August, 2011Archive for

Is Google Places Going to be The Next Yellow Pages?

As Google continues to revamp the Places section and their launch of their new social media network, Google + there has been some noticeable changes that will affect the entire Google Places and Map section. The most severe changes to Google Places involve the removal of client reviews from third party websites within the Place page, and the prohibition of P.O. Boxes as acceptable addresses. One additional change is the removal of the additional information/SEO content that people would enter into their place page such as service areas, products, services etc. More Information »

How To Get More Reviews For Your Company

Got this thought from Tom Johnson over at Johnson Home Construction up around Wilmington, NC, and look at his comment when I checked in at work on Google+

Notice I didn’t ask for a review here. There is a time and a place to ask for reviews or testimonials from previous customers, but no one likes to be asked, again and again, to leave a comment on work that you have done. But, as you may have gathered from Tom’s comment above, there are always more subtle ways to remind folks to support your company. More Information »

Eliminate “Estimate” and “Bid” from Your Vocabulary

I really do not like the word “estimate”, or even worse bid. Estimate implies inexactness. It may be higher, it may be lower. A project consultation, energy audit or design analysis implies much more detail and precision. Bid implies that you are competing for the project.

Instead of offering a “free estimate” offer an in-home consultation. Explain that this is much more than a bid or free estimate. They receive a detailed evaluation of their project that includes:

    • Detailed discussion of project goals and ideas. What are the three most important concerns or objectives for this project?
    • Evaluation of home. Is site suitable for the proposed project? Evaluate feasibility, design considerations.
    • Exact material lists and job proposal. (optional: plans or designs)
    • Offer exact written quote for project, including scheduling, materials, products, etc.

    If you are an HVAC contractor, or sell replacement windows, offer a “Energy Audit”, instead of a “Free Estimate”. You can show the homeowner all the energy wasting areas in their home, including the uninsulated window openings, door cracks, etc. Many of these areas are small, simple and inexpensive to fix. More Information »

    What You Can Do With Google+ Now

    So Google+ has been invitation only for over a month now, and there is no slowing down in people joining it. If you haven’t signed up yet, please click this link to get an invite from me. I encourage you to sign up and look around, I have a feeling it will be beneficial to learn the ends and outs.

    One of the most important features of Google+ is Circles. Circles is a way to organize your contacts. For instance, I have a “Family” circle, and a “Coworkers” circle. The benefit of organizing everyone into circles, is then you can share certain things with certain circles. More Information »

    Creating The WOW Experience

    Unfortunately, that’s not the norm in the home improvement industry. In fact, the norm is to make a lot of promises and then under-deliver. To do “just enough”. To cut corners. To be satisfied with “good enough”.

    By doing the “little things”, you help to distinguish yourself from the rest of your competitors that can’t or won’t take those extra steps. What you are trying to do is exceed expectations.

    Here are some ways you can do that:
    After you’ve sold the job and included everything that’s going to be done on the signed contract, look for something extra you can do while you’re there (then tell the client that you did it). It doesn’t have to be big. Does their lamppost need painting? Something minor need to be repaired? You get the idea.

    Don’t however, be so concerned about doing something extra that you don’t do the best possible job on what you’re contracted to do. It’s not enough to be good at what you do. To get tons of happy clients and tons of referrals More Information »

    Why Service Plans Work For Every Contractor Type

    Though service and maintenance programs are big in the HVAC and Plumbing industry, every contractor should be offering and utilizing a maintenance program. It is a perfect way to create residual income, keep your current clients aware of your services and keep your workers busy during any slow period. A service agreement allows you to generate a recurring revenue stream that helps your business grow.

    One good example to use are deck builders. After every project is completed, offer the client the choice of three service/maintenance plans they would like to participate in. Explain the importance of deck maintenance and retaining the natural beauty of the wood. The three programs you can offer would be:

    Basic – UV and water treatment application: You come back every six months to thoroughly clean the deck, and apply water and sun repellent. The client would be auto billed twice a year

    More Information »

    A Response Is Worth More Than You May Know

    I cannot shout loud enough the benefits of responding to everything. If it’s an article you write for your blog, and someone leaves a comment, respond to that. Someone @replied to you on twitter? Respond. Emails that need to be dealt with, respond. There is something to be said about time management, but I’ll talk about that in the future.

    Let’s take a look at some twitter statistics, shall we?

    According to “Useful Social Media“, over 58% of people who have tweeted about a bad experience regarding a certain business have never received a response from that company they mentioned. But the majority of those people expect a response…..and what happens to their attitude towards that company if there is no response? More Information »

    30 Little Ways To Differentiate Your Business

    I recently did a workshop for remodelers here in my home state of Michigan.

    Everyone that turned out received a document titled:

    “30 Little Ways to Differentiate Your Remodeling Business”

    It’s all about how to:

    • Differentiate
Be Remarkable.
    • “WOW” 
    • Build 

    I’d like to offer you Free Instant Access to this document – simply click here to receive it (a PDF document will open.)

    Enjoy! And be sure to take note of the “P.S.” I have at the end of the document…

    Is Your Presentation Book Up To Snuff?

    Your presentation book is one of the most important tools that you should have in order to make a sale. When doing a presentation, albeit, an indoor air quality system or kitchen remodel, most homeowners will react better to visual aspects then your own words. Listed below are a few things that each and every presentation book should have:

    1) Company Information – This includes associations, mottos, copies of insurance, business licenses, certifications, president bios, etc. More Information »