By Garrett Smith
Finally, the 2017-18 snow season has arrived. Time to put all your off-season hard work, preparation and training to good use. Here’s hoping this is your best season ever!
Now that the season is underway, servicing clients is probably your main focus. But don’t forget to first establish a plan for in-season sales and marketing, even if your current routes are packed tight.
As the snow begins to fall and the ice starts to form, you should be selling and marketing. Why?
Four simple reasons
1. Customers cancel or fail to pay. That may leave you with holes in your routes, not to mention your checkbook. Continuing sales and marketing through the season can help absorb any impact this may have.
2. Freak weather events require those without snow and ice services to seek them. These customers will often pay more for on-demand services. Having a sales and marketing program in place during the season will help ensure you’re the first one they call. Make sure, however, that you have the equipment and staff to take over an account for the duration of the winter.
3. Create new opportunities. You probably didn’t close every deal you proposed this year. This means you already have a list of potential customers interested in doing business with you next year. If you’re doing it right, you’re reaching out to these prospects during the season to see how their current service is going and to keep your name top of mind. Midwinter can be a great time to reach out to prospects who may be looking to switch, even if no work is gained until next year.
4. Cross-sell services. Unless you’re snow only, winter is a great time to begin marketing the services you provide in the spring and summer. The seasons change fast, creeping up on us. By selling and marketing in season, you operate a step ahead of your competitors.
Having an in-season sales and marketing program can be a powerful way to ensure you hit your goals, add new revenue and put yourself in the driver’s seat for the following season.
It’s not necessary to devote a substantial amount of time and/or money to your marketing plan. A simple monthly email to existing customers, combined with a monthly phone call to large prospective customers, can be enough to keep your sales funnel lively.
Five Tools to Power Your In-Season Sales
Marketing and sales isn’t what it used to be. Here are five modern tools you can use to supercharge your efforts:
- Wordpress (Wordpress.org): Build a great website that motivates customers to buy.
- MailChimp (MailChimp.com): Send email newsletters and other messages to customers and prospects.
- Buffer (Buffer.com): Easily manage your social media efforts with this simple tool.
- RepCheckup (RepCheckup.com): Get positive reviews from customers and monitor your online ratings.
- ZenProspect (ZenProspect.com): Find lead data and manage sales outreach campaigns.
Garrett Smith is co-owner of WNY Snow Removal and founder of Pitch + Pivot, LLC. Email him at email@example.com.