Marketing for Tradespeople

Setting out your stall… Why would someone buy from you?

If I ever hear that someone lost to a competitor based on price, I think there is more to the story. People rarely lose on price alone.
That’s where marketing comes in. Most people think that marketing is all about generating the lead or enquiry. They think it is all about advertising and promotion.

contractorAdvertising and promotion does form part of marketing but its where marketing starts – there is so much more. Marketing your business correctly (and living up to your marketing promise) will help you make more profit and have a better business. You will have happier customers and you will not have to spend as much on Marketing. It’s the opposite of a vicious circle.

If someone has connected you for a price or a quote on a job, there is a high probability that they will also Google you. They will look at your website but they will also look for reviews of your business based on independent feedback. Also remember that they are looking for the horror story more than they are looking for the good news story. We all know how popular TripAdvisor is for people looking for accommodation. The same exists for your business.

Does your website reflect the business you do today. Does your business reflect current information. If not, then you need to work on this.

What do the reviews say? If negative, can you rectify, respond or defend? If not then you need to work on getting more and more recent positive ones.

When you do submit a quote or a proposal – what do they say about you and your business. Is it all about the price or have you taken the time to turn the quote into a proper action plan for that customer? This does require some additional effort on your place but if the average value of what you are proposing is him then surely this is worth the effort. This is also marketing and you can use it to link them to positive things and people.

When you do issue a quote or proposal, who good are you at following up and helping people to buy. This again requires a system and routine. This again is marketing because clients are judging you and they are becoming emotionally connected to you.

If you lose on price and this is the only reason given, there has been limited connection and your marketing probably does not work too well.

If you want to review how you currently market and win business, get in touch with me today.


How to differentiate yourself in a market where price seems to be the only thing.

Firstly, price is never the only thing. If you think that it is, you will always be challenged to make money in your business because you are focussing on a single factor, when in fact there are many more. In fact, that you have great control over. Let’s look at how you can differentiate:


1. Understand all the factors in play with your customer. Yes, price is important and it always will be but there are other factors as well:

    a. Your reputation versus your competitors – what do you always do that your competitors do not. Could be seen as a positive by your customer. Do they know that you do this? How much would this be worth to the customer if they did know.
    b. Your experience – maybe you are a better problem solver than your competitor. The more complex the job, the more important that this becomes. However, for your customer, they may be purchasing your service for the first time. They may be completely unaware of the challenges faced in setting up your product or service and they may be equally unaware of the consequences of these if left unresolved.
    c. Your team – not everyone has a team of people capable of doing the work. How would you rate your team? This can even include sub-contractors. If you regard them highly, then you need to be able educate your customer on the value of same.
    d. Your ability to differentiate. Yes, you know why you are better, why you are different, why it should not be always on price. Wht does the customer not know? Because they may have not purchased your service before. Its up to you to educate them. How well do you do this.

2. Understand that you have a role to play in helping someone to buy your product or service:

    a. What does your website say about your product or service?
    b. How well does your quote stack up? Did you put enough time and energy into its preparation?
    c. How well did you present your quotation to the customer?
    d. How well did you follow up.
    e. Would the customer have been impressed with every aspect of your preparation, right from the first email, phone conversation, right up to when the decision was made.
    f. If you did lose the business, how difficult was it for the customer to take it from you?


Business Tips for Trades Business

I have been working with people who have trade businesses for the past 15 years. From blocklayers, electrical contractors, plumbers, windows and doors professionals, civil works and building contractors. While each business is different in its own way, there are many similarities.

Here are some pieces of advice that apply to them all.

        1. Whatever stage your business is at, you should be generating more than 50% of your business from referral or repeat business. This reduces your advertising costs but it should also be a reflection of the fact that you deliver a good service and people are happy to recommend you.
        2. Most trades businesses rely on new business each week and month.If that’s the case with your business, then you need to get good at marketing and selling your business. In most cases all trades businesses are under pressure to win business based on the lowest tendered cost. This is fine if you are still making your target margins but very often trades businesses are working to keep people in jobs and keep the bills paid – this is not a good strategy. There is more to selling than just price.

3. All trades business rely heavily on the skills and abilities of the team. However, not every trades business owner has experience in hiring developing and retaining the right people. Equally, they are even less skilled at removing dead wood from their business. If your business relies on your team, you need to develop your leadership skills.

        4. Knowing your costs in your trades business is critical to your success. Running a lean business allows you to win business and make a margin. The key to running a business in a lean manner is systems and most have very few. Its just now how the business is run but you need them to grow. Implementing systems is easy but not always straightforward.
        5. Understand what business you are in. In most instances you are the problem solver. Your skills and abilities have a value. Most people sourcing your services do not understand what you do so they negotiate on price. Its your jobs to do some education.

Over the next few weeks, I will be issuing a series of documents on running your trade business.


The 5 Ways to Maximise the Profits in your business…

At ActionCOACH, we have used the same chassis of business for over 25 years. That’s because it worked then and it works now. And more importantly, it works with any business, anywhere in the world.

More worrying is the lack of understanding by business owners about how a business should maximise its profits.

Most people think that of you want to increase turnover and profits you simply increase your marketing and sales activity.


Many people assume that the secret to more profits is working harder and longer hours.
These are popular mis-conceptions. Don’t get caught up in the same.
If we take the formula:

Lead Generation

XConversion Rate
= Customers
X Average Spend
X Number of Transaction
= Turnover
X Margin
= Profit

I have highlighted Lead Generation because its probably the area we know least about and it’s the area that is likely to cost the most money and probably deliver the lowest profit return.

Its also the one area that is external to the business and the one where you can least control the result.
What if you focused your efforts and money on things that you could control. What if you focused on Conversion rate and improved the way that you sold to your clients.

What if you implemented systems where your existing clients bought more off you – They will if you do it right.

What if you actually used your database to stay in touch with your existing clients – they may buy more from you.

What if you addressed your margins and attempted to run the business in a more cost effective way – Do you think it would make a difference?

The numbers are staggering and when we apply them to business owners in Ireland, they are staggered by the potential that exists in their business.