Ah, the winter. A festive season full of holiday joy, family bonding, and gift giving. And while gift giving tends to mean the high-point for many retail stores, it also means a major dip in home improvement spending.
November through January tend to be the slowest three months for almost every home improvement trade as people save their money for holiday gifts. Add to that the fact that the winter makes it near impossible to do any exterior home work in many parts of the country and you can understand why your lead volume drops this time of year.
Here are six ways you can drum up more business during the slow season.
1. Go back and work your old leads.
If you have been keeping proper track of your leads, you should have a whole cache of old leads to go back and market to. Go through all your old leads and start calling and emailing them to see if they still have a need for any work. Up to 40% of leads will eventually convert with long-term follow-up. If a lead first reached out for a quote when they were merely in the planning or budgeting phase, they may be ready to make the move and hire a contractor!
You would be surprised what one follow up call or email can do even for leads that are a few months old. (Here’s an easy way to email all your old CraftJack leads.)
2. Create a seasonal promotion.
During the holiday season people are in bargain mode. Try coming up with a special holiday discount that is only valid through your slow season in order to create a sense of urgency. You can promote your seasonal promotion with an email marketing campaign or through your social media. This may also provide some extra referral work as you move in to the busy season.
3. Make the most of the leads you are getting.
Unlike the busy season when you may be booked for months and can be more selective about the jobs you take, in the slow season you need to try and book every job you can. That means changing your sales and follow-up style to be more aggressive. Every job won really counts in the winter when you are struggling for work. That means you should call every lead faster and follow up more times.
4. Start a referral program.
If you don’t have a referral program for the jobs you win you are missing out on potential work. Create an incentive for homeowners to recommend you to friends and neighbors. Try offering something like a $50 gift card to any homeowner who refers you to a friend and you complete the job. Post the promotion to your website (you do have a website, right?) and send out an email blast promoting it.
5. Stop putting off social media.
When business is slow there’s nothing better than free advertising. If you’ve been putting off creating a Facebook page for your business, now is the time to do it. It will be a great way to stay in front of past customers and alert them of your new promotions and referral programs. Here are some Twitter and Instagram tips for contractors.
6. Diversify your services.
Many contractors will do extra services during the holiday season to help them stay afloat. For example, many contractors will start a Christmas light hanging business a month before and after Christmas. Think outside the box and use tips 1-5 to alert your past customers about your new offerings.
Combining all these tips should help you make it through the slow season with a few extra jobs and get you ready to hit the pavement when the busy season comes back.