Here are my marketing recommendations
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc. marketing
There may be turmoil and volatility in politics, the price of oil, and the Middle East, but when it comes to promoting your swimming pool company, 2016 looks to be as good and stable as you could ever hope for.
This makes my job (marketing) easier. We don’t have any highly-disruptive trends or technologies looming on the horizon to suddenly turn your current marketing efforts on its ear. For example:
- 2016 WON’T be “The year you must go mobile.” (You were supposed to do that LAST year.)
- And “Social Media” WON’T suddenly take on a life of its own. (That happened nearly 5 years ago.)
- And “Search Engine Optimization” WON’T suddenly get more or less powerful. (It’s been dying a slow painful death for years.)
Instead, when it comes to promoting your swimming pool business, I have a simple list of 7 key marketing strategies and tactics I’ve talked about for years. (Not to be confused with “7 Crucial Marketing Secrets Every Pool Builder Should Know.” That’s still spot-on advice, but a bit more complicated. This list is much simpler.)
Here’s a quick review of each:
1) Make Sure You Have “A Clear and Compelling Story“
As I’ve said many times before, “It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle.” If you KNOW you’re better than your competition, but your prospects just don’t seem to get it, then it’s because you haven’t <#10619_Link-IDENTITY Tell your story in a way that is INTERESTING COMPELLING and BELIEVABLE#>.
(I made a short video that explains this concept in a way that I believe is, well, interesting, compelling and believable. If you click the link, then scroll to the bottom of the page to see the video.)
2) Make Sure You Have “Compelling, Mobile-Friendly Website“
Google already told the world that they will give favorable treatment to mobile-friendly websites, and punish those people who haven’t bothered to upgrade their websites to mobile. (You remember “Mobilegeddon,” right?)
If you STILL haven’t upgraded to mobile, then I suggest you quietly but determinedly contact us and get this taken care of right away.
Of course, mobile-friendly is only part of the story. You still need “clear and compelling content” on your website to favorably persuade your visitors to contact YOU. (After all, there’s no point in spending money to drive people to a crappy website, just to have them be UNFAVORABLY impressed, and scratch you from their list.)
So if you’ve tackled item #1 up above, then you can use that exact same compelling content on your website. Then people will love you and call you, and you will sell more pools.
3) Make Sure You Have a “Low Risk Offer” on your website
This could be as sophisticated as a DVD, or as simple as a downloadable report (such as our “10 Steps to the Perfect Pool” report). Either way, the secret is to “dangle a tempting, low risk offer” in front of your prospects so that:
- Any website visitors who are NOT yet planning to call a pool builder will nonetheless be HAPPY to give you their contact information, so that they can get your free DVD or report.
- And once you’ve got their contact info, now you can start MARKETING to them, as explained in strategy/tactic #4, below.
4) Set up some sort of “Automated Follow-Up” to “drip” on your prospects.
We know that people don’t make a pool buying decision overnight. And we know that they frequently speak with more than one builder. That’s why – once we have their contact info – we want to “drip” on them with an ongoing series of e-mails and/or postcards. That way, when they’re finally ready to reach out and speak with a builder, they are MUCH more likely to reach out and call YOU.
Call it “nurturing“; call it “drip irrigation“; call it “Chinese water torture” if you like, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me, because it works like a champ, and truly leaves all your competition in the dust. As I always say, use it “until they buy or until they die.”
5) Make sure people FIND you online.
As I’ve said in the past, “traditional SEO” continues to get more expensive and be less effective. While in contrast, Pay per Click (PPC) services continue to produce the most predictable and reliable results in generating leads for pool builders.
If you want to drive more people to your website, I suggest you take advantage of this $300 discount through my friends over at Pool Builder Lead Rocket PPC services. They are the ONLY PPC company in the world that I recommend for pool builders.
You can ALSO try to generate leads through social media. And I’m pleased to report that we’ve finally reached a “tipping point” where social media efforts CAN actually produce new leads who will buy a swimming pool.But let me caution you that (1) you’ve got to be REALLY be active with it (as in DAILY) and (2) you’ll be lucky if it generates any more leads than you currently get from yard signs. (Which is probably SOME, but not very much.) So go tackle social media if you like. But it would probably be easier to just update your yard signs.
6) Referrals will ALWAYS be the BEST leads ever.
I’ve written about this extensively, so if you want more advice on how to get more referrals, read my most recent article about referrals here.
7) Improve your SALES TOOLS, if you want to improve your Closing Ratios.
As I’ve said many times in the past,marketing is meaningless if the sales rep can’t close the sale. So check your numbers to see if you’re hitting these minimum targets:
- A good designer/pool sales rep will close at least 20% of the people they meet with.
- A good designer/pool sales rep will close at least 33% of their REFERRALS.
If your salespeople are not achieving those numbers, you need to either (1) hook them up with some sales training, or (2) come up with better sales tools, or BOTH. “Better sales tools” would include such things as:
- A professional brochure
- A “backyard ideas” DVD
- A “pool builder comparison checklist”
- A list of “10 Reasons Why Homeowners Love Us”
- A great “Elevator Pitch”
- A long list of positive testimonials and online reviews.
- Compelling and interesting VIDEOS
- And perhaps most importantly, a killer website.
And fortunately, if you have addressed (or DO address) marketing strategy/tactic #1, #2, #3 and #4 mentioned above, then ALL of these will help you with your closing ratios.
Well there you go – These are my top 7 marketing recommendations to help you to sell more pools in 2016.We can help you with a lot of these, or you can do them yourself. (It just depends on whether you would rather “be a marketing person” or “be a pool builder.”) If you need help, give us a call: 877-634-8787 (18-PROFITS-UP).