Tradie Tip • What separates you from your competition? • Andrew Houston

Andrew Houston
August 09, 2017
By
August 9, 2017 - No contractor has zero competition. With the evolution of the internet and social media, your prospects can find other contractors that do exactly what you do faster and easier than ever. So how do you win jobs over your competitors?

To do this, you need to understand some core marketing principles:

1. All businesses have one goal: to create fan clients.
2. All customers have one want: to receive the best value.

Your marketing needs to do one thing: articulate why you provide the best value, thereby creating fan clients.

The majority of the marketing I see from contractors employs black hole words, such as “cheapest”, “professional”, “quality service”, “speedy”, “convenient” and “best”. These words do not separate you from the competition: they only amplify the fact you’re the same as every other contractor in town!

When you and your competition all promise to be the “best, most professional, speedy contractor” in town, the only thing that will separate you is price—and that’s never a good strategy.

Take a moment to think about your current marketing channels (e.g. Yellow Pages, website, printed mailers, etc.), and ask yourself whether the message you’re sending is:

a) Generic
b) Unique

If you chose “A”, then definitely keep reading. If “B”, keep reading to make your marketing even better.

Unique proposition
For your marketing to articulate why you are the best value, you must define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which is a set of clear and distinct benefits that set your business apart from the competition. The steps for creating your own USP are:

1. Define your niche (your target clientele). To whom can you provide the most benefit? Which of your clients are the most profitable?

2. Define your niche’s fears, frustrations, wants and aspirations. Ask some of your past and current Grade A clients about theirs.

3. List the benefits. Make a list of everything that sets you apart from your competition. What are you particularly good at? What makes your customers buy from you? What are you known for? Do you have any additional credentials that support you?

Some of my clients have doubled their conversion rates and profits by sharing a simple document with their prospects called “How to Choose a Contractor Checklist”, which is customized to build trust and articulate your unique benefits. The idea is for the prospect to be Wowed enough to make the decision to work with you on the spot.

Prospects may still wish to meet other contractors before making a decision; however, they will rely on your checklist for sizing up the competition.

You can add the checklist to your sales collateral e.g. client binder or marketing package, alongside guarantees, before and after photos, and testimonials.

And guess which contractor is the only one who can meet all the criteria on the checklist? That’s right, you!

The prospect will do the heavy lifting for you by de-selecting your competition.

When you employ the checklist, you establish yourself as unique, and an authority on the work. You educate the prospect while articulating your benefits. Your conversion rate will improve, your crew will be kept busier, and you will be more consistent across your marketing channels. You’ll be able to expand your business faster while maximizing profits.

Grab your copy of the “How to Choose a Contractor Checklist” at tinyurl.com/gs7d4jx. Meantime, I’ll be covering this topic and the checklist in the upcoming EBMag webinar “How to Become the Obvious Choice in a Competitive Market” on September 12 at 2 pm EST. During this training session, you’ll learn:

• 4 easy principles for creating a winning marketing plan.
• How to increase your bid-to-win ratio by 25%.
• How to personalize a marketing budget that works for your company.
• How to create a board showing you the best times for dialling up or down your marketing.

Visit EBMag.com/webinars to Register. While you’re there, check out our previous webinars, which are part of our 4-part series “Blueprint to Profits, Systems & Time”.



Andrew Houston is the owner and founder of Profit for Contractors. He has been consulting to trades business owners for nearly a decade, helping them improve their business skills so they can achieve their personal and business goals. A graduate of George Brown College, Andrew achieved Industrial Controls Licensed Electrician as well as Electronics Engineering Technologist. Visit www.profitforcontractors.com or call 613-209-3828.

— Don’t forget to check out Andrew’s other Tradie Tip videos, located on our YouTube Channel, and CLICK HERE to check out some of our energetic webinars with Andrew. This column also appears in the upcoming September 2017 edition of Electrical Business Magazine.

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