A strategy to get more business that far too few contractors use
Today’s Quick Tip is an “updated classic.” Don’t click off just yet, I’ll bet if I didn’t say anything you’d never remember the original post back in 2011. And this topic is very timely.
Have you considered doing a customer appreciation event?
Customer appreciation events are very rarely done, which is a shame. But it’s also a great opportunity for you since so few contractors do them. And there’s nothing else you can do to drive more referrals FAST!
What is a customer appreciation event? It can be anything from cider and donuts at your office or shop, to a fancy sit-down affair at an expensive catering place or restaurant. A pizza dinner at a local pizza joint is a great idea.
How much you can spend will be driven by the amount you make on each job.
A Superbowl open house party is, in my opinion, a fantastic idea (you’ll have to get busy planning this if you want to pull it off for this coming Superbowl).
I especially like doing these events in the winter months since most of us are a bit slower, and people’s calendars are not usually booked solid as they are in the Summer and Fall.
If you’re thinking this won’t work for you, think again. I know a carpet cleaner who holds an annual customer appreciation dinner, and he fills the room. If a carpet cleaner can pull this off, then so can you.
One of our home remodeler clients has been doing this for three years now – he actually acted on the Quick Tip back in 2011 – and reports that his clients LOVE it and he’s gotten a number of great referrals each time he’s done it.
Who do you invite?
• All of the folks who have referred someone to you in the last two or three years.
• Any centers of influence should, of course, be invited (or, as Mike calls them, your “Chickens”)
• Anyone for whom you have done a job in the past 3 to 5 years.
• Anyone that you would want as a referral source.
Everyone gets to bring a spouse, friend, or guest.
It’s critical that you get RSVPs from people, so that you know ahead of time how many will attend. Based on this number, you can adjust the size of the room you use. You don’t want a huge room with only ten people in it.
Here’s a great idea to make it fun and improve participation.
With your invitations, send a sealed envelope and mark it “No Peeking.”
You must explain that this envelope holds a certificate for a prize and the individual will get the prize only if they attend the event and do not open the envelope prior to coming.
Most envelopes will be small value gift cards for a local coffee shop or restaurant, movie tickets, etc. But a small number of envelopes will hold great prizes, like an iPod, Kindle Reader, or similar prize. You can even give away a single big prize like a 50-inch TV if that is in your budget.
Imagine the fun atmosphere as you go around the room and each person opens their envelope.
Is there any question that an event like this will lead to more business for you?
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