Customers That Find You vs. Customers You Find


#1

Last year I did some EDDM and got fairly good work from it. I hit areas where I knew there were large houses and that were convenient for me. The ROI was good but not great.

This year I haven’t done any advertising and business has been great. I’m a one man show and was basically fully booked from April 1 to July 1. The customers were previous customers, referrals from friends or customers, and people that found me through NextDoor and whatnot.

I have slowed down for the time being and have been thinking about doing some advertising. My thought is that advertising now and when I’m busy will allow me to select what neighborhoods I work in and increase my estimates so I can inch up my prices.

With getting most of my calls from referrals I was able to set good prices and people generally went for them. I closed about 92% of my estimates. I’m wondering if people have experienced lower close rates and lower prices with customers that you find through advertising vs. customers that find you through referrals and whatnot.

Does anyone look at customers this way? Does anyone have any thoughts?


#2

Not sure what you’re asking. My prices are the same for customers that I find and for customers that find me. There is no separate pricing structure.


#3

Are your close rates noticeably different?


#4

About the same.


#5

I haven’t really “advertised” in quite awhile.

Sometimes you gotta give some incentive for someone to call you. It costs money to make money. So yeah, if you’re offering $50 off on your door hangers, then those jobs are going to be less lucrative the first time around.

When I was putting out flyers a few years ago, the “special” pricing on them was “$237 for 20 windows”. Which was right on par with the $12/window I was normally charging. (I didn’t claim that it was xx% off our usual pricing or anything.) I had decent results with those flyers.

Close rates will depend a lot on how much you pre-qualify leads. This could be as simple as listing “starting at” pricing on your flyers, to pushing leads to your ResponsiBid or other bidding software. People who call with no idea what to expect, will be less reliable leads. Those flyers I did with pricing on them, I got high close rates with the people who called.

Close rates are also determined by trust. You have to build trust with customers quickly. If they come looking for you, they’ll likely compare your reviews with other companies, and have a pretty good idea they want to work with you before they make the call. Customers who just get a flyer in their door, are less likely to have that same level of trust before calling, imo. So you gotta do the work for them. Trust badges like BBB, HomeAdvisor, AngiesList, etc., as well as current reviews and ratings can really help. Having your photo on marketing material also helps.

Other social proof, like 5-around flyers, and yard signs left at jobs you’ve done, build trust as well.


#6

My experience has been those that need a discount most commonly aren’t as likely to be repeat customers. So they get a discount while your cleaning really dirty windows and making less. The chance to make it up on next cleaning doesn’t happen as often.


#7

People who look for “deals” are only loyal to a deal. It’s a good reason to NOT give discounts when someone asks for one.
I’m ok with discounting when there are multiple services or large jobs, but on a resi or small commercial, it’s not happening. Like you, I have found no loyalty for doing discounts. Why work for less?


#8

Im a newbie business owner and i just wanted to share my experience with you so far.

I started my business by a craigslist post (btw i dont really reccomend craigslist unless you want your phone to blow off the hook with scams because thats about 80% of the calls that i get now its ridiculous) I spent $5 and got $440 worth of jobs off of that. Great start. But 2 jobs wasnt going to cut it. I made a very simple google listing and facebook and twitter and then started knocking on doors. i went out for about 2-4 days maybe 2 hours a day or so. I got one estimate door knocking and got the job. To this day thats all i got from door knocking. But about 2 weeks in i was told to make a NextDoor account. And holy crap man. within 10 hours i had 4 bids to do. The whole damn month of June I had work. I would start a job and less than an hour in i would get 2-3 calls sometimes. So i Highly suggest NextDoor.

Now to truly answer your question. In my experience I have had a better close rate with people that contact me rather than me knocking on a door and doing a bid. The idea is in sales. when you have a service to offer, and people need that service done they find either the first window cleaner they see on google or they look around at reviews or go shopping and find the cheapest guy. but when you have refferrals that goes a long way. when someone calls you and you go to their house and shake their hand and give a hand-written professional invoice, they will almost always chose you. Unless they just cant afford it. as long as you are confident and know what you are doing and can talk to people, even if your price is “high” they would rather pay the extra for someone who is respectable.

when i go knocking on doors, some people dont like that. so when i do it, i wont sell specifically, i just let them know im in the area and if they ever needed a clean to call and let me know and ill do a free quote. hand them the card and walk away. Dont give them a question they have to answer because they will most likely say no. Commercial might be different. I couldnt tell you yet because i havent gotten into commercial just yet. but probably the same way. you may have to take time to get a client by going to them. but persistence is key. and a professional all around tone.

just my $0.02