Would you like to be getting more enquiries, sending more quotes, and winning more jobs for your trades business?
You’re not alone.
If you’re a trades company, it’s likely that a large proportion of your time is spent trying to drum up new customers. Even if you’re busy now, you need to make sure that you have work in the pipeline.
In order for your business to grow, you need a steady stream of new clients with well-paying jobs for you to undertake.
Unfortunately, low-quality leads are the bane of your life. You get leads who turn out to have much less than the required budget, or ones who are too demanding and expect too much of your time, or ones who live too far away to justify the travel time.
In this guide, we’re going to be taking you through how you can get your trades business more quality leads and increase sales.
83% of customers trust recommendations from people they know, while 70% of people trusted customer opinions posted online. It’s critically important to ask your satisfied customers to review your business, which will gain you more exposure and attract more customers online.
Google My Business, for example, offers companies a great opportunity to have a free listing in the Google search results. Reviews allow you to rank higher in the map and search results, making it easier for potential clients to find your business.
The Facebook Reviews tab also enables customers to leave reviews about your business on your Facebook page. Customers often use social media to find online reviews and assess what others are saying about you before making an enquiry. The more positive reviews you have the better chances you have at getting more enquiries from people who want to work with you.
Checkatrade is a popular site that potential customers use to find tradespeople to suit the jobs they have in mind. They have over 1 million customers visit their site every month. Again, you should ask your customers to leave you a review on Checkatrade which will help you find more new customers.
Customers simply trust you more when you have more reviews. A 4.8 star rating from 131 reviews is a lot more impressive than 4.7 stars from 20 reviews.
Here’s an example of an email template that you can use to ask your customers for reviews:
Thank you for recently working with (COMPANY NAME). It’s been a real pleasure doing business with you.
Before you go, would you consider writing us a quick review on (SITE NAME)? We’d really appreciate it.
As a way to thank you, you’ll get 5% off your next job with us after you submit your review.
It’s vitally important that you ask your past customers for reviews. Having a lot of positive reviews is a major way that tradespeople can attract new business, since it provides social proof that you’re capable of doing the job well. There is no such thing as having too many reviews - in fact, the more the better.
Sometimes customers need a little push to write a review. Consider offering something in return if they take the time to leave you a review. Over time, having more reviews will help you gain better visibility and attract more prospects to your business.
The key to attracting high quality prospects is to have a professional trustworthy website that portrays the right impression. You want to stay away from free websites or do-it-yourself jobs, and pay more for a site that gives an accurate perception of your brand.
There are a few elements that combine to make a website that is appealing to the type of customer you want to find, which we’ll go through in this section.
In a competitive market with people comparing a lot of different providers, having a good website makes you stand out from the crowd.
Your website needs to answer all of these questions and more. Your website is a chance to introduce your business to prospective clients and it should show them exactly what you offer them as a company.
Don’t be afraid to specialise in particular services to attract a certain type of client. Prospects want experts in their fields, not generalists, so make it clear what specific jobs you’re available for. By excluding some potential customers, you’re making yourself more desirable to the types of leads you want to attract.
First of all, your website needs to be responsive across different devices. Customers may be accessing your site through a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and it should be accessible however your customers are viewing it.
Your website should encourage visitors to take action immediately. In the case of trades websites, you want them to contact your company for a quote or a survey. Making your contact details clearly available is essential.
Your website needs to have a clear navigation so prospects have fast access to the information they’re looking for. It should be easy to move between pages and for customers to know where they are on your website.
Your site’s design needs to be clean and free of clutter. Make good use of whitespace to draw the eye to particular elements and use complementary colours that aren’t horribly clashing.
You should include trade accreditation logos and not just in the footer. Make them clearly visible to your customers who are browsing your site so they can see you are a reputable company.
It helps to have professional photos of your team so prospects can see who they are dealing with. Photos put a human face on your company and remind customers that they are interacting with real people. Make sure your photos are of your team smiling at the camera and ideally take them in context.
Your customers want to see your past projects as evidence of your capabilities. Providing high quality images helps customers envision what the work would be like for them if they took you on as a contractor. The images should be good enough for customers to see the details of your work.
As mentioned earlier, reviews help establish trust with your prospects. They show people that your company has already successfully completed many jobs and has a large base of satisfied customers. You’re missing a trick if you don’t include reviews on your website.
Ideally you should include a product or service guarantee on your website to encourage prospects to commit to your business. A service guarantee builds trust with your prospect and makes agreeing a job with your company less of a risk. The client knows that the company is going to fulfil its promise to complete a job to the highest of standards.
Clients love watching videos. If you can, include some client testimonial videos from previous customers to show prospects that you have already completed jobs to your client’s satisfaction. Videos really bring your testimonials to life and are living proof of your happy customers.
If you ignore the advice we’ve given you, it’s possible for your website to be low on trust for your visitors and therefore fail to convert prospects into customers.
Investing in a professional and trustworthy website is the key to converting more prospects into customers. The design should be so good that customers can’t wait to send off to your company for a quote, and get them excited about the job you’re going to complete for them.
Good web design is about knowing your audience. Your website can be simple and yet still be a great conversion machine. You should demonstrate to your prospects that you are the company for them, and if you are the best option for them locally then price objections won’t even be a consideration.
Everything on your website should be geared towards explaining why your company is the right fit for a job. You need social proof like reviews and testimonials, and proof of past work in the form of high quality images. Show - don’t tell - your customers why you are the best in the business.
Once you have online reviews, credibility and a professional, trustworthy website, the next step is converting visitors into enquiries. The whole point of these online marketing tactics is to generate more qualified leads who will turn into lucrative customers for your business.
In order to attract qualified leads, you need a proper lead capture form that you can use to receive enquiries for your business. The goal of your lead capture form is to collect as many enquiries as possible. Make it as prominent as you can and use colour to make it stand out.
The standard “Contact Us” or “request a call back” forms are hardly an incentive to get people to contact you. They’re not exciting and they don’t compel customers to take action. You need to make your call-to-action more interesting in order to entice customers to share their details with you.
Take this example from The Loft Boys:
Emphasise that your quote will be free with no hidden costs. Prospective clients don’t want to be obligated to work with you just to get a quote, so make sure you let them know it’s no-strings-attached.
While you’re at it, address all of the potential objections your prospects may have to persuade them to fill out the form or call you. For example, “request a free call back” or “we get back to all enquiries within 24 hours”.
An effective call-to-action will show the value that the customer will receive if they “Book A Free Survey” or “Get A Quote”. You should explain the action the customer is going to take if they get in touch with you and state how it will benefit them. Set clear expectations for what a customer can expect to receive by parting with their details.
Using power words such as “free”, “save”, “now” or “try” entices the prospect to take action. They should make a prospect feel they will be missing out on something if they don’t click right away. You should convey a sense of urgency so customers get in touch with you now rather than putting it off until later.
You don’t want to attract just any old lead - you need to make sure your leads are qualified. Multi-step forms work better than asking 10+ questions all at once. It’s vital to use easy-to-answer qualification questions in your form to deter time wasters and price shoppers, and instead get valuable information from people who are serious about moving forward.
Don’t be scared to include an indication of price on your website, as this is not always a bad thing. It can actually better qualify people who are a good fit for your services and eliminates those who would never be able to afford your prices in the first place. When you include prices on your website, it suggests you are an honest company and that you know the value of your work.
You can get all the website visitors in the world, many of which are probably good prospects, but if they are not making an enquiry it means nothing. Everything in your website should be geared towards converting more leads through your contact form or contact details. Don’t distract customers with lots of irrelevant information and make sure your lead capture form is prominently displayed.
Ensure that you are qualifying your leads with your lead capture form and filtering out people who won’t be a good fit for your services, which will save you time in the long run. One way to qualify more leads is displaying your prices, and another is to ask qualifying questions on your form to filter out the time wasters.
From getting more online reviews, to designing a professional and trustworthy website, and encouraging more prospects to convert on your site, these are the steps you must take to attract quality customers for your trades business. By investing in your online presence, you will dramatically increase your chances of finding better prospects - and more of them too.
Like many things in life, it’s about quality rather than quantity. Get clear in your mind the type of clients you want to attract and don’t settle for less. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of previously happy clients in order to collect tons of reviews and testimonials for your business.
Remember, your website is often the first impression that you’re making with a potential lead. It should accurately reflect your business and provide all the information customers might be looking for when researching tradespeople in your area.
Then comes the final step in the equation - converting quality leads on your website through a contact form. Being selective is important here. You don’t want lots of enquiries from customers who won’t pay your rates. Make it appealing for potential customers to contact your business and motivate them to take action.
If you follow the steps outlined here, your trades business will be well on its way to being inundated with qualified leads and business will be booming.