Doug Herbert records a video testimonial from a customer.
Photo credit: Doug Herbert
Polishing contractors work for a diverse group of customers. One day, you may meet with a plant manager to discuss his 60,000 square-foot warehouse floor, and the next evening you are meeting with a homeowner that is interested in polishing her basement slab.
This wide range of prospects and clients makes it difficult and expensive to effectively reach each group with your marketing message. To maximize your marketing efforts and see a return on your investment, you need marketing tools that are effective and that can be tailored for each prospect type. Here are two budget-friendly marketing tools that will do just that.
Testimonials are referrals in print and are very effective at selling your company. When you begin using testimonials in all areas of your marketing and sales efforts, you will increase your sales.
Testimonials allow your current customers to promote your company for you. They are much more credible because they come from a neutral third party who has had experience with your company. They can overcome the typical objections of your prospects. And, testimonials provide social proof that others find your company beneficial.
Here are some areas where you should be exhibiting your testimonials:
- Direct mail
- Social media
- Company YouTube channel
- Face-to-face selling
When using testimonials in print, try to include a picture of the person that gave the testimonial, along with one or more photos of the completed project. For online locations, use video of the person giving the testimonial, as well as footage of their project. Your polishing work is such a visual service that it needs to be shown in pictures and on video.
Group your testimonials to be similar to the person receiving and reading them. If you are selling or marketing to commercial general contractors, then send testimonials you’ve collected from your general contractor customers. The closer you can match your testimonials with your prospect, the more they will respond to your company.
Make it a point to get a testimonial from every customer right after you complete their project. Video testimonials are preferred, but a written testimonial is still very effective. If you do a walk-thru with your client after the job is finished, ask them if they would say a few words about your company while you record them with a smartphone or digital camera. At that same time, you can get pictures and video of the completed project, which can be used for your website, social media, print advertising, or training of your crews. When you do this for every project, then over time you will have a large selection of persuasive testimonials for any occasion or project type.
Ask your current or past customers for testimonials. The best way to actually get them is to make it easy for them. Most people will gladly give you a testimonial if they don’t have to take the time to do it. Write one for them and ask them to either agree to it, modify it, or create their own. You’ll be amazed at how many people will simply agree to put their name to the one you’ve created for them.
Use testimonials in your marketing and face-to-face sales. You will be more effective at convincing prospects to utilize your company. Testimonials help you sell your services better and faster than you can do it without them.
Bonus Bid Documents
One of the best ways to increase your chances of winning the project is the use of what I call Bonus Bid Documents. These are marketing pieces that you include when you submit your bid or present your price to your prospect.
These documents promote and differentiate your company from others that may be submitting their price at the same time as you. They give your prospect useful, visual information and show them why you are the best choice for their project.
If you send estimates to your prospects via email, then these documents would accompany the estimates as attachments. If you present your pricing in person, these are documents that you would review with your prospect while you present your pricing to them.
Some examples of Bonus Bid Documents and items to include with your pricing are:
Testimonials – Include a document with testimonials from happy customers. If possible, include their photo and photos of the project.
Case studies – Project profiles and case studies of previous projects that are similar to your prospect’s project can give them the confidence that you’ve completed projects similar to theirs. Be sure to include multiple, high quality photos of your work. Before and after photographs tell a very good story about the project and show the possibilities of what you can do for them.
Videos – Include links to your YouTube video(s) or a video on your website. The videos could be of various topics such as a collection of testimonials, a specific project that you’ve completed (including before, during and after footage), or an educational video of you or someone from your company explaining – in plain English – the benefits or various types of polishing. If you often meet with your prospect face-to-face, you could leave them with a flash drive or CD that includes your video(s) and digital pictures.
References – Include a list of references who are similar to your prospect. Many people develop trust and confidence in a company when it offers up referrals before being asked. In my experience, most prospects don’t contact the references – but they feel better having received them.
Points of Difference – Include a document that distinguishes you from the competition or other alternatives to polishing. Explain quickly and concisely what sets you apart. What makes your company better than others? Why is polished concrete the best option for their particular project? Make this information very easy to understand. If you have a unique process that you’ve developed from experience over the years that is a benefit to the customer, then be sure to communicate that. Make a strong case as to why they should choose your company.
Create a standard set of documents or attachments that you send out with every estimate for each type of prospect. If you work for various types of customers, have a specific bundle for each type.
For example, if you are meeting with a plant manager to present your proposal for their warehouse floor, bring along case studies or project descriptions of other warehouse projects. Include the company name, location, plant manager name and contact information, project square footage, before and after photos, and how they benefited from utilizing your company. If you are emailing your estimate to a residential designer, include testimonials from your residential clients and include project photos from residential work that you’ve completed.
When your prospect sees completed projects and testimonials from people they identify with, they gain a level on confidence in you and your company that is hard to beat.
Your goal with these Bonus Bid Documents is to make it as easy as possible for your prospect to choose your company over any other options they may have. Put together a bundle of documents and begin including them with every estimate you submit. You’ll see your closing ratio improve and you’ll get more work.
Both of these marketing tools are extremely budget-friendly and easy to implement. When you begin using visuals and information that is geared specifically to your individual prospect types, you will be well on your way to becoming a more profitable polishing contractor.