3 secret killers of your winter cash flow
Temperatures are dropping, but your cash flow doesn’t have to join them. It’s true that earning new business is tough in the winter, but if you avoid these 3 marketing mistakes, you’ll have a shot at seeing some green earlier than springtime.
Mistake #1: Neglecting old leads
It may be tough to get new leads in the winter, so to keep earning business, you need to turn to the ones you already have.
Think about your sales funnel. You’ve got your top of the funnel leads. Then you’ve got people who seriously considered working with you. And finally, you have previous customers.
If you’re like most businesses, odds are you don’t often market to the people stuck in your funnel from months ago. It’s time to re-introduce yourself.
Use an affordable service such as Mailchimp to email leads and prior customers with a promotion. Leads who went with a competitor could be convinced to do another project this winter if the price is right.
Here are 4 things to keep in mind as you prepare the email:
Send it as a plain text email: Don’t worry about fancy graphics or buttons. Send the email as if it came directly from you, and focus on getting the customer to open and reply.
Don’t over-fill it: Lots of emails overflow with information. Keep it short and simple – your goal is to start a conversation and not tell them everything at once.
Add urgency: Create a winter discount with an expiration date. This urgency will convince the lead that now is the time to move forward.
Pitch financing: Tell your client that you have competitive payment options if they need it. This will go a long way in removing a potential objection.
Below is a sample email you could send.
Subject Line: Quick question…
This is Bob from Bob’s Roofing Company. I know we spoke awhile back about getting your roof done.
Quick question: Have you fixed your roof yet?
I’m asking because we’re launching a special winter promotion that I’d love to tell you more about. Do you have 10 minutes for a call this week? Would love to tell you more!
P.S. We now offer competitive payment options that can help you spread the cost of your roof over several years.
Of course, you’ll have to tailor the email to your client.
Mistake #2: Not scouting your neighborhood
This approach works if you focus on exterior-facing industries such as roofing or windows. Here’s the tactic:
1. Prepare information pamphlets with a special winter promotion. This information pamphlet should include customer reviews, information on the promotion, your contact information, and a section about payment options.
2. Scout your neighborhood. Drive around and look for homes with roofs, windows, etc. that need work.
3. Write a quick note on the pamphlet. Have it say something like: “Hi there - I noticed your roof needs a bit of work. My company has a special winter promotion for roofing. We’d love the chance to earn your business. - Bob”
4. Put the pamphlet on your customer’s doorstep. The lead will get the package when they arrive home.
You won’t get a ton of responses from this approach, but if you do it enough, there’s a decent chance you could close a sale.
Mistake #3: Missing out on referrals
If word of mouth is a big piece of your business, then you have customers who love you – great work! You could likely get even more from customer referrals.
Inform your customers that you’ll pay them a fixed fee and give their friend a discount if they move forward in the winter. This approach doesn’t always work, but sometimes people just need an extra push to refer someone.
Remember: the quality of word of mouth leads is usually pretty good so give this approach a shot!
One more thing…
No matter what happens this winter, you should be focused on getting your marketing ready for spring. Make sure you can answer “YES” to all of these questions by the end of winter:
Do I have email campaigns set up for new and inactive leads?
Does my website make it easy for me to capture information?
Do I have recent customer reviews lined up?
Do I have tested marketing tactics to get new leads?
Am I fully comfortable adding financing to my sales process to sell even more jobs?
Your winter doesn’t have to be slow. Follow these tips, add financing to your bids, and you’ll have a shot at creating the winter your business deserves.
For more marketing advice, feel free to contact our team of financing coaches at (512) 686-4141.