Turning the Tables on Client Relationships
Have you ever been in a situation where you had too many customers calling for your services at the same time? Or, have you ever had too few customers asking for your services, so you wanted to select only those clients that would prove most lucrative?
Situations like this occur in all types of industries and for all types of organizations, especially among service companies. Further, with the advent of digital marketing, they are becoming even more frequent. Possibly this needs clarification.
With more traditional marketing, we are taking steps to find new customers. Often this is accomplished by meeting with people such as building owners, managers, or insurance representatives. We meet them; we talk to them; we develop a “feel” about them and their companies.
On the other hand, with digital marketing, things are turned upside down. In this case, customers are coming to us. Let’s explain what we mean by the term “digital marketing.” Digital marketing is nothing more than marketing that is conducted online. For instance, this publication has print ads, which are examples of traditional advertising, as well as ads and banners on their website. Those on the site are examples of digital marketing.
Other examples include the following:
- Social media placements (banners, graphics, blogs, etc.)
- Videos, on a company’s website and/or on video platforms
- Email newsletters
- Content marketing or blogs posted on a website
- Search engine optimization strategies to help ensure all of these strategies are spread around the Internet
Applying Lead Scoring
So now that we have digital marketing clarified, what do we do when we have either too many customers calling or too few and want to choose among them? What many service companies and other organizations do is what is referred to as “lead scoring.”
Here is a working definition of lead scoring:
A program in which we assign scores to each prospect based on such factors as the likelihood they will become repeat customers; how much profit will be derived from the prospect; the specific types of services (restoration and remediation in our case) involved; our ability to provide these services; and staff availability.
A closer look at each point will help us better understand how we might lead score a prospect. For instance, if the prospect is with an insurance company that frequently hires restoration services, then yes, this contact may certainly become a repeat customer. That client should be given a high score.
As to profitability, we must not confuse dollar amounts with profits. We all know there are situations in which our charges are high for a certain service, but once all expenses are paid for performing the service, the actual profit made may be low. In some cases, a lower-paying service may actually be more profitable. If that’s the case, the second option would deserve the higher score.
If we do have the equipment and people to provide a certain service for a client, once again a high score should be applied. However, what if we do not have staff or it may prove difficult to find workers in a service location? That would bring the score down.
Marc Wayshak, a sales strategist and bestselling author of several books on sales methodology, says, “At least 50 percent of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.” Now, with digital marketing bringing even more of these good and not so good customers knocking on our doors, lead scoring can provide us with actionable insights.
Actionable insights allow contractors to improve their odds and select those customers who are best suited for them and who likely will prove more profitable to boot. A 2013 study by the consulting group Lenskold and Pedowitz proves the effectiveness of this approach. The researchers reported that “68 percent of successful marketers cite lead scoring as most responsible for improving revenue contribution.”
So, how can restoration and remediation experts gain these actionable insights that will help them improve revenue? The first step is to answer the following questions:
- What is your target market?
- Who is your ideal type of client?
- Where are they located? Are they in your service area?
- What is your ideal budget? Which types of jobs are too small and which may prove too big?
- How did they hear about you?
First, let’s consider target market. If, for example, business clients are more lucrative for your business than residential clients, then they deserve higher scores. Not only may they generate more income, but they may be easier to work with. After a flood, fire, or similar incident occurs, residential customers may need a lot of “hand holding” to get through the restoration and remediation process.
To identify your ideal type of client, start by looking at your current client roster. What types of clients are you getting now and which are proving to be most lucrative? If one insurance company is having you handle more of its work and most of these jobs tend to be possible, then that company should receive a high lead score. You may then use that insight to pursue more insurance companies.
Finally, you need to know where your best clients are coming from. For instance, if residential clients are your niche market, you might find Facebook is a more effective source than, say, LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups. Facebook is more for consumers, LinkedIn more for businesses and business people. With that insight, you know to shift your marketing to Facebook and other business-to-consumer sites.
As you answer each of these questions, be sure to keep a log. This is not information you want to keep in your head. It’s when the answers are in black and white that lead scoring makes the most difference for your bottom line.