How Contractors Can Get More Referrals — And Turn Them Into Sales
The bigger the purchase, the more important word of mouth becomes. In an article on how homeowners choose a remodeler, pro contractors share that most of their business comes from remodelling referrals. There are plenty of marketing statistics that show customers trust referrals more than ads, or turn to reviews before buying anything.
Jeb Breithaupt, owner of a building company, set up a website with photos of his work. “I can count on one hand how many sales I’ve made from the site. People will look at pretty pictures, but they don’t make the phone ring.”
Where to Get Referrals for Construction and Renovation
A recent homeowner survey found that people aged 35 to 54 trusted reviews from people they know: friends, family, or contractors they’ve already used. However, people aged younger than 35 will check reviews online.
Get More Remodelling Referrals for Your Business
Quality is when your work speaks for itself; reputation is when other people speak for you. The biggest mistake pro builders make is that they wait for reviews. You need an active referral program, that includes:
- A plan: How will you collect referrals?
- Incentive: Why would customers want to give referrals?
- A platform: Where will you put the referrals so customers can find them?
Give Customers a Contractor Worth Talking About
You’re not just building a home, you’re creating a customer experience. People remember how they were treated. Did you listen to what they wanted? Did you give them as many options as possible? BuildDirect can help you by shipping unlimited flooring samples within 24 hours. (And our customer service representatives can also point out flooring that’s trendy in your area.)
Communication gives customers a sense of control and can help manage their expectations about how their renovation will cost and look. Did you answer your customers’ questions clearly, and in layman’s terms? Construction projects will always have a few problems, but how did you resolve them? Communication also builds trust – and ultimately, referrals are built on trust. Customers’ friends trust you to meet expectations.
Customers want value for their money. For example, you can give them great rates on BuildDirect’s best flooring. Our huge selection guarantees they’ll always find what they want for a price they can afford.
You can also offer free services, discounts, and exceptional after-sales service like maintenance checks.
Value can also mean saving time, not just money. What ways can you make it easier for customers to look at choices, check on the construction progress, or manage the many details that go into building a home?
Help Customers Rave and Refer Your Remodelling Services
Your service gives customers a good experience, and a referral program makes it easy for them to share reviews. Reward customers for their testimonials. Ideally, allocate a budget for this – it doesn’t have to be huge, and it’ll be cheaper than publishing an ad. For example, a reward can be a gift card for a local restaurant or home store, or a discount on their last payment.
Give customers brochures to hand out to people they know. Take before and after pictures of your construction work that customers can share on social media. Also, consider that it may be worthwhile to get a good photographer, because people are more likely to share pretty pictures. And with their permission, you can use the photos for your sales materials.
Ask customers if they know anyone who might need your services. You can even offer a Finder’s Fee for successful remodelling referrals.
Also make sure to recognize referrals. For example, you can include this style of message on your voice mail: “Please leave a message at the tone, and if you’re referred to us, please let us know whom to thank.”
Create a Customer-Referral Program
Don’t let potential leads fall through the cracks. Put someone in charge of collecting referrals, working on those leads, and putting the testimonials in brochures and websites.
Creating a referral program is worth the extra effort. With a good referral system, you turn your customers into your best sales people.
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