And finally it's not uncommon to lose a bid then find out later the work was never done. There have been plenty of instances where a cancelled project suddenly comes back to life, one, two even three years after the original estimate was completed.
Contractors that keep their name in front of these people are more likely than anyone else to win these bids, even if they are more expensive. There is a perception among consumers that when contractors actively market to them they are more reliable, professional and likely to complete jobs on time and at or below budget.
So just how do you keep your name in front of your aging leads and hot prospects alike without paying an arm and a leg?
Of course there are dozens of ways such as direct mail, phone calls, new product announcements and traditional newsletters but the simplest and most cost effective way is e-mail. Not only is e-mail cost effective and manageable, it's measurable in terms of results and easy to implement.
When a new prospect calls for an appointment ask for their e-mail address as part of the appointment process. Inform them that in the event you will have to reschedule the appointment you will call and send an e-mail confirmation. A growing number of people use e-mail as their preferred method of contact and you will be amazed how easy it is to capture this information.
Gathering e-mails also allows you to actively market to your leads without the intrusion of a phone call. E-mail "blast" software is not only inexpensive but several services are free.
E-mail marketing also allows you to send images of new products, before and after pictures of work you have done, surveys, industry news, changes in tax code that may affect their decision, solicit referrals, make time sensitive offers and send people your electronic newsletter. If your company has a blog you can invite your prospects to subscribe, which further deepens the relationship, which of course should be the goal of all your marketing.
Michael Hart is a speaker, author, talk radio host and shameless publicity hound. His marketing and publicity strategies have been featured in numerous magazines including: Selling, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Sales and Marketing Executive Report and many others. He is the co-host of the popular weekly home improvement radio program HOUSE STUDS. He can be reached at (866) 238-5294 or michael@MichaelHartSpeaks.com.