5. Truck and Job Signs
Put large signs on your trucks to promote your company. I put 12-ft. long signs on my dump trucks and 8-ft. signs on the sides of my sealcoat tanks to advertise by phone number. They are like moving billboards that constantly remind customers of my phone number for a one time reasonable cost. Putting large signs of your website name or company name also are effective.
Put job signs up at every job with your phone number and website name. My crews are instructed to put up signs as soon as they arrive to a jobsite. This will get you business from neighbors and people driving by. My company job signs have the added bonus of my vanity number, 1-800-PAVEMENT, so people don't need to write down the number and will just remember it.
6. Customer Lists
Be sure to continually build lists of customers that are property managers, facility managers, and owners. Always keep track of company name, contact, address, phone and cell numbers, and the all important e-mail address. E-mail addresses are becoming the most important source of customer information.
Your lists should include past customers, quoted but not sold customers, and potential customers. You could also buy lists from companies that have already done the log work. These lists will become your life line to future business.
7. E-mail and Direct Mail
E-mailing your customers to see if they need work is a very effective, low-cost way to get business. A secretary at your office could send these e-mails out. E-blasts can also be done by sending multiple e-mails out with one message.
Mailing postcards, brochures, or newsletters to people on your customer list is also very effective. This is more costly but potential customers have something they can keep. Customers will remember your company for work they might need in the future.
8. Trade Associations
Many customers are members of trade associations that you should join. My company is a member of a number of associations of property managers and facility managers. These associations have meetings and trade shows that you should participate in to get you more work.
9. Neighboring Jobs
When working on a job, you or a salesman should be knocking on the neighbor's door to see if they would like an estimate. Leave your business card and brochure if the decision maker is not there. There is no better advertisement than seeing a newly sealcoated or paved parking lot next door for commercial or residential customers. Make sure to leave a job sign on site.
This is a no-brainer and part of being an aggressive marketer. Don't be shy about going after these neighbors. They need to keep up their properties like their neighbors.
10. Follow Up - Be Persistent
Many contractors give proposals to prospective customers and then hope that the customer signs on. You must be persistent and follow up. Have thick skin because you have nothing to lose and much to gain if you get the job. My company will continually call or e-mail for jobs that have not closed. This shows the customer that you want their work the most and will give you a much better chance of winning.
Over the past 25 years, I have tried many marketing strategies to gain market share and set my company apart from the rest. This 10-point plan has taken my company to the next level. There are many other ways to market your company as well.
Michael Musto, president of US Pavement Services since 1985 and director of the 1-800-PAVEMENT Network of more than 100 contractors, is willing to assist contractors with marketing ideas, and he can be reached at mmusto@USPavement.com. He says contractors that have licensed these 800-Vanity numbers have shared in millions of dollars in work nationwide.