Marketing in this industry means finding ways to get people to respond, creating opportunities to make presentations and ultimately to sell a fair percentage of the respondents. A large successful home improvement company is usually a “lead factory”.
Leads, from advertising and those self-developed through canvassing or referrals are the lifeblood of a business. The successful home improvement retailer uses a variety of methods to consistently keep the lead pipeline full. The plan to do so is frequently regulated by the territory, economy, average contract size, the weather and even the news of the day. The marketing plan includes a budget. How much will be spent and where. It also includes projections to ensure sufficient leads to provide prospects for the salespeople. A key is the number of leads which are necessary to produce net good business. In a plan where the salesman sells a minimum of 2 contracts per week averaging 3 presentations to 1 sale and where there is a 30% of fall off from leads issued to actual presentations, the plan calls for 9 to 10 leads per salesperson per week. Since an issued lead many cost from $250 to $300, remaining within budget may require salespeople to self generate a percentage of their own leads.
How do you know the plan is working? Each week measure the number of leads which have been generated, those which are confirmed, presented to and sold, less those which cancel or are credit rejected. When some aspect of the plan is not working, adjust rapidly – eliminate low producing methods, reduce regularity, intensify methods to produce less costly leads (canvass, referral plan). Unsold leads or those not receiving presentations, have to be rehashed. Experimentation with new methods of lead getting requires concentration and control.
Ultimately, the measure of a successful marketing plan is the amount of net business (ready for installation) you have sold, measured against the cost of procuring the leads to sell that volume of business. If the cost of your marketing program when measured against this net business exceeds your budget – then the plan needs modification.