How to Increase Your Fence Company’s Sales
You are a great fence installer. You’ve installed hundreds of fences, and your customers rave about their fence. They love the look. They love the privacy it provides. They tell their friends and neighbors about their new fence. Everything is great, except… you still need more business. You’re doing a great job at what you are best at. In fact, you love the fence business. You love it so much you started your own company, but now, how do you grow your business?
At SellMoreFence.com, powered by Gallagher Promotional Products, Inc., we can help you do that!
Since 1974 we’ve been helping companies just like yours wade through the marketing noise and make sense of growing their business with tried and proven products and ideas that work!
Marketing your fence company is easier than installing a fence, that’s for sure and we’re here to help. There are some key things you must do to SellMoreFence.
First, you must get the word out that you sell and install quality fences at affordable prices.
Second, you must create confidence in your company, your product and your service.
Third, you must be easy to reach and quick to respond to customer requests.
And lastly, you must leave a lasting impression in both your product and company. An impression so good that your customers rave about you!
Marketing is Local:
Selling and marketing a product like a fence is a local endeavor. Your best prospect is the person that observes you installing a fence and thinks to themselves, “I need a new fence”. It is that first thought that brings the opportunity to you. It could be just after a storm has passed through and knocked a section or their entire fence down. It could be that their pet is constantly going through the holes in their old fence, it could be that they recognize the need for privacy or the sense of security, or it could simply be that their fence is years beyond it’s useful life and they “know” they need to do something.
You don’t create the need, you satisfy it, but how do you do attract the new customer economically and effectively?
You could buy TV or radio advertising, but it is expensive and could have you running all over the county or state trying to secure jobs that don’t pan out. It could have you dropping thousands on advertising, only to find out you can’t make money driving all over putting in bids and then asking your install crew to drive to timbuktoo for the install, only to have them drive all the way across the county or state tomorrow for the next job. Let’s face it, time is money and travel time is wasted time.
Your best opportunity is to SellMoreFence within a defined geographic territory that is profitable for you to serve, both in providing quotes and completing the install.
The question then becomes “How do I sell more fence, locally?”
Key Strategies to SellMoreFence:
- Before you begin to install a fence, advertise to their neighbors to let them know who is installing the fence “down the street”. You are already there, so no travel time is required, plus if it’s time for their neighbor to get a fence, it might be time for them also.
- Let people near your current job see you – seeing is believing plus you are on hand to answer questions if they have any. Everyone driving by or walking by will recognize the new fence. They need to easily see “What company did the work”. More on this later.
- Make certain that your customer is satisfied – this means survey them after the install – that means ask questions to confirm you met their expectations and do what is necessary to get them to say yes when asked “Would you recommend my company to your friends?”
- Follow up after the sale and leave your name behind.
- Get referrals from current customers – they were profitable and their neighbors will be too, more on referrals later.
- Use social media to promote your fence company. The best way to do this is to post pictures of successful projects you have completed, have customers post positive comments about your company on Facebook, Next Door and other social media sites. Most importantly, HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE, and monitor it for positive posts and deal with negative posts swiftly. Not having a social media presence is bad, but having negative posts on your social media site is worse.
Advertise but be Smart about it:
What do I mean by that?
Remember, affordable and effective advertising is local. You aren’t going to install 100 linear feet of board-on-board fence 300 miles from your shop and make money on it, but selling a fence job to another family in the same neighborhood or just down the street from your current job is probably profitable. This means you must maximize your use of time and advertising materials.
Best ways to advertise:
Make certain that your vehicles, both sales and installation have signage on them that clearly advertises your service. Call us for ideas. We have many examples of what other companies have done and we have Easy-On Easy-Off magnetic signs that will get your message across and are removable. Plus, we can create a custom graphic design for you that can be applied to any vehicle and last for years.
Always carry business cards that you can leave with the customer in the event anyone asks “Who installed your fence?” Call at 1-800-367-8458 or go online to check out our business card ideas that are designed to generate referrals. An effective way to get referrals is to pay your referring customer a “Finder’s Fee” for giving you a referral that does business with you. Paying your customers for referrals is a great way to generate positive comments on social media and leave your customers feeling like you exceeded their expectations. A satisfied customer is your best sales tool!
Wear your name all over town:
Make certain that your sales people and install crew all wear branded shirts, caps, jackets, etc. Everywhere they go, they will advertise your company. When worn by sales personnel to complete quotes it looks professional and generates confidence in the customer. When your install crew shows up smartly and uniformly dressed, they stand out from the competition and promote the same sense of confidence in the customer. Plus, it’s easy for a prospect driving by to identify your employees, which drops the barrier many feel when approaching with a question.
Place some advertising BEFORE YOU START THE INSTALL:
Leave a door hanger on the front door of every neighbor’s house near your current jobsite. This is easy to do and it only takes 10 – 15 minutes to leave something catchy on every house near your current job. Always carry marketing materials with you and make certain your install crews have them on their vehicles as well. You never know when someone will see the writing or images on your vehicle and ask the driver for more information. Your best prospect is someone that has seen your workmanship in action. A well-designed door hanger could indicate that you are installing a fence at XXX Address and are available to answer questions in person while on site or you can be reached through email at Sales@XYZFence.com or on your cell phone at 123-456-7890. The point is: BE EASY TO CONTACT.
BEFORE YOU START THE INSTALL, place at least one curb sign in the yard where you are installing the fence. Curb signs are inexpensive and measure 18” X 24”. See our curb sign ideas at SellMoreFence.com or give one of our Fence Marketing Specialists a call at 800-367-8458. Be sure to place at least one curb sign on each frontage road the fence borders. Our more successful customers install 4 or more curb signs on the jobsite and leave them for one week after the install. Be sensitive to HOA rules for the community and obtain the permission of the homeowner before leaving signs behind. Let the homeowner know that you will be back to pick them up in one week as part of your after the sale follow up and you will be bringing them a gift and confirm that they are satisfied with the job at that time. See “The Follow up Visit” below for more simple but effective ideas on how to grow your fence business.
This is one thing you should never forget!
When the install is complete, be sure to attach a Fence ID Plate to each side of the fence that faces a road. Our Fence ID Plates are our number one selling item and will let everyone passing by know who built this quality fence for years to come… If you don’t do anything else, apply a Fence ID Plate to your work! The fences you build are your best sales people, especially when they are new. They are a billboard waiting to advertise for your 24/7/365. Don’t miss the opportunity!
How to get referrals:
Referrals are the most trusted form of advertising. Would you want to pick your brain surgeon out of the yellow pages or would you prefer to find your brain surgeon by hearing a past patient with your condition had a wonderful experience and is fully recovered because they used Dr. So and So?
Likewise, people like to get a referral from people that had good experiences with a company that went the extra mile to satisfy them. You can SellMoreFence when your customers brag about what you did for them. How do you get them to do that?
First you must satisfy them. It requires a fair price, quality materials, good workmanship and you must do what you promise to do. This means you should show up when promised and complete the job on time. If you can’t get the materials in time or if your crew is running late, good communication is the key. People are much less likely to get upset or feel that you have let them down when you communicate effectively, even when giving them bad news. Quality work and a cheerful disposition go a long way in getting referrals. Simply put, people like to do business with people they like and trust.
I recommend giving them a marketing magnet to place on their refrigerator the first day you visit them for a quote. This keeps your name and number in front of them in the even they have any questions and it can be a talking point any time a friend or neighbor visits their home. In the event the prospect elects not to use you at this time, it keeps your name and number in front of them after your visit.
During the initial visit, give the customer several of your business cards for them to give to friends, family and or neighbors. These can be referral cards that you write their name on that will generate a “Finder’s Fee” for them if they refer business to you. Let them know that even if they don’t do business with you, you will pay them a fee for every person they refer that does business with you. Remember, a referral is the cheapest and most effective advertising tool at your disposal.
The Follow up Visit:
Your most effective marketing tool is the Follow Up Visit!
It is during this visit that you will confirm that the customer is satisfied. This is your opportunity to smooth out anything that didn’t go as planned, make amends, and make life long friends. I was once told that every company makes mistakes every now and then and the difference between a good company and a great company is How They Fix Their Mistakes. Even if something didn’t go as planned on the project, you can usually fix it to the customers delight by doing your best to make it right. Often times, when a company makes mistakes and corrects them, their customers sing their praises even more. No one is surprised when things go as planned, but when things get off plan and you make them right, the customer is relieved and often times impressed. Always view a complaint as an opportunity to fix a problem and keeping it from happening again and as an opportunity to make a customer for life.
When making the follow up visit, give the customer a gift, with your name on it:
We have many ideas on great, inexpensive gift ideas.
Gift ideas include:
Key fobs: great for mailbox keys, shed keys, gate keys, garage door or house keys.
Letter openers, which many people use every day.
Kitchen items like jar openers, cutting boards, bag clips, oven mitts are appreciated and used often.
A multi-function BBQ tool is appreciated and often used while the fence is enjoyed in the back yard.
Other popular back yard gifts include: Umbrellas, Coolers, Koozies, drink tumblers and even playing cards… all with your name on them, promoting your business to friends and family…
For the sports minded we have Golf towels and Golf ball & T sets and many other ideas online.
The idea behind the gift is to provide something the customer will keep for many years. A pen will be used or lost, perhaps before it can make an impression, but a gift that the customer will not lose and will actually use, will provide years of in-your-face name recognition. Look over our gifts online and chose one that fits your customers needs best. We have carefully chosen these gifts to keep your name before the customer for years. Our best customers give their customers a choice between 3 or 4 gifts. By doing this, you will increase the odds that the customer will actually use, and therefore keep, the gift.
Don’t Pass up the Opportunity to Survey the Customer:
The follow up visit is your opportunity to survey the customer. It is wise to have a written survey on a clipboard that allows you to documents simple answers from the customer. See our recommended (free to download and free to print) surveys here.
After completing the survey ask the customer if they will go online and leave a nice comment on your Facebook page or if they would make a nice referral on Next Door or other, similar local website. The more, kind comments people post to your site, the more confidence it will generate for your business. A positive social media presence is an effective way to grow your company.
After you complete enough follow up visit surveys you can begin posting the positive results on your website, Facebook page, Angie’s List, Next Door and other places online. Let your friends know that 9 out of 10 people would recommend your company to their friends, or even better yet, 10 out of 10!
Be sure to thank the customer for their business and remember to pick up the curb sign(s) you left in their yard during the installation. These signs can be used again and again.
If you did not place door hangers on their neighbors doors prior to the installation, now is a good time.
Don’t pass the opportunity. You are there already. Take a few minutes to promote your business. It will pay off.
If you are unable to visit the customer after the sale, be sure to send an email to the customer requesting they complete a survey. This online survey can be a simple email asking a few questions or it can be a link to a popular survey service like XXXXXXXX.com
Online surveys are easy to set up and are very affordable. They also provide great feedback and instill confidence in the customer after the sale.
In the follow up email to the customer you can place a link to your Facebook page or website where the customer can leave a comment promoting their experience.
Be sure to monitor your Facebook page and other online places people visit in order to properly promote your business and protect your reputation. Any negative comments should be dealt with quickly so the damage doesn’t spread.
Marketing your fence business takes a little work and thought, but it is not as hard as installing a fence. We are here to help you at sellmorefence.com!
Keep it local, keep it professional and keep it positive!
Now, go sellmorefence…