Did you know that there are over one thousand roofing companies in British Columbia (most in the lower mainland) and well over five hundred in Alberta? There are close to thirteen hundred in Ontario! (Data from Yellow Pages as at December 2008)
Let's take a look at British Columbia (BC): At the last count there were 1016 Roofing companies in BC, which means there is competition to service the 1,642,715 private households in BC (Statistics Canada 2006 Census). Keep in mind that many of those private households are in condos and apartments, which means more than one family shares the same roof, so there are fewer roofs than private households, making your competition fiercer. Also bear in mind that the number of potential clients is spread over a province and not all are in need of a new roof at the same time, but spread over a period of fifteen to fifty years; this significantly adds to your competition. . . in some areas making competition very fierce. The current economic recession will make sales more difficult. . . you need a focused and effective marketing strategy that will increase sales or at least maintain current sales levels in the short and long term.
As is the norm for most businesses, a skewed normal distribution curve for sales applications. This means that a very small percentage of high performers get many roofing contracts every year, the bulk of the roofing companies do an average number of roofs per year to generate a respectable income, and the rest at the low end barely scrape by with a minimum number of clients.
If you are a business owner who wants to increase his (or her) business, irrespective of where you are in the sales distribution curve, the technique out below will prove invaluable. There are some smart roofing contractors that apply this method. This is one strategy I recommend you implement:
Take note: because you are not selling anything on-line it does not matter to be listed at the top of search engine lists, like Google or the Yellow Pages. You do not care if someone somewhere far away from you in Canada finds you on Google, and if you are placed on top of an endless list in the Yellow Pages do you think that is going to persuade any prospect to randomly pick you from a long list of other roofers who also come out on top? Of course not! Peoples' homes are valuable to them and putting on a new roof or re-roofing is an expensive long term cost (not an investment because it depreciates). Home owners want to deal with a trusted business owner what they can trust. Trust does not come from print; trust is built over time. This does not mean a prospect needs to have known you (the business owner) a very long time, although this would help. The home owner will however accelerate the trust process by gathering information from people he or she knows who have been through the same roofing experience and then they want to see the prospective roofing contractor in action doing a good job on the neighbor's house because seeing is believing !
In PartTWO I will list the most powerful, practical and cost effective marketing objectives you can implement to significantly increase your roofing sales.
In today's highly interconnected society the Internet is an invaluable source of communications and information.
A business website is not an option. . . it is a requirement for success, make it part of your marketing mix!