When compared to other tradies, are you under the impression that you may not be doing enough to make yourself genuinely distinguishable? What type of internal complaints rise when weighing yourself against specialists and multi-faceted professionals in the field?
If as a tradesperson you’ve ever found yourself whining or underestimating your ability to institute a change, you’re not in isolation.
Building up some confidence and clearing your head, will give you space to improve and you’ll see yourself building the levels of traction experienced by the likes of British Gas, Otis and Pimlico Plumbers.
With this said, have you ever uttered any of the following:
If you happen to be in a state of disbelief around sourcing the right company representatives, you need to manoeuvre your way out of it. There may be labour shortages in your specialism, but it truly comes down to survival of the fittest. As businesses may be cutting back or becoming defunct, the skilled tradesmen within them are left scouring the market for work.
Even though a blatant breakthrough exists in saying this, it doesn’t mean that you should rush to make hires. Instead, get a process in place where you can vet candidates so that you recruit helpful staff who you can retain over the long-term. As shifts occur in your industry due to many factors such as automation, artificial intelligence and new tech that is deprecating previous working practices across the board, you’ll want team members who futureproof your operations.
Alongside finding the right persons to enlist, levelling this out with individuals that you can teach will help strike the right balance. It may also be healthy for both your profits and cash flow, as it doesn’t have to mean you fork out of exceedingly high salaries, especially when trying to build up a pipeline of opportunities. The remaining upside is you get to retain a trainee and at the point of assigning them different tasks act as an overseer, meaning less time on the tools.
One means by which you can make progress on this front is by having a robust careers engine within your website that enables you to advertise different roles in your organisation. It should be supportive of fields which permit you to add the position title, role description, reference ID, location, tenure type, required years of experience, minimum qualification and experience levels. Also, be able to show salary, whether it be between two designated brackets, a standalone amount or negotiable. Another task you can engage in is signing up apprentices who in their quest for knowledge, you mould into the best working practices that you have learnt.
Executing an online strategy that works is a case of part brains and part brawn. It means having the mental capacity to identify topics of interest, along with the strength to convey them to others. Once you know what you want to say, it’s about finding inventive ways to get the message across. In this phase of exploration, try to discover unique subjects to raise or different ways to spin common issues. What consumers want to know is that you are not only a problem solver but the best solution to the dilemmas they’re facing.
One of the reasons why firms fail in this regard is due to inconsistency. If you have a scattergun approach of doing things only when you feel like it, you miss out on building a steady stream of followers who are eager to engage with your content. Another mistake often made is when information is shared, but there is no invitation to viewers to request the same to address their current needs. One way of resolving this if you’re using social media or email is by having a link that points back to your website. Ideally, you want viewers hitting a page where they can leave their contact details.
In determining which content you’ll produce for online purposes, you have several options available to you. A lot of the time business owners fall into the trap of thinking they should share blogs or galleries alone. Yes these form portion of the mix, but imagery alone isn’t as powerful as a case study which tells the back story behind it. Service pages are sturdy when put together correctly, but of equal weighting are solutions pages that go after the niches you’re targeting. Also, you should not ignore straightforward content like testimonials and FAQs, which can act as convincers in the mix.
Success on this frontier sits in an ability to draw traffic to your site. To do this, you’ll have to get a content strategy in place, ensure you optimise your pages for search engines and post to your social media channels with links pointing back to your site (with regular frequency). On achieving this, the next phase is engaging these visitors when they hit web pages you’ve constructed that are specific to their needs. Key components that should appear on pages are CTA’s which lure viewers into clicking through to the next step of a process and dynamic forms which qualify their needs based on what you provide (allowing for the most pinpointed sales conversation when you follow up). Next, you’ll want to line up sales-led collateral if they need to further convinced in what you deliver. It could be anything from a whitepaper, through to an infographic, checklist, visual guide, calculator, and so much more.
It’s nothing new that when put under the spotlight, many tradespeople fold. Don’t look at this as being a fault of your own. You may unintentionally have embedded within you, the ethos that actions speak louder than words, and so persons should look to your work for answers. It could be the case that in the past, this has been enough to get you by, but trust us when we say it’s inadequate when aspiring to grow. You have to communicate with prospective buyers consistently, and not all of it needs to be verbal, so get your thinking cap on as to what your typical buyers will be happy to receive.
In deciding what methods of communication you’ll be adopting, write them down, diarise them and stick to repeating the same actions at the same level of frequency (if not higher). If you feel this is not for you, but you see the advantages of this strategy, don’t rule out employing it. It might be the case that you need to hire in dedicated salespersons who will go out and source new customers. They’ll also have a keen eye for seeking where upsell opportunities exist, and will use their skills of persuasion to grow your revenues. The other benefit is these persons can check in with customers and make them aware of developments that might be of interest.
Both a separate and combined option is appointing a spokesperson who can make regular announcements which get documented and shared in relevant press releases. By having a friendly face of the company, they’ll be able to take your news and provide you with the best levels of exposure. Where their interest will sit is articulating your vision with authority, as well as conveying inside knowledge in a manner that is easily digestible. It would be best if you play about with this idea if you want to improve the way your business gets marketed to the public and commercial entities.
When it comes to tackling this roadblock head-on; what you’ll want to do is have a memorable manner of placing your brand before its followers. It should be something (or multiple things) they familiarise themselves with whenever you’re presenting yourself. Companies that execute this well have resorted to creating identifiers such as taglines, intro and outro visuals and backing tracks to support video content, and patterns or overlays which they apply to shared visuals. It would help if you thought about what might best be the best light to appear in as and when you make announcements and utilise the necessary individuals who’ll get you there.
Taking a stance where you would pretty much prefer to do nothing over something isn’t a healthy decision. Most likely in your lifetime, you’ve seen an industry or trade pack up or migrate to a location where labour is cheaper. No tradesperson can escape this, so it should always be in the back of your mind. Added is the introduction of other labourers happy to carry out the same work as you for significantly lower margins. These challenges alone should be motivation enough to switch gears and come up with reactionary plans.
The environment for competition is rife, as is the heightened number of operational shutdowns. On the market, there are more self-install options available, making particular tasks tradespeople carried out obsolete. Examples of this include smart radiator thermostats and flat-pack furniture which separate to promoting the whole notion of DIY (Do It Yourself), also come with excellent warranties, refunds, replacement parts and protections should things go wrong. Add to this the video-sharing platforms like YouTube, where instructional videos on doing tasks are released every day; and you may discover what is a beautiful recipe for some is a disastrous one for you.
In essence, you don’t want to be so obstinate to the point that you are unable to travel the road to recovery. The biggest mistake for many trades-based firms is inaction. In many scenarios, this is despite being given forewarnings of ways they can improve their activities way in advance of things taking a turn for the worst. You don’t want to fall into the category of a business owner who thinks they know it all and should be open to suggestions. You should, therefore, make yourself available to hear about adaptations, while acknowledging you may not acquire all the business acumen required to enact change.
Make steps to initiate a change by expressing your viewpoints and opinions. Even reaching a point where you believe change isn’t required is a destination you have arrived at based on experience. Whether at this point, you are convinced to shift or not, you can express the reasons behind this. It is your chance to provide your slant on industry movements, practice and customer dealings, alongside anything else that crosses your mind. One area for conveying these insights is in the blog section of your website, where you can apply a range of writing formats with accompanying imagery and interaction points to generate interest.
Many business owners we work with see outstanding results when they heed to our advice. Turn this around by indicating some ways you’d consider engaging prospects to grow your operations.
Conformity is one thing, but what happens if the user base you depend on opts to go elsewhere. The loyalty of a buyer is only as strong as their willpower to stick with you. It is in this light that you should know there are many forces out there working to swoop them from your repertoire. Where it is good to hold on to the dedicated customers you have, the aim should be to sustainably grow this funnel of buyers, by getting new assignees also trusting in you. As with all lines of work, there are those clients you’ll lose along the way. It could be due to unwillingness to enter into annual upgrades and servicing agreements, or that they in fact opted for a one-off job (e.g. an installation).
As mentioned, existing manufacturers and new market entrants are frequently advertising new products and services to persons they believe to be their potential purchasers. What’s somewhat scary is there ability to tap into platforms which study the behaviours of online users to work out what should pop up at different stages of their web using sessions. It means that by leaning on third-party data and intelligent algorithms, their offering gets put in front of well-researched individuals likely to make a purchase. Going up against such a mammoth of a beast is a war in itself. If the player you are up against can deliver an installation, on top of provision and design, it may in itself seem an unwinnable battle. One mode of resisting might be to adopt similar methods to get to these users first, as well as picking up preferred installer status where beneficial.
Another thing to remember with growing your customer base is that you don’t necessarily have to be the one who fulfils the job. You should use the process to know that you are capable of attracting more custom as and when it is needed. If for any reason you don’t want to grow your clientele, make this an opportunity to refer work onto other for a commission or finders fee. It is also helpful to have an additional income stream which requires minimal input at your end but affords you the luxuries you aspire to attain through your regular work efforts.
An innovative way some trade businesses have gone about this is through introducing quoting tools. It has worked particularly well for central heating engineers. They have in recent times implemented quoting tools to their website which guide interested parties to a choice of boilers they’re happy to install based on your property characteristics. By providing a rough price as well as high, mid and low-end options, you can build up consumer trust while at the same time, make a range of appliances available for them to choose. By doing this, you, in turn, strengthen your imminent sales conversation. Just think, there’s no better starter than “which of the 3 choices would you like to go with?”. Another tip we’d give is to quote slightly higher than the assumed price so that you can offer discounts or incentives for arriving at an initial agreement.
is the annual cost of bad customer service to UK companies
There’s no need to continue drowning and now is your time to swim to new lengths. Within your discoveries riding the waves, you’ll better know how to ride them without slipping.
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