.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: Getting noticed is 90% of the battle. Create marketing that stops people in their tracks and forces them to pay attention to you. (For more info on how to do that, watch my webinar, Identity: How To Really Stand Out From The Crowd.)
3- She Markets Herself Constantly
Kim Kardashian treats social media like its own full-time job. Name any social media app, and you can bet she is on it.
Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. And probably 17 other social media apps you and I have never heard of.
This is because her target market (mostly girls and young women) are on these social media services.
As such, Kim Kardashian is constantly posting on social media, engaging with her fans and posting statuses and pictures of her life. She intersperses these types of posts with subtle sales pitches that her audience eats up.
The following three pictures are three consecutive posts by Kim Kardashian on her Instagram account:
Do you see the clever, understated marketing going on in these photos?
She creates a bond with her audience (the picture with her baby) and turns them into “warm prospects.” Then she sends out a subtle-yet-effective sales pitches that sound more like “your longtime friend Kim,” rather than “impersonal spokeswoman Kim.”
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: Make yourself known and create “top of mind awareness” for your company through regular advertising that REACHES your target market. Kim Kardashian’s main marketing channel is social media; yours may be something else. Whether it’s direct mail, social media, PPC, SEO, or a blend of all of these, keep hammering away to ensure your prospects know you’re out there.
4- Some Of Her Products Are Surprisingly Good
Book of selfies aside, Kim Kardashian sells some surprisingly solid merch.
She has an affordable perfume line with very good reviews. And in 2009, she co-founded a successful online shoe store that currently has an A+ with the BBB.
If you’re going to run a marketing campaign that grabs attention, puts all eyes on you, and gets people to buy from you, you have to produce quality. Period.
If you sell windows, you better install the most efficient, durable, and beautiful windows on the market. If you remodel kitchens, you better produce projects that dazzle every single one of your customers. And so on.
Otherwise, you’ll rapidly get chewed up, spit out, and hauled away with the trash in the court of public opinion.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: If you’re going to talk the talk, you better be sure your services walk the walk.
Get Paid Like Kim K Today…
Follow Kim Kardashian’s marketing master plan (there’s something I never thought I’d say), and watch the riches roll in.
Have MYM create stunningly effective, profit-producing marketing FOR you. We provide turnkey marketing solutions for contractors who crave results.
Reach out to us by calling 817-416-4333, or visit our website and use the Live Chat box.