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Storm 911

4 Signs of Bad Roofing Marketing

I often talk to roofing contractors who are struggling with marketing that doesn’t work or produce results. You put in your money, and you don’t get very many sold jobs in return for your investment. Because Storm 911 is a roofing marketing service for Roofing Contractors, we are often asked how a contractor can know for sure if their marketing isn’t working and if it’s time to make a change for the better.

Your Phone Isn’t Ringing

Does your marketing make your phone ring? This is the ultimate test of whether you are making a good investment in marketing or not.   It’s hard to argue with marketing brings in qualified leads and sold jobs. At the same time, it’s hard to justify marketing that doesn’t produce tangible results.

There are a lot of marketing concepts being sold to contractors today. These may include online marketing, social media, various forms of advertising and even postcards. In every case, the salesperson trying to sell you on buying their solution will use an elaborate sales pitch, which many include statistics, graphs and charts to try and convince you to buy their solution. Since effective marketing is a vitally important part of running a successful construction business, it’s important that you understand what is most likely to work for your business, and what’s just money down a rat-hole.

You Aren’t Getting Roofing  Leads

At Storm 911 we offer roofing contractors value by delivering guaranteed qualified roofing appointments. With many other forms of marketing and advertising, there is no promise that you will get a single lead, let alone a sold job from your investment. The salespeople will tell you that you have to “have faith” but all to often, contractors make investments based on faith and a good sales pitch then wind up with nothing to show for it.   Before spending your hard earned money on marketing make sure and ask if the company guarantees results. If they don’t have enough faith in their own product to offer you a rock solid guarantee of results, you should probably keep looking.

Too Few New Roofing Sales

A roofing contractor was investing thousands of dollars a month in direct mail. Running the numbers, the contractor discovered that the number of jobs that came in as a result of the direct mail didn’t even pay for the postage! With many marketing and advertising choices on the market, the contractor was easily able to redirect dollars away from marketing that didn’t work, into marketing that produced a huge number of leads, sold jobs and resulted in high profits.

Just because you make a few sales a year from a form of marketing or adverting, doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile. At Storm 911 our contractors close an average of 30% of the appointments we generate. Depending on the time of year, sometimes that number can vary. But, our clients will tell you again and again that they get a positive return on investment, because running qualified appointments results in sold jobs, which not only covers their cost, but puts cash in their pockets as well.

Low Profit Margins

A few years ago I met the owner of a roofing company that was doing over $10 million in annual sales. The problem was, at the end of the year, there was nothing left for the owners, other than a modest monthly paycheck. After examining the contractors books, the problem was clear. Expensive, ineffective, advertising that sucked up most of the profits. By simply cutting out the marketing that wasn’t working, going with new marketing that did work and making a few other simple changes, the company was able to achieve over $2M in profit the next year.

Why “Free” is a Dirty Word in Insurance Restoration

A free inspection, free upgrades, free warranty, and even a offering a homeowner a free roof sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? But, the problem for roofing contractors is the word “free” can cause a lot of problems that come back to haunt you. For many years, the roofing industry has relied on the notion of a “free roofing inspection” to get people interested in letting contractors up on the roof to perform an inspection. But the idea that the inspection is free puts you on the wrong foot right out of the gate. People need to understand that your time is valuable, but that you are willing to provide an assessment of the storm damage to their home as part of the insurance restoration process.

 

From the first time you contact a customer, either by knocking on the door, or working with a professional roofing leads and appointment setting company like Storm 911, it’s important to start building value and setting yourself apart from your competition. Instead of just pushing the free inspection, take some time and explain exactly what you will be doing and how your inspection will benefit the homeowner. Set yourself up as the expert from the beginning and watch your sales soar.

 

“Free” also implies that your inspection is an estimate, one of many the homeowner is likely to get. Many roofing salespeople come down off the roof just to find they are dealing with a homeowner who is collecting estimates from several contractors. By failing to explain the insurance restoration process upfront, and push the free inspection angle instead, roofing contractors devalue their own time, and erode their ability to make the sale, then and there.

 

When you determine the roof has damage it’s tempting to announce “the good news” that you can get the homeowner a “free” roof. This sets the expectation that there won’t be any out of pocket expenses, which is not true in most cases.   Roofers who use the “free” roof angle often find themselves struggling to collect deductibles, let alone being able to sell upgrades that might not be covered by insurance.

 

Once the contingency is signed and the adjuster has confirmed damage on the roof, many roofers make the mistake of giving away free upgrades, or a free warranty. Instead of giving away these items for free, use them to build value and credibility with your customer. After all, your customers today can be a great source of referrals. In many areas that get hit with storms frequently, loyal customers mean repeat business. Instead of giving away the farm, show people what you are doing to help them, and frame it in that light and you will reap tremendous returns.

Storm 911 Customer Success Stories!

  • 5/13/2014
  • 11:05 PM
  • Blog

At Storm 911 we are super proud of the many contractors we help every year and their incredible success stories. When contractors first call us, many of them have been around the block with marketing that doesn’t work. So, when we receive testimonials from our many “raving fans” we like to share them with the world. Here are just a few. Check out our homepage at www.storm911.com for more raving fan contractors who are thrilled with their positive results!

“Storm 911 has been the “magic bullet for our sales team”, writes Trent Wood with 1st Choice Contractors. “We’ve tried a number of other service provider and you guys are the best!”

Corey Johansen writes “I sold the very first appointment you set for me AND the second! From there, we’ve been impressed with the quality of the leads and have been very happy with the number of sold deals. Storm 911 is a VERY good investment overall”

“Storm 911 is a company you can count on” says Jimmy Kramer. “Whether you need solid leads or just good advice on how to run a more profitable and successful roofing business Storm 911 is my go-to company.

Paul Martin uses Storm 911 in addition to door-to-door canvassing. Paul says, priming the sales pump with telemarketing appointments makes all the difference for his successful storm sales team “The combination of telemarketing leads and our sales guys following up with canvassing has been a real winner this year.”

At Storm 911 we strive to stand out as leaders in storm damage marketing and to building a library of success stories, one contractor at a time!

5 Easy Tips for Buying Great Hail Leads

  • 5/13/2014
  • 11:05 PM
  • Blog

When I started out working in the roofing marketing industry, I wondered want the difference was between the telemarketing companies that charged $50 per lead and the ones that charged $100+.   It didn’t take me long to learn there was a right way of doing things and a wrong way. In talking to many contractors, I heard many stories of frustration over bad leads and the negative effects chasing unqualified leads had on a roofing business.   Here are a 5 easy ways to figure out if your call center is going to produce results, or will more than like cause you trouble.

Exclusive Leads
To me, buying leads that are set exclusively for one contractor is an absolute must. Companies like Service Magic (now Home Advisor) earn a fortune by selling the same lead to multiple contractors. While that’s a great business model for them, I’ve never understood why any roofing contractor would pay to compete directly with 4-5 other contractors trying to win the same deal.   Also, beware of call centers who sell leads under the table to multiple contractors.

100% Verified
We’ve all heard the saying “buyers are liars” and this is especially true in the roofing industry. Many times a homeowner will say “yes” just to get rid of a telemarketer or canvasser then later run, duck, no-show, or deny they set the “appointment.   Second step verification is a great way for marketers to cement the appointment and give wishy-washy homeowners an easy out. But once a homeowner has committed a second time through a simple verification step, chances are they will be their when your salesperson arrives.

Zone In
One of the biggest scams I’ve heard of recently are hail and storm damage telemarketers who call zip codes, instead of areas. This is a great deal for the telemarketing company who can offer contractors cheap leads by calling outside of the heaviest hit areas on the map.   If you are hiring a telemarketing or canvassing team make sure they are using a good hail map and KMZ file to target the areas with actual damage instead of delivering weak leads working around the storm.

Made in the USA
The other day I was contacted by a construction marketing company based in “California”. After questioning the salesperson, I learned the actual work was done in the Philippines.   The trouble with outsourcing your marketing overseas is that the leads, and customer service is are often poor quality. That said, most of the roofing contractors I know have tried stuff like this at one time or another, but most have found that spending a few extra dollars upfront on a US based marketing company pays a much higher return on investment. Regardless of where you are from, invest in giving your company a local feel and it will pay you back in spades.

Service Please
Do you ever long for the days when the “customer” was king? Now days many companies act like they are doing you a favor by providing even the most basic customer service. But, when it comes to your marketing, beware. To get a good return on investment, it’s important that you have clear and open lines of communication with your service provider.   When it comes to good customer service, you deserve it!

5 Surefire Ways to Get More Bang for Your Marketing Buck

  • 5/13/2014
  • 11:04 PM
  • Blog

Roofing contractors often ask me how they can get the most bang for their marketing budget? Here are the top things that we’ve discovered over the years that help storm restoration contractors get more “bang” for their marketing dollar.

Work Smarter
Instead of doing everything the hard way, it’s wise to step out of the dark ages and keep up with the times. Invest in CRM, mobile technology, hail maps, and other tools that make it easy to keep your whole team motivated, accountable and on the same page. Every year contractors loose countless dollars wasting time when they could be using that time to make more money.

Prime the Pump
Whether you buy leads from a telemarketing company, online or generate leads through canvassing, it’s important to help your salespeople succeed. Sometimes just providing a few leads a day can make all the difference between salespeople who are highly motivated and those who struggle to get out of the truck.

Knock Doors
For contractors who buy leads or advertisements, encourage your salespeople to knock at least 6-8 homes immediately around each appointment. Having an appointment with a neighbor provides familiarity and credibility. Here’s a sample approach: “Hi, I’m David with XYZ Roofing Company. I was just doing a roof inspection for one of our customers Debbie Sloan across the street (point at Debbie’s house) and wanted to stop by and make sure your roof is okay. It will just take a quick minute for me to jump up and make sure you don’t have any damage…”

Ask for Referrals
People love giving referrals, especially for a job well done. Vivax Pro Painting in Denver Colorado is a great example of a company built through referrals from “raving fan customers”. Just talk to anyone who has had their home painted by Vivax and they will rave about their great experience. The same concept works great in roofing too. When people are looking for a roofer, they’ll ask their friends. Make sure to let your customers know you always appreciate referrals.

Customers for Life
A few years ago I talked to the CEO of a family owned roofing company that had done over 30,000 roofs in a hail prone metro area. They were having marketing issues and I asked what they did for their existing customers when hail hit? “Well, nothing” the CEO replied. “Are You Crazy”, I exclaimed! The CEO was sitting on a potential gold mine of future business simply by taking care of the customers his company had already served in the past. Now days, with address monitoring technology, it’s super easy to keep track of your customers. When they get hit by hail, give them a call. That’s low hanging fruit that no contractor should miss.