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Maximize Your Market Share
Competitive Marketing Strategies for Home Service Professionals - By Jim Schimpf

Competing in today’s home service industry involves stepping outside the ordinary and stepping up your visibility in an ever populated industry.  With the rapid rate of new businesses flooding your market area each year, carving your niche and maintaining your market share is increasingly difficult.  With all that competition, getting your name, reputation and message to the forefront of your community’s collective conscience will require some Personal Marketing POWER tools! 

Lead Generation:   Today, more than ever, to stay in the business of sales, you have to first be in the business of lead generation.  Ultimately we are in the people business which requires constant care, contact and nurturing.  Start with an abundant list of prospects which will include your current clients, service route and neighboring communities.  Now add to that a consistent system of varied marketing tools and a strategic plan for maintaining contact and you can effectively compete and even surpass your goals in the next twelve months.

Create Denser Service Areas:  Focus on increasing your market share with a system that will help expand your business base.  This strategy can decrease your operating expenses by creating denser service routes.  How?  Simple effective postcard mailing with consistency can generate interest; offer direct response incentives and give prospective customers helpful information regarding their home care needs, as well as their community.  I suggest full color, high-impact postcards.  Each time you receive a sales call in your target area, use a radial search of that property address and rapid fire mail to at least 100 neighboring properties.  This gives you the opportunity to effectively and automatically translate your message to entire neighborhoods that you are in the area and available for service with a direct response incentive.  Moreover, it allows you to maximize your time, effort and effectiveness by grouping service calls together in the same area. 

Employ Data Mining Technology:  The new must-have power tool to find additional prospects requires cutting-edge data mining technology that literally will allow you to seek, in specific detail, what type of prospects you are looking for.  We provide a system with MarketShare Online which allows our clients to choose variable by variable exactly which market they would like to target.  This unique technology allows you to manipulate local area data to create a specific prospect list of every home in your service route.  You can expand your search to choose the parameters that best meet your needs.  For example, this system allows you to research every homeowner in your area with household incomes of over $100,000.  Want to further target market?  Search for local physicians, attorneys or CPA’s and market utilizing a business to business campaign.  More often than not, individuals in these fields employ outside services for their home service needs.

Brand Yourself:  To move to the head of the line in the minds of those on your prospect list will require you to brand yourself as the company to contact to get the best job done in the shortest amount of time for the best possible price.  Many of our clients took that advice to heart, embarked upon a frequent, consistent personal marketing campaign, sending out postcards monthly to their business route and desired target areas.  Don’t be afraid to ask for both referrals and recommendations.  Incorporating positive client testimonials into your marketing campaign is a quick way to boost your referral business.  People want to do business with companies they can trust.  A good nod from a neighbor very often means an edge over the competition.  Keep in mind that while good news travels fast, bad news travels faster, so be certain to build and maintain your relationship with your client base using a system of contact, as well as providing the best possible service.

Systems in Place:  Commit to the business development side of your career.  Live by the 3-7-27 rule of contact. Know that it takes 3 contacts to recognize your name, 7 contacts to make the association, and 27 contacts to ensure that those in your database/pipeline/contact management program are comfortable enough with you to entrust you with their business.  Commit to a program or calendar of consistent contact at least every 30 days.  To most effectively leverage your client relationships and ensure not only repeat business, but a strong referral base as well, take the time to get to know the customers in your base.  Find out, and more importantly keep notes on what they like and dislike.  Find out birthdays, remember holidays and get creative about contacting these very important people.  Sending postcards, or letters or promotional items are great and time tested to be effective.  However, they should not be your only source of contact.  Mix things up! Put a system in place to call or see your clients as well.  There is no substitute for personal contact.  Call and thank them for their business.  Ask if there is anything additional they might need, or some way you can be of added service.   Every few months take the time to stop by and see them.  Making your core of business feel special is a vital part of business development.  Set aside time each week to monitor your prospecting progress and don’t fall in to the “I don’t have the time” trap.  Make the time.  Your career and your success depend on it. 

Take Advantage of the Times:  There has never been a more challenging or exciting time to be in the home care industry.  Though competition is great, the resources, tools and technology available are even greater.  Arm yourself with as much knowledge and as many tools as possible.  With the right commitment, a specific plan and a forward thinking perspective on success, you will create the foundation for a powerful year.  I wish you success!

Jim Schimpf, Executive Director of Opportunity Knocks, a division of ProspectsPLUS!  delivers high energy, high standards and even higher results for his clients.  His unique approach of infusing patent-pending technology into the business of marketing for home care professionals has provided fresh ideas and increased profitability and production.  If you are interested in sharpening your company’s competitive edge, contact Jim today at 1.866.999.MLSM (6576).

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