On this episode of the Profit Roadmap, we welcome Evan Hoffman and Thaddeus Tondu!
In this episode, you'll learn:
Evan and Thad got their start in sales by working with Cutco knives early in their career. They made the shift to home services by leveraging their sales and marketing experience to help service companies connect with new audiences, run effective digital ad campaigns, and grow their businesses.
A lot of companies get very hung up on their brand. While this is an important part of the business, it can take the focus away from finding new clients. Evan says that you need to be in a position where the phone is ringing and you're focused on growth. While it is a little bit of a “chicken and the egg” type situation, there needs to be a focus on building a brand and growing the business at the same time.
But just getting started can often be tough for businesses. Lots of service businesses will hire a marketing company and then leave it all in their hands. If that marketing company has poor communication, consider this a red flag right from the start. Thad says that average results are often in line with average communication from a marketing company.
As service businesses know, how you treat customers and the level of communication you provide will mean they continue to work with you. A lot of marketing companies miss this mark, so be sure to look for this if you choose to work with a marketing company.
Is print dead? There are lots of marketing mediums, and Thad says that print still has the ability to thrive in certain circumstances. Ultimately, print can be another touch point for your business—just like they would see your company’s trucks or a billboard and then Google your business.
That said, it means that you need to have a strong digital presence so that potential customers can find you in a search.
Thad says that some of his clients will use their ad spend on print in the slower months. Also, business cards and flyers still have their place too, as they are great to leave with the customer.
Evan says to remember what it is like for your customers and to think about how they see the world. If they have an issue with their air conditioning, and it is hot and humid outside, they aren’t going to Facebook to solve that problem. They are searching on Google to find someone that can help them.
Other mediums work to add value to your brand in a different way. A social media post or a magazine article act as a means to educate your customers and potentially create a demand. Evan says that, on average, only 3% of a potential audience has a need for your service at the time they are interacting with your content. The rest either don’t have a need or don’t know they have a need for your service.
Thad says one of the easiest ways to create demand is by using a “tune-up” type campaign, especially for HVAC. These campaigns shouldn’t be given away for free, but offered at a low price so that they still have some value from a psychological standpoint. Thad recommends using $77 or $87 as sevens tend to do well.
It is best to start with customers that likely have older units that have a higher likelihood of repair or replacement. Also, it is important to be strategic when you launch these campaigns. The best results typically come before the busy season starts and the weather changes.
Remember, when potential customers call in for these types of campaigns or services in general, be sure to capture their info on the call if you don’t have it already. Get their email, phone, and some basic details about their situation. That way they can be better targeted for additional marketing campaigns that you launch in the future.
Evan also says that you likely have a lot of potential leads in your database that may not get reached out to on a regular basis. Things like newsletters and regularly scheduled maintenance programs can help you stay top of mind.
Even though some of your campaigns might get great open and engagement rates, you’ll still need to reach out and do outbound calls. If you don’t have the bandwidth to do this, you can always work with a third part company to make those calls for you.
Thad and Evan started their popular podcast, HVAC Success Secrets: Revealed about three years ago. While it took a little bit of experimentation to find their niche, Evan and Thad have a lot of fun talking to HVAC professionals with a glass of whiskey in hand while they record.
They’ve built the show as a way to provide value to their clients and the industry, and they also have found that they are learning a lot from their guests too.
While there is a lot of talk about “recession” in the news, it seems like many service businesses have seen a change of behavior in their leads. This partially applies to spending habits, as customers aren’t looking to replace equipment like they were a year or so ago. Oftentimes, that means they are putting off bigger purchases and looking for solutions to hold them over for the time being.
Thad offers a good reminder that you still need to have the right mindset in the midst of economic uncertainty. All the fear and doubt can cloud your vision and negatively impact your business. But you can still focus on making smart decisions, providing value, and taking a look at the bigger picture. In up and down economies, there will always be clients who will continue to make purchases and get the service no matter what.
SEO is very important for services businesses. Evan says that if you’re going to hire a company to help you, make sure that you are clear on what they are offering and how they will help your business.
Thad doesn’t typically recommend service businesses try to tackle SEO all on their own. It takes knowledge and expertise and oftentimes it is better to work with a professional. If you choose to work with a professional, Thad suggests talking with several companies before you make a decision. Make sure it is a company you can trust, and that you’ll still have access to your site if you choose to work with a different company in the future.
Thad also remembers to be aware of costs. If a company says that they can transform your SEO for a one time fee of $500, they likely aren’t going to be very good. Typically good SEO services go for $400 - $500 per month.
Lastly, it is really important to make sure you’ve got your Google My Business profile set up so that customers can easily find your business on a search.
The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Summon the Rawk by Kevin MacLeod
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/4434-summon...
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license