STOP Marketing for New Customers!


For years – decades even – contractors have focused their time, energy and marketing dollars on acquiring new customers.

I read a recent article about a Harvard Business School research report that proves what I’ve been saying for years… namely that engaging your prior clients is a darned good marketing strategy.

What the Harvard research report actually said is this: “Increasing customer retention rate by just 5% increases your profits by 25 – 95%.”

I love being right…

In my experience, far too few contractors do anything to stay in touch with their past customers.

The fact is that there is probably a goldmine buried right in your past client files.

Think about it – if you did a kitchen remodel for a homeowner three years ago, or if you painted four rooms, or installed some landscaping, or whatever – do you think they’re possibly thinking about having some more work done?

The answer is… at least some of them are.

In the 18 years that I have lived in my house we’ve had six good-sized home remodeling projects done: we bumped out our living room and added a fireplace, we had the basement finished (twice!), we had our kitchen and powder room remodeled, we had our bedroom turned into a master suite (including a big closet built out over our garage), and we had the windows, siding and roof done.

Heck, I’ve had a project every two or three years… and I used five different remodelers for the six projects.

A lot of your past clients are like me… if you haven’t been in contact with them since you finished their job, then they aren’t your client anymore. They may not even call you for a proposal on the project they now wish to have done. They’re more likely to ask their neighbors and friends – or their Facebook friends – for current recommendations.

Plus, your competitors are trying to lure away your best customers using every trick in the book.

Think about this… if you went to a restaurant last month and had a really nice experience, you’d be likely to tell a neighbor or friend about it, right? But what if you went there a year ago? You’re probably less likely to recommend it because you’re not sure it’s still good. And, in the meantime, you’ve been to other restaurants and had a nice time.

The key to keeping customers for life is to communicate with them regularly. And the best way to do that is a client newsletter.

Yup… you’ve most likely heard this advice before. And I can tell you, I’ve giving the advice before.

Sending a regular client newsletter, if it has the right elements, is the single best client retention strategy there is.

Even Harvard agrees with me!

“A newsletter costs too much,” you say.

The numbers tell a different story. The average cost to attract a new customer is now over $500. The cost to keep in touch with your customers is about $25 per year. That’s a pretty inexpensive way to keep them coming back over and over again.

And it’ll not only bring past customers coming back, it’ll create new referrals. And we all know that referrals are the best kind of prospect.

I hope you have records of your past customers. This is the starting point; whether you have 200 or 2,000 on the list.

I will even give you the first step… email me at bheer@bernieheer.com with the subject line, “Client Newsletter.” I’ll send you a sample of a client newsletter so that you can see exactly how to lay it out.

Heck, you can even copy it and use it as your first newsletter.

Categories: Contractor Marketing, Referral Strategies For Contractors, Sales Growth
Written by Bernie Heer

Bernie is the creator of the Construction Profit Zone System.
You can follow him at Google+

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