When searching for customers, it can be tempting to create marketing campaigns that cast a wide net to increase profits. After all, Australia is in the midst of an economic recession and the trades industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors. Tradies may feel that the only way to maintain a healthy cash flow is to take any and every job they can.
However, this strategy is doomed to fail if you aren’t careful. There are clients who are simply not a good fit for your business, and that means wasted time and resources. Oftentimes, you can end up driving for hours to meet and quote a client, only to realise that they don’t have the funds. Some customers may even ignore your advice, undermine your authority, or pay late. In other cases, you could just be wasting time with telemarketing calls falsely assuming they’re a potential client.
Most tradies actually only need one or two good jobs a week to make a steady income. The challenge is wading through all the bad ones. This article provides a list of useful tips to help you find and attract the right clients for your trades business.
Identify your ideal client
If you want to get the best clients, you need to be clear about who you want to work with. Write down the specific qualities you’re looking for in an ideal client such as their age, gender, occupation, civil status, location, and socioeconomic background.
This allows you to zero in on a key demographic rather than using a shotgun approach to marketing your services. Plus, restricting your target to specific locations is a great way to minimise the time tradies spend on the road. For example, it doesn’t make sense to target single millennial apartment owners in Blacktown if your ideal clients are families in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Once you have a profile of your ideal client, research their problems and the types of services they need. Long-time homeowners, for instance, may be looking for tradies who can modernise their home. With this knowledge, you can mould your services to address your target demographic’s needs, so the right people are more likely to approach your company.
Set limits and say no to bad jobs
To work with ideal clients, you have to watch out for red flags. Stay away from customers who ask for extra services from you and try to haggle your prices down. Equally, avoid those who set unrealistic demands and deadlines for complex projects.
While going all out for clients increases your chances of a positive review, it’s the surest way to overwork and burn out your tradies. It also sets a bad precedent whereby every client will expect special treatment that you’d rather be charging normally for. Use your judgement when dealing with these potential clients. It’s important to know your team’s limitations and be firm about your services so you don’t get taken advantage of.
Tailor your marketing strategy
Attracting the right clients can be as straightforward as stating the types of people you serve on all your marketing materials. These include your company website, social media, email newsletters, and brochures. By clearly mentioning your target audience, people who fit your criteria will be more receptive to your campaign and those who don’t will be dissuaded.
Promote special expertise and services
Instead of advertising generalised services to everyone, providing something unique can have the right people coming to you. For instance, listing specialties like tiling, cabinet, and bench top installations on your website can attract clients who want to revamp their kitchen.
Of course, promoting unique services won’t mean much if people don’t think you’re an expert in the field. That’s why you should post frequently on social media and company blogs to build authority in your niche and attract ideal clients.
Display your previous work
Showing proof of your company’s expertise makes a huge difference in attracting suitable clients. If you can demonstrate an impressively finished building or renovation job, it may inspire other people to hire you for something similar. It also highlights the services you provide, reducing the number of service requests that don’t apply to your business.
The best way to display your capabilities is by creating a visual gallery of your past projects on your website, Instagram, and hipages. Make sure to include high-resolution photos and videos, before and after images, and virtual tours of the finished space. Similarly, sharing raving testimonials from your previous clients on your website or social media page shows potential clients how capable you are.
Ask for referrals
Client recommendations pave the way to like-minded clientele. It’s therefore crucial to proactively ask your closest customers if they have friends or colleagues who may benefit from your services.
Keep in mind that there are certain rules when following up with clients for referrals. For starters, never ask for client recommendations until you’ve added value to the customer’s life or business. If you don’t, they’re less inclined to help out your business. When you do have a customer who wholeheartedly trusts you, do them the courtesy of asking for the referral directly.
What’s more, you can offer clients a discount or credit to use on their next project as an incentive. If you opt for this route, customers should only receive the rewards if the person they refer requests a quote.
Deliver high-quality service
A job done well and on time speaks volumes about your company’s values and makes clients more likely to refer you. Essentially, the more efficient your tradies are, the faster your company’s reputation spreads through word of mouth. This results in more people hearing about your business and potentially better clients.
Job management software like WorkBuddy allows your trades business to perform at a consistently high standard. It streamlines job scheduling and dispatch, quoting, invoicing, and job safety and compliance, so your tradies can focus on doing an excellent job. Book a demo today to learn more about WorkBuddy’s features and get the clients your business deserves.