3 Tips for Getting Word of Mouth Referrals from Customers

word of mouth referralsWord of mouth has long been one of the most powerful forms of advertising a construction company can use, but it doesn’t happen all by itself. To really get your clients actively spreading the word about your business, you’ll need to guide them toward taking action.

Make it Easy

The less effort your clients need to put into sending leads your way, the more likely they are to do it. Start by giving your clients extra material they can hand out to anyone who might be interested. Make sure it’s material that offers real value so your clients will feel good about passing it on to their friends and business associates. It could be something as simple as a pamphlet with 10 tips for controlling costs on a commercial office building project. Beyond this, provide a simple method for sending in referrals. Offer a form on your website or mail out a form with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Reward Referrals 

The simplest option for motivating your clients to send you leads is a fixed-amount cash reward or a percentage of the profit from your new client. Alternatively, send a gift that’s personalized to your clients’ interests, such as a wine club membership or a photography class voucher. A reward like this can help strengthen your relationships by showing you care about your clients as individuals. To reduce the risk your client will forget, offer a time-limited bonus available only for leads sent within two or three weeks of their projects’ completion.

End on a High Note

The way you cap off a project is the way your client will remember you. Leave them with a positive impression and they’ll be more likely to recommend your company, even if the project hit some minor bumps along the way. When a project ends, surprise your client with a token of appreciation, such as a gift card to buy something for their new building or a set of framed photos of the building.

3 Ways To Get Current Customers To Provide Construction Leads

personal referralsWord of mouth is critical for construction lead generation and your current customers present some of your best opportunities for getting the word out about your firm. To get those referrals coming in steadily, though, you’ll need to give your customers a little encouragement.

  1. Time it Right – When your client is feeling especially appreciative of your work, they’re more receptive to the idea of returning the favor by sending business your way. A few good times to ask for a referral are when your client thanks you for a job well done, after you’ve done a favor for them or gotten them out of a sticky situation, or when you’ve exceeded expectations, such as by getting a job done ahead of schedule. Be ready with a form that’s easy for your clients to fill in with their referral’s contact information. A self-addressed, postage-paid postcard they can drop in the mail later is even better.
  2. Offer a Little Extra Motivation – A referral program offering a reward for new clients is the most clear-cut way to incentivize customer referrals. For large contracts your current customers help bring in, you could even offer a cut of the profits. A cash incentive isn’t a must, though. In fact, with high-end clients, small rewards can backfire by looking trivial. Instead, when a valuable client sends you a construction lead that turns into business, thank them with a gift tailored to their preferences, such as restaurant gift card, tickets to an event or a bottle of their favorite wine. A thoughtful gift is likely to be remembered when another referral opportunity shows up.
  3. Stay in Touch – Even during on-going projects, continue building relationships with your clients to keep your firm at the forefront of their minds. Pass along useful industry news, tell them about a potential opportunity or introduce them to someone who could benefit their business. As you connect, educate your clients about the range of services you offer so they understand what kind of clients you’re looking for.

 

Why Relationship Building Should be the Cornerstone of Your Marketing Plan

By doing business with you, your construction clients place a lot of faith in your abilities and your personal integrity. Building strong, long-term relationships creates the kind of trust that will win you clients and referrals. Good rapport is also part of how remodelers work with difficult clients.

The Friendship Factor

Relationship marketing is based on the idea that your prospects and current clients need continuous personal attention, just like your genuine friends do. With so many construction firms just a click away, a prospect won’t choose you just because they found your name.

To see you as the clear choice, your prospects need to trust both your skills and integrity, and like you as a person. That kind of trust and respect is only possible when you’ve spent time getting to know your prospect. What’s more, when you have a real relationship, you can’t be easily replaced, which allows you to set more profitable prices.

Relationship marketing humanizes your firm, which plays a role in how remodelers work with difficult clients. Even if a client is demanding, indecisive or impatient, it’s easier to get them to cooperate if they already know and like you. This way you’ll be able to win and retain business from clients no other firm can handle.

More Referrals and Opportunities

Maintaining relationships with your current and past clients brings in more referrals. When a client refers business to you, they’re putting their own reputation on the line. No professional will do that unless they know they can trust you 100 percent. Developing that level of trust takes an on-going effort.

Strong relationships can also open up profitable business opportunities, such as partnerships and joint ventures, as well as favorable rates on materials or subcontracted work. A client who’s familiar with how you work and sees you as a friend will be far more likely to take the initiative in setting up mutually beneficial arrangements like these.

To learn more about relationship marketing and how remodelers work with difficult clients, contact Construction Monitor.

3 Ways to Boost Construction Leads from Referrals

Attracting referrals is one of the most effective methods of lead generation in the construction business, but referrals don’t come by magic. If you expect to bring in a steady stream of construction leads, you have to take some action to get the ball rolling.

lead generation in the construction businessMake It Easy

Even if your clients think you did an outstanding job, it might never occur to them to refer business to you. To encourage them to take the extra step of making a referral, give them a simple, straightforward way to do it.

You can start just by asking your clients if they know any homeowners or developers who might need your services. In addition, provide a form that lets clients list the names and contact information of anyone who might want to work with you. Ask your client’s permission to distribute letters describing the work you did for them, along with a photo of the client beside your yard sign. To really kick your referral system up a notch, consider offering referral fees to reward your clients’ efforts.

Build Personal Relationships

Good work isn’t always enough to attract a referral. Ultimately, we refer our friends and acquaintances to service providers we like as people, not to faceless companies. That means a big part of lead generation in the construction business lies in personal connections.

To build the kind of personal rapport and affinity that pulls in construction leads, choose one person to work closely with the client throughout the job. This person becomes the human face of the company and is the one clients will refer work to.

Be Exceptional

Doing an adequate job probably won’t get you many complaints, but it won’t win you much praise, either. If you expect clients to remember you, much less send business your way, you’ll need to outperform your competition in some way. There are dozens of ways you could do this, including completing work faster, using higher-quality materials, or offering a wider selection of eco-friendly options.

For more pro tips on lead generation in the construction business, contact Construction Monitor today.

 

Using Building Permit Data for Successful Lead Generation in the Construction Business

Building Permit DataEvery business, particularly construction firms, requires a steady influx of new customers to sustain revenue flow and profitability. Lead generation in the construction business flows from a number of consistent categories, but adding building permit data to these sources will significantly expand your reach into areas you may not have even considered. Continue reading Using Building Permit Data for Successful Lead Generation in the Construction Business