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Nurturing Your Leads

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Greg Wilkes (00:00):

The construction industry can be a tough business to crack from cash flow problems, struggling to find skilled labour and not making enough money for your efforts, leaves many business owners feeling frustrated and burnt out. But when you get the business strategy right, it’s an industry that can be highly satisfying and financially rewarding. I’m here to give you the resources to be able to create a construction business that gives you more time, more freedom, and more money. This is the Develop your Construction Business podcast and I’m your host, Greg Wilkes.

Greg Wilkes (00:38):

Can I just ask a quick favour? If you are getting some value out of our podcast, I’d really appreciate it if you could just quickly go online, make sure you subscribe, and leave us a review on the platform that you’re listening on. That really helps our rankings and just helps other construction business owners find out about the show so they can improve their businesses too. So let me just say thanks in advance.

 

Greg Wilkes (00:59):

Today on the podcast, we are discussing your client’s journey with you or your prospective client’s journey with you as a company. What do we mean by that? The journey of a client? Think about if you draw a line (imagine you’ve got a bit of paper at the moment) Draw a line and you’ve got a start of that line and you’ve got the end of that line. We could call this line your customer’s journey, the journey they go on with you. Right at the start of the line, this is where people first find out about you. And the end of the line, we could say, is when the client finally finishes with you. All the focus for a lot of construction companies either goes right at the front of that line; this is the attractive website, your Google Ads campaign, your Facebook Ads, your social media, etc. A lot of the focus for most companies is “right, how do we maximise the customer’s journey right at the beginning? How can we really impress a customer?” It’s all about that attract side, at the beginning of that line on that journey. At the same time, the other effort that seems to all go into that line is when you’re actually delivering the project for a client. That’s the end of the line. The end of their journey where you are delivering the product that you’ve sold. You’ve got one end of the line, a load of effort going in at the beginning, and a ton of effort going in at the end when you’re trying to get the project delivered for the client.

 

Greg Wilkes (02:26):

But what you might notice is you’ve got a huge gap in the middle where nothing is really going on. There’s a bit that just gets completely ignored on a client’s journey. This bit is absolutely crucial if you want to improve your conversion quality and your lead flow. This is the bit that I call ‘Nurture’. We need to nurture those leads because we’ve got people coming in cold when they start the beginning of the journey. When they sign up, they’re hot, which is what we want, but there’s a bit in the middle. How do we warm them up? How do we get them from cold to hot? The only way we do that is by ‘Lead Nurture’. That’s a crucial part of our customer’s journey. That’s what we’re going to discuss today. How do we nurture leads and improve that conversion rate? Now, if we are not nurturing leads at the moment, there’s going to be a lot of frustration in your business around that. Some of the things you are going to struggle with if you’re not nurturing leads, is that; 1) you are constantly having to go out there and find new leads to bring into the business. Maybe you’re spending more than you need to on your advertising. Or sometimes if you are not nurturing at all, have you ever had it where you go completely cold into an estimate? You visit someone and it’s really frosty the relationship when the client first meets you because they don’t know you at all. You’ve not done any work to nurture them. Another frustration is you could be spending hours and hours pricing up lots of work. You’re sending in lots of estimates and you never hear from that client again. That’s a sign that nurture hasn’t taken place. Overall, you’re going to have quite a low conversion and a low win rate. We want to stop that, don’t we? Clearly what we want in business is the opposite to that. We want to be able to stay in the forefront of our client’s minds at all times, we want to slowly build that relationship with the client. Ideally, that wants to be on autopilot for us, and we want more and more of them coming back to us because they’re interested in going for our quotes. That means we can negotiate and close more sales, which of course means a higher conversion rate. If you can do that, it’s an ideal situation because it means you need less leads coming in overall. It takes pressure off you, it takes pressure off your marketing and your ad spend if you are converting a much higher rate. I’m sure that would mean a lot to your business if you could do that, if your nurture process was in place in the right way, it would enable you to have a much higher conversion rate.

 

Greg Wilkes (04:58):

A lot of mistakes that many construction companies make is that they don’t have any nurture process in place at all or even any follow up process. They send a quote and that’s it. The client never hears from the builder again. Sometimes the attitude is, “Well, if the customer wants me, they’ll call me back. If they don’t want me, we’re not the right fit, so I won’t bother.” Even if you know you should be following up as a company, even if you know that’s the right thing to do, sometimes you’ve just got no time to do it at all. You’re so busy, that gets pushed aside. Sometimes the nurture process just isn’t there at all for many companies. Maybe some of those mistakes resonate with you in, in your business.

 

Greg Wilkes (05:43):

But why do we need to nurture leads? What is the importance of nurturing leads to help them get over the line? To illustrate it, imagine you’ve got a single guy who decides he wants to find himself a partner. He wants to get married finally. This guy walks into the pub and he spots a beautiful girl sitting at the bar, and he walks over to this beautiful girl straight away. First time he’s ever seen her, gets down on one knee and he proposes. Well, what’s goning to happen? Even if he looks like Brad Pitt, she’s probably going to tell him to get lost, isn’t she <laugh>? It’s too much too soon. No one does that. No relationship has been established yet. He has moved in for the commitment way too fast. So his mates pull him aside and say to him, “Listen (let’s call him Jeff) “Listen Jeff, you’re doing it all wrong mate. This is completely wrong. You’re going for the commitment way too fast.” And they show him what to do. Jeff listens. He goes back into the pub, and this time he sees a beautiful girl at the bar. He walks over, he makes eye contact, he smiles. 15 minutes later, he shuffles his chair over and he starts a conversation. He offers to buy her a drink. Maybe at the end of the night they exchange numbers. He arranges a first date. It goes well. He rings her a few times in the week, they go on a few more dates, and a few months later, he’s taken her on a trip to Paris. He’s taken her up the Eiffel Tower, gets down on one knee and proposes. Now what’s the likelihood of her saying ‘yes’ now, even if he doesn’t look like Brad Pitt?! Well, it’s more likely she’s going to say yes now than previously. And why is that? Because he’s taken the time to nurture her. Over time, step by step, he’s slowly improved that relationship until he was ready to ask for that commitment and she was ready to commit at that stage, because that relationship had been established. Now, it’s no different for us when we’re trying to land a client.

 

Greg Wilkes (07:49):

People need to feel like they’ve got that relationship with us. Just think about it. Some clients they might be committing to a 6 month, 12 month project with us. It could be a few hundred thousand pounds, could be their life savings for many. So many construction companies out there expect they can go and win a client like that, with no more than a simple estimate going over. There’s no relationship established. The key to winning these projects, especially if they’re bigger projects, is we need to nurture, we want to warm those cold leads up slowly, so it feels like they know us, that they trust us, and eventually they want to commit with us.

 

Greg Wilkes (08:33):

There’s a really good authority in the space called Jay Abraham (you may have heard of him). He did a lot of marketing and business growth for companies like Microsoft, FedEx, Taco Bell. One of the things he always said, was that in order to get a client to come to trust us, you needed seven interactions with that client. They need to be repetitive and consistent. You might think, “wow, seven, seven interactions is quite a lot!” But it’s not really, if we break it down, we can achieve seven interactions. As we go through this podcast, we’ll talk about how we can get those interactions. It’s interesting because one interaction, (you might think) is the client phones me and they book in an appointment. That’s interaction number one. You might then say, the second interaction is I go and visit the client. And then third interaction is I send the quote. For many, they are the only interactions that a client is getting, three interactions. It’s not enough. As Jay Abraham says, it takes at least seven before you can start to move in for a commitment and a client is trusting you.

 

Greg Wilkes (09:44):

How do we track these interactions? How do we track how many interactions we are doing with someone? We’re really busy, you might have multiple quotes going out there, and you might be too busy to get seven interactions in. Is there a way of making that a little bit easier? There is! If you haven’t heard me talk about it before, one thing you really need to do in order to nurture your clients and be able to track the process, is you need a CRM system, a Customer Relationship Management System. These CRM systems, they help organisations build customer relationships. They help streamline the process so that customers can increase sales, improve their customer service, and increase profitability. The bit we are focusing on today’s podcast is the sales section. How do we increase the sales? At the moment, just think about your process and what you are using. How are you tracking your potential clients, these customer relationships? Are you using a CRM or maybe, someone’s called you for a quote, you’ve been round and you’ve measured up and you found out the name of the dog and the kids, what then do you do with all that information? Maybe you’re just throwing it in a black diary or in spreadsheets. But how are you setting up reminders that that quote needs to be sent? Or how are you reminding yourself to remember to follow this client up? How do you remember what their dog’s name is? It’s really important that we need to take note of that and we need to put that in a system so we can remember all that stuff from a client. If a customer decides they’re not going to proceed for a few months, how are you going to remember that? You’re just not. Whereas if you’ve got it in a CRM system, it tracks the whole thing for you. This is the benefit of using a CRM, because the CRM will help you remember every interaction that you have with a potential client. You can store documents in a CRM, you can store drawings, it’ll store their details, their name, their phone number, notes, every conversation, even every email can be synced to go into a CRM system. You can track every email you’ve ever sent to them. That’s a CRM at its very basic level. If you haven’t got a CRM in place, you need to get one. Now there’s tons on the market. One of my favourites is, ‘Active Campaign’, I use that a lot. There’s Zoho, Salesforce, loads of different ones, and they’re cheap. They’re only, I think they start from £30 a month or so. It’s not a lot of money. Make sure that, as a basic principle, if you’re going to do anything and you take anything away from this particular episode, get yourself a CRM system. It’s absolutely vital for tracking those customer relationships, which is all part of nurture. But that’s only a basic thing that a CRM system can do. That’s just the basic tools, tracking the client details and the contact details. What we want to do with our CRM is a little bit more than that, because as we said, what we’re trying to do is nurture our clients. As we said earlier, what Jay Abraham said is, we want to get to those seven interactions, and the CRM can help you get to those seven interactions.

 

Greg Wilkes (13:09):

One way it does this is by giving us the option to use automated email campaigns. Have you ever tried that in your business? An automated email campaign? Now I can tell you that, a lot of us think ‘what’s the point of that?’ I can tell you that email is still highly, highly effective. People read their emails, we are straight in their inbox (I know you probably get a lot of spam in there) but emails are highly effective, especially if someone is already slightly warm to you, you’ve already been round and you’ve quoted or they’ve made some contact with you, then they’re really going to read your emails. Email campaigns really do work. What sort of email campaigns could be put in place? To clarify, it’s the CRM system that is going to enable you to put this email campaign in place. You don’t have to get other software. Most CRM systems will have an auto email feature that you can set up for your clients.

 

Greg Wilkes (14:07):

For the next few minutes, I’m just going to structure out potentially what an email campaign could look like in order to warm up a client. One of the first ones you might want to use is what we call a ‘Know, Like, and Trust’ email campaign. That’s exactly what it says <laugh>. You’re getting a client to come to know you as a business. They come to like what you’ve got to offer, and then they’re going to come to trust you eventually. Now, this is great if we’ve ever used a lead magnet, maybe you’ve got someone to come onto your website and download a lead magnet. It might be ‘Top 10 ideas for kitchen installations’ or whatever it is going to be / ‘Top 10 tips for keeping your boil up and running this winter’. You might have a lead magnet that you’ve already got on your website and someone might download that lead magnet. Now, once they’ve downloaded that lead magnet, you’ve got some information, you’ve normally got the client’s name and you’ve got their email address (or you should have done if your lead magnet is set up properly!). Once you’ve gathered that information, they should then drop into your CRM system automatically. Now what are you going to do with that information? Now you want to move that client along in the funnel. At the moment, all they’ve done is downloaded your lead magnet. Now you want them to make contact with you. This is where a ‘Know, Like and Trust’ campaign can come in and it can be a series of emails, maybe just four emails that go out. Each of those four emails are going to tell the client a little bit about your company. Example: ‘Thanks for downloading our lead magnet. That was our top 10 tips on how to keep your boiler running this winter. Let’s just tell you a little bit about our business. We’ve been established for etc etc”. It’ll give them a bit of information about your business. That’s the ‘Know’ side of it. Maybe you send them a second email. It’s the ‘Like’ side. You tell them a little bit about you and why you sell the business and your values as a business owner. Then you might do the ‘Trust’ side of the campaign. Showing them some testimonials that you’ve got of people that have used you to do boilers and how pleased they’ve been. It might be a case study, something like that. This is all part of a ‘Know, Like, and Trust’ campaign.’t’s a simple, perhaps four to six email campaign that goes out over a few weeks, so that we stay in the front of our clients minds. What we’re trying to do is move that client on to take action. That is your ‘Know, Like, and Trust’ campaign. That’s part of nurture.

 

Greg Wilkes (16:37):

Now let’s imagine the client has reached out, they’ve seen your campaigns (It’s all on auto pilot by the way, you’re not actually manually doing this. Once you’ve set them up, you push the button and it’ll happen automatically). The second thing will happen then, the client contacts you and says, “That’s great Greg. I’m really interested. Thanks for sending me all that information on boilers. I’d love to have a quote because my boiler doesn’t need a service. It actually needs replacing because it’s getting a bit old for this winter.” That’s great. You book in the appointment and you’re going to and see them next week to look at their boiler. You could then put another campaign in place. You could push the button on your CRM and say, ‘Yes, I’ve got a quote to go and look at. How about doing an email campaign to warm them up for the quote?” It could be some helpful information that goes out. Example: ‘Mrs. Jones, we’re really pleased that we’re coming out to see your boiler next week. Here’s a few tips on what we’re going to do on the day,’ something like that. Or another email could go out. Example: ‘Mrs. Jones, we’re really pleased we’re coming out. Here is the sales engineer that’s going to be visiting you, his name is Bob, and here’s a picture of him and he’s been in the industry for 20 years.’ You can give him a little bit of information about Bob. Can you do that? Can you start educating your customers to as to what to expect for the quote? A lot of customers don’t know what’s going to happen. Are you going to measure up? Are you going to take pictures? Do you need access to the whole house? This is the sort of thing that you might want to warm them. What this does, the more information you give to your client, the more transparent they are, the more they start to build trust in you, the more interactions you are getting with this client. They come to know you as a business and you start to look really professional. That could be a second email campaign.

 

Greg Wilkes (18:24):

Now what about once you’ve sent the quote over? This is where so many companies fall down. There’s, as I said, there’s no follow up process for many construction companies, which is an absolute sin. You’ve got to follow up in some way, but sometimes people say, “Well, I haven’t got time to follow up all these leads.” Again, this is where your auto email campaigns can do the heavy lifting for you. Once a quote’s sent, you can push a button on your CRM to say, ‘Yes, quote has been sent to Mrs. Jones’. Now you can go into the Post-Quote campaign. What could go into that? You could send an email saying, ‘We hope you’ve received your quote ok. If there’s anything you want explained or you feel there’s anything missing on this quote, please reach out on this number and we’ll get that clarified for you.’ That could be a simple Post-Quote email that goes out. There could potentially be another email that goes out. Again, some testimonials of people that have pushed the button with you and worked with you and how pleased they were. You could be sending out an offer, if they don’t get back to you for a while, for a week or two. You might think, “right, I need to put an offer in now” and say, “Look, if you sign up by the end of this week, it’s £50 off or £100 off”, whatever you are going to do as part of your offer. This could all go on autopilot with your CRM system and it’s all part of that nurture process. There’s lots more that can be done with email campaigns, we are scratching the surface of it here.

 

Greg Wilkes (19:52):

Can you really see the benefit of why you might need to do this? You can see clearly it’s really easy to get those seven interactions in. If you email just one or two of those email campaigns, you’ve easily hit seven interactions. That’s the first thing. We’re getting the customer to come to trust you by those interactions. What we’re doing here, is we’re staying in the forefront of client’s minds. It’s really important to do that. We’re staying in the forefront. When they are ready to make a decision, we are the ones that are in their inbox. We drop into their inbox and it just prompts them to take action. They may have got a couple of quotes, but if we are the ones that are sending them information all the time and being really helpful and it’s all on autopilot, then we are more likely to get that business.

 

Greg Wilkes (20:37):

That’s what we want to do with our clients. That’s part of the nurture campaign. You can set that up. It’s really easy to do. If you’re not sure how to do it, there’s specialists out there there that can set email campaigns up for you. We are working closely with a company at the moment called, ‘Construct Virtual’ that do all of this. They know the sort of campaigns that need to go out. In the mastermind clients that I’m working with we’ve got all this set up already. Most of our clients are doing this because they know it works. It really is a powerful process. Give it a go. Make sure that when you do start nurturing people, you are using your reports in CRM. Most good CRMs will have reporting features. You can check your open rates, what emails are working, what are not. Make sure you’re checking all that stuff so you can tweak it, you can analyse it and make sure you’re testing it properly. I hope that helps. I hope that helps you see the value of nurturing. If you do carry out nurturing and you do this, it will increase your conversion rate without any shadow of a doubt. So try that. Maybe a subject for another time is; how do you get all these emails into your system? How do you generate these lead magnets? We won’t talk about that on this podcast, but that’s something you need to think about too. But for now, let’s nurture all those leads and let’s move them on in that journey. Let’s warm them up so they become hot buying customers!

 

Greg Wilkes (22:09):

If you’d like to work with me to fast track your construction business growth, then reach out on www.developcoaching.co.uk