Here are some tried and true ways to get more projects in the door without breaking the bank.
When you work in a specialised industry, sometimes the struggle can be getting the word out to the right customers.
One of the best ways that you can get the word out is through word-of-mouth referrals. According to Semrush, word-of-mouth drives $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of all sales.
One way to build a strong referral is through your happy customers. You can either create incentive programs, like a discount off your next purchase if you refer a friend or even just remind them to leave reviews and share the word.
Building a business-to-business referral network can also help you win more work. If you are a specialised business, then you might be able to team up with businesses in the area that offer similar but not overlapping services. For example, a caravan builder might be able to form a referral network with a customer camper/trailer builder and vice-versa. It can help direct people to your services.
As well as growing referral networks, your existing clients might also be good sources for new projects. Have you had a client that hasn’t come in for a service for a while? Perhaps you can offer extra maintenance services that turn one-off purchases into repeat business.
Whatever works best for your products and services, working with existing clients can mean less admin time and easier work for your team. If you have downtime in your business, calling happy customers and seeing if there is anything else you can do to help can make a huge difference.
Once you’ve started working with a potential customer, flexing your customer service muscle from the start can help you win more work from your quotes. Really listen to what the customer needs and ask questions to make sure you understand. Send through a formal quote as quickly as you can without jeopardising quality.
If you need extra time to get a quote out of the door, keep in touch with the customer to keep them updated on what’s happening and when they can expect it. Having a good experience with quoting can help your customers feel at ease and might help you win out over competitors.
Not every quote or interaction is going to end with billable work. If you find that your quotes are falling flat, and you aren’t getting referred by happy customers, then it might be time to have some chats and try to uncover what is going wrong.
When you get feedback, compile it together and see if there are trends that emerge. Find the actionable changes that you can make to improve your business and win more work. After the changes have been made, measure their effectiveness and ask for feedback from the same sources that gave you the ideas in the first place.
By acting on the expectations and feedback of customers and trusted sources you can uncover ways to help customers and points of difference you might never have considered when looking from the inside-out. It can help you stand out from your competitors and create positive experiences that get your customers talking.