10 Targeting Your Marketing Efforts

Chapter 10
Targeting Your Marketing Efforts

You might prefer one or the other but most likely your clients are made-up of businesses and homeowners.
While many of the marketing techniques you’ve already discovered in this report will help with both, there are a few tips you need to know that will help you market to each.  And there are obvious differences between how you want to approach each one.

In general, when dealing with residential customers you want to remember to be warm.  When dealing with commercial customers you can be a little less warm but more professional.

My experience in business has taught me that your image is critical to your success.
You will be inside your customer’s homes, but before they let you in, you have to show them that you’re not some Joe blow passing through town looking for beer money.  Be Professional.
To that end it is critical that you utilize top quality marketing and business materials in order to ensure a ‘good’ first impression.

Private homeowners like to hire people they like and trust.  They also want to like the person that’s working for them.  In fact, simply being well liked can ensure customer loyalty.

Here is a good place to remind you of an old adage #1

“The Customer signs your paycheck!”
This is very important to remember.

When talking to a Customer / potential Customer, Give Service, by being helpful, polite and fast to respond.  Giving your Customers this type of service creates a cement type bond with your Customer.

Old adage #2, “Customer is King”, treat your Customers like that and they won’t want to shop anywhere else. Would you?

However, with businesses, it’s all about the business.  They want a good job done.
If you don’t do the work the way they want then they’ll find someone else and they won’t think twice about it.
Businesses want to be able to trust the people they hire to complete tasks for them and they usually don’t want to be bothered beyond that.
Businesses will only be concerned with you providing great service.
Here you go the extra step and give them something that doesn’t have much expense, but let’s the Customer know that you appreciate them and their business.

Of all the residential customers the best prospects for your business are people who are wealthy.  There are two reasons for this.
Number one they have the money to pay for what they want.
Number two they live in large homes and typically spend a large amount of money on home services and luxury items.

Let’s take a look at targeting your marketing efforts to residential customers, commercial customers, and affluent customers.

Targeting Commercial Customers When you begin to target any specific type of customer, the first thing you always have to consider is what those customers want.
As we just discussed, businesses are mostly concerned with the job being done well. They also want to make sure you will get the job done when it’s supposed to be done without them worrying about it.
Other concerns for businesses, depending on the type of business, might be your appearance and the amount of money you charge.

You have to take each business individually and think about what they really want from a business.
The first two criteria – doing the job well and getting the job done on time – are givens but other criteria depend on the type of business and the people who run the business. For example, a restaurant would probably want a window cleaner that has a decent appearance and is able to be polite to their patrons.
But a small business that is isolated on a dead end street and makes yo-yos might not care how you look at all as long as you get the job done.

However, the yo-yo business might consider cost to be an issue.

For the most part you shouldn’t ever play the money game.  Your service is valuable and people will get what they pay for.
Ultimately it’s up to you though.
But if you do offer your service at a discount for some businesses, you might find that those businesses require the most from you.

Now, the best way to attract commercial customers is through networking.  You need to make some type of connection with businesses in your area.
Business owners are far more likely to hire you if they know who you are.
If your service is one that is used monthly then you might offer a 10% monthly discount if their payment is received before the 10th of the month that payment is due.  Or cash on completion.
Not the 11th but before the 10th in your office.

I have used this one before and the customers that I offered the discount to ended up paying late and taking the discount. Not sure how to protect from this one but this is the reality of business. What I did was to not answer the customer when I was called back. This might not be the best thing to do either but it made me feel better. Best way is to carry the balance on the books and send out reminder invoices monthly that they failed to pay the proper amount. Be sure to add this amount on to any future billing.
The reason I have mentioned this here is that we want you to know what can happen. Reflecting back on this it would probably be best to offer a discount on future orders for the ones paid on time or early. This could put an end to the above practice.

Giving your customer this discount does a couple of things, gives your good paying customers a serious discount that they can really see and helps keep your money coming in on time.

A better way might be to offer the 12th month free if they pay the bill every month on time.  This is less than 10% and seems like you’re really giving value to your good customers. If you have a reoccurring service, window cleaning, office cleaning, pool service or really any monthly service.

Networking One of the best ways to network is by joining your local chamber of commerce.  Become active with it.  Attend the meetings and any functions they might have.
You will meet many other business owners in your area.
With a decent elevator speech, you’ll be able to attract customers this way.

You also want to attend any type of business functions that might be put on by other organizations.  Get yourself out in public and make connections.
Chamber of Commerce, BBB, Toastmasters, Shriners, and more.

Being involved in charity events is another great way to network.
You will automatically be seen in a positive light by other business owners and you’ll also have something in common with them from the start – being involved in charity work.

Networking is easily the best way to market to commercial customers.
Having a Website will help too.
So will word of mouth once you start getting some customers.
But to really make inroads with attracting commercial customers, you need to network.  Just get to know the people behind the businesses in your area.
And let them know what you do and that you can really help them out with your service.

When you decide to target businesses make sure you call ahead and find out the name of the person who is in charge.
Also, find out the name of that person’s assistant.
Then send postcards to each business that are addressed to the right person (make it personal).
Then follow-up with a phone call to the administrative assistant and inquire if they’re interested in your service.
Often the administrative assistant helps make the day to day decisions like hiring people for a service, and the administrative assistant is much easier to get in touch with.

Targeting Residential Customers

Again, the first step to attracting residential customers is to think what they want.
They want someone who will do the job well, they want someone who is trustworthy, and they also want to know and like the person.
Let’s break down those last 3 criteria because they’re very important.

Homeowners first must trust you in order for them to hire you.
You can help them know you so it will be easier for them to Trust you.
This is always a key to someone making a purchase of any goods or services.
But with home services it’s even more important.

Why is this?

Well, it’s because you will see every room in their home, unless they pull the shades.  But most windows don’t have shades.  So if you wanted to you could see an awful lot while providing a home service.

Homeowners also need to like the person who is providing a service for them.
They might not admit this last criteria but it’s absolutely true.
Homeowners want to be able to know, like and trust the person who is working at their house.

Homeowners do not want someone they don’t like coming to their home and performing a service.
In fact, people will overlook a couple minor mistakes if they like the person.
But most people won’t be repeat customers for someone they don’t like, no matter how well the job was done. Be polite.

So, the first step to attracting residential customers is to brand you as a nice and trustworthy company.
Remember that everything you do will be directly related to your business.  So always portray the right image.

Right down to placing videos on your web site that introduce yourself and staff.  This helps the Customer get to know how you work and what they can expect from you.
The more that you expand on this last idea, will expand your profits.

There are many techniques you can use to market to residential customers.
Many of these techniques have already been discussed.
But more traditional marketing techniques can be quite effective.
This includes sending out postcards about your business, sticking flyers up at all the local grocery stores (and community centers, etc.) dropping your business card off door to door, and sticking flyers under windshield wipers. Be careful here as a number of cities in California have made laws about putting fliers on car windows.

Going door to door and sticking flyers under windshield wipers is usually not very effective.
In fact, many people see this as more of an annoyance.
However, one way to do this type of marketing and have it be extremely successful is to give a free gift.

For example, you could order a thousand small bags and have something like “Here’s a free bag of goodies, courtesy of (insert your business name here).  Then you could put your contact information on the bag.  Inside the bag you could have a gift that applies to the season.

This is a good idea to use in a strip mall where most of the businesses contribute something to the give-a-way that can be tied back to their business.
This method can be morphed to any number of marketing styles to suit anybody’s style of marketing.

For example, if summer is coming up you could put a travel sized bottle of sun lotion, a bottle opener, and a magnet.  Usually you can also have your business information printed on each free gift.

Giving free gifts will automatically make people like you.  Everyone loves free stuff.
This is where coupon books work well (I have used these in a number of retail venues) and this gets the Customer to physically go to each business to redeem the coupons. (A 5% or 10% often times now is not enough to get people to buy, so make the offer worth 30% to 50% on one item. Just a suggestion.)

Marketing to Affluent Homeowners Affluent people, people who have money and are looking to spend it for your service, are said to be completely different than people who don’t have a lot of expendable income.
This is not completely true. However, it is true that you need to market to them differently.

Let’s face it:        The majority of your residential customers will be people who have money to spend.  People who don’t have any extra money can’t afford to purchase home services or luxury items (at least not very often) and have houses that are small enough to do the house work themselves.
So you need to make sure you know how to market effectively to affluent customers.

To begin thinking about marketing to affluent people you have to think about what separates them from people who aren’t affluent.
The answer, of course, is money.  They have it.  Others don’t.

So money isn’t much of a consideration for most of them.  Usually affluent people will be willing to pay a large sum of money as long as the job is done the way they want it.  And the way they want it might be very specific.

Now, the fact that rich people usually don’t care too much about the cost of your service doesn’t mean that you should jack-up your prices. It simply means that price should never be used as one of the selling points when marketing to them.

But let’s take a closer look at what most affluent people want.
They want someone who is reliable and will do good work.  In fact, often they have very specific instructions for how they want the job performed.
They also want to know that they have a real professional working on and around their home.

So you have to look and act the part.  This means you need to be aware of your appearance and you also need to be aware of the appearance of the vehicle you drive.

Many affluent people love to impress their neighbors.
You may very well be part of their attempt to impress their neighbors.  This means you need to have a nice truck with your business name and logo on the door.

Keeping these things in mind, you’ll be able to create the right marketing image.
But how do you actually get to market to these people?
Well, the methods aren’t really any different than for other people.

One great form of publicity is simply being seen, working in the neighborhood.
People are much more likely to hire you if they see that you’ve done work for one of their neighbors.
With your truck parked out in front of the house, you’ll be getting free publicity.

As with businesses, networking is a great way to market to affluent customers.
If you can get to know someone in an affluent neighborhood then you can open the door and you’ll be able to attract more customers.

A few possible ways to help you network with affluent customers include: helping out with charities, joining a golf club or country club, and belonging to a neighborhood church.
Any association you can gain with people will help you tremendously.

But an association with people doesn’t have to be through an organization.  It can be through people too.
For this reason, make sure you give your elevator speech to your doctor the next time you visit him.  Give your elevator speech to your accountant too.  Give your elevator speech to anyone who is wealthy; in fact give it to everyone.

These affluent people might use your service, but more importantly, they might recommend your service to someone in their neighborhood.

It all comes down to opening up the market.  If you have one customer from a neighborhood then many other neighbors are very likely to also take advantage of your business.  Word of mouth is very powerful and so is having a presence in a specific area.

Summing-Up. Here we discussed targeting your marketing to specific groups of people.  We looked at residential customers and commercial customers.  We also looked at affluent customers.

You need to consider what people are looking for when they want a service done and then promise that.  We went over this and we also looked at some marketing ideas for each group of people.

In the end it all comes down to creating a great brand and then getting the word out about your business.
Often the best publicity you can get is achieved through networking.
Make it easy for the Customer to find you on the Internet.
Have videos on your site to help your potential Customers get to know, like and trust you and your staff.

This will be time well spent and update your site(s) often.




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