There are so many choices for the consumer that when they need restoration services, the options are seemingly unlimited. To test this, I recently did a count in seven different market areas to try and understand how many restoration companies were listed, that offered disaster recovery services for the residential or commercial buildings.
Not counting the major national firms that are ever-present, we included franchise locations as well as independents, and there was an average of 62 choices for the consumer in each market! We found that in the major areas like Atlanta or Miami there were closer to one hundred restoration options. This did not include carpet cleaners that also claim to do water extraction and drying.
Without having a unique and compelling differentiation reason for why they should call you, it’s often just the luck-of-the-draw. That isn’t a very solid strategy for the restoration business owner.
Numerous restoration marketers ‘think’ they are going to get the call from the agent or plumber, and yet they are only generating $100k a year in revenue for the company and that’s not enough. That kind of work and revenue can come to your company with little effort – almost by default.
I ask the question regularly of owners and marketers “why should someone call you?” They’ll say that they have “great service or they’ve got good people” or sometimes they say, “all of our technicians are IICRC certified.”
Even worse is when they tell me that the company owns the latest tool or machine or gadget. Everyone (all 62 contractors) claim to offer great service or have the latest ‘Binford 5000’ machine but that isn’t enough to justify your business existence.
The reality is that any company can buy the latest tools, equipment, or machines. Any company can send their technicians to an all-important IICRC course.
Nobody brags about average or poor service. No marketer says, “we have mediocre equipment.” All of the tools, equipment and processes are important but if are not likable and care about the people you call on – you are in trouble.
Since there is so little differentiation between all the restoration companies, it becomes a perplexing task to create a clear brand position for your company. Being sure to have a valid differentiator for your company will help separate your firm from all the rest of the competitors in your market.
You either shrink or you grow. There isn’t a way for you to stay the same. It’s been proven a million times that if ‘you are standing still – you’re going backward.’
Developing a winning brand position where they will call you involves several key ingredients. I’ve said many times that you must know your client’s issues, pains, challenges, frustrations, and concerns. Without knowing these, you have no way of creating a strong position, and even less likely that you will create raving fans.
All too many marketers think if they are calling on clients – that’s all it takes. When the client is friendly, makes promises, and yet never sends a job that’s quite typical of poor marketers. The problem is the marketer is not asking for the business – and worse – they aren’t helping the prospect or client improve the client’s business. They think because the client is polite – and talks to them – that the marketer has a good lead source. Rather than learn what customers consider painful in the business the marketer wants to talk about recipes or the family or the dog. Those topics and others like them only matter once there is a legitimate relationship built.
One of the best ways to interact with a prospect is too research and know what scares customers most about calling a company like yours! Know or learn what their pain-point is and then address it.
A terrible way to approach a potential client is to ask them “are you familiar with our company?” or “Do you know what we do?” It’s no secret: they only care about their company and their issues. When you learn and understand their industry and their unique pains, you are in the driver’s seat, and they’ll be more inclined to listen to you.
Create a key position by declaring yourself to be a specialist, rather than all things to all people. You can’t be ALL Things To All People! Remember that doctors specializing in just one thing are the ones that make the most money and people seek them out.
Finding real differentiation is critical to your success, considering that there are dozens of competitors in your market. Will they call you, or will they call the competition?