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But everyone else already has someone they refer!

I am trying to market to referral sources, but time after time I am getting the same response.  “I already have someone else I refer to.”   What is the best way to handle this?

Of course they do!  It would be ridiculous to think that there are Agents, Adjusters, Plumbers, Municipalities, and Property Managers that have no idea that restoration contractors exist or that haven’t been contacted regularly already by contractors.  It is a safe bet to say that they all have some solution in place right now.

But, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have an opportunity.  You have to be distinctively different then your competitors.  It is most likely that they are satisfied right now and don’t have a reason to change.  That is why they are are where they are at, they feel seemingly content.  So, in order to spark a change they have to feel that there is a good reason to motivate a change.

It is your job to convince people that they are not happy.  If you can’t do that you are not going to get them to make a change.

A great example of this is FedEx.  In the 1970’s when Fred Smith got the idea of the FedEx Company started, he built it on the idea that they could deliver packages quickly.  If you would have looked at the package industry at the time it would have seemed that the Post Office had the upper hand at the time.  It was a regulated industry.  They could deliver packages from one end of the country to the other for just pennies.  It seemed as if there was no opportunity and that there was no reason why people would need to make a change.  They already had the service available to them at a reasonable rate.  Fred Smith realized that people would prefer to send and receive their packages in a shorter amount of time.  He found a problem in the industry and provided a solution.  Then he clearly marketed his focus.  You may remember their tagline, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

Did it work?  They created such good brand recognition that everybody knows exactly what you mean when someone mentions their name today.  They positioned themselves as a very desirable service.   If you had to send a package through the Post Office or FedEx today and the price were the same which one would you choose?  Without hesitation you would say, “Fed Ex, absolutely!” Why? Because it would get there faster. You may feel they have better quality service.  It is a more expensive product.  There is more perceived value.

Right now, you might be trying to market by copying what everyone else is already doing.  You could say copying the Postal Service so to speak.  That is not the direction to go.  Look at what people need and build your product around that.  You have to position yourself so there is a great value associated with the services provided.  Then provide consistent logical reasoning.  Be very clear so that they know exactly what you do.

Now it is your turn.  Why are you different?  Are you able to clearly state that?  

It can’t be generic.  It is not about the colors of your trucks, your great customer service, or the type of your equipment.  Everyone else is already saying that.

Are you convincing?  Why should they care?  Why does this matter to them?  If that is not abundantly clear you won’t be able to convince them of anything.

Are you motivational?  What is it in for them?  Anyone has to understand clearly what is it in for them before they purchase anything.  You have to convince them that the service you are providing is more valuable to them than the money in their pocket.  You have to show them that they want to spend money with you.

Build your message around your customer.  Don’t look at what your competitors are doing and try to copy them.  Look at what your customer needs.  In areas where your competitors are also fitting what your customers need, make your offer better and more clear then your competitors.

Keep it simple.  Make your message short and easy to remember.  The infrastructure must be there so that you can back up your promises, but you don’t have to explain every step behind the process.  The fact is if you don’t keep your message simple they won’t retain it.

State clearly to the customer what is in it for them.  Before you leave them they should remember you as the company that “insert what makes you different here” and know the value of the services that you provide.

By taking these steps you can provide a strong argument to win those referral sources over and increase your business.

This information was taken from Episode 9 of the Online Marketing Series for Restorers.  For more information on that Series or to begin your subscription click here.