The following tips by Renee Ramey of the Metal Roofing Alliance can help you position your roofing business to expand in the coming months and years.
Ask any installer or contractor about their most important marketing priority and they’ll probably tell you it’s all about generating leads. However, the fact is that qualified leads only come through a longer-term, dedicated effort to build your reputation and referral business.
That’s because most customers conduct a great deal of online research well ahead of investing in a major expense such as a new roof; they seek advice from trusted, third-party organizations and want assurances that the company they may enlist is going to stand behind their products or service. They look for education, information and reviews before they ever pick up the phone or fill out a form.
Credible, nonprofit organizations such as the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) play an important role to help give potential customers the background they need to make an informed choice and support them as they move along the sales funnel. Homeowners can search for member manufacturers and contractors in their region, see a portfolio of their work and fill out a request to be contacted right from our website. We field literally hundreds of leads each year from qualified homeowners interested in metal roofing and are looking to be contacted by resources in their area.
Follow-Up Is So Important
Yet, securing interest and qualified leads are only part of the story. The rest is follow up. Fundamentals for marketing include ensuring your website is up-to-date and you have best practices in place for maximizing search and nurturing your leads.
As Frank Farmer, president of American Metal Roofs and Metal Roofing Alliance board member, notes, your site should be much more than an online brochure. Make sure you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system that collects and tracks customer data to not only alert you to new leads, but also to follow up with previous and current prospects.
“The most successful companies are responding to leads in less than one minute,” says Farmer. “If you do not, your chances of talking to that person greatly diminishes each passing hour. Keep in mind your potential customer is contacting several companies.”
Updates & Reminders
Working leads isn’t a matter of one and done. Be sure to communicate regularly to highlight new projects or share seasonal updates and reminders. Social media and digital newsletters are a great way to generate more awareness and nurture potential leads.
Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries and MRA board member, suggests reaching out to past prospects during prime roofing lead season—spring, fall and after storms and severe weather events. He also stresses the importance of referrals, which he says can equal up to about 30 percent of a metal roofing contractor’s business. Keep in contact with past customers to ask for testimonials or case studies about how their roof has stood the test of time.
The most successful companies know that beyond digital, nothing can replace quality employees who can effectively speak to consumers and guide them through the decision process. It’s important to consider other personal touch points, such as home shows, to highlight projects you’ve completed and products. The MRA provides tools like customizable literature, yard signs and table tents to help you get the word out.
Keep in mind the work that goes into generating quality leads and take steps now to prepare. When next year’s busy season arrives, you’ll be glad you did
For more information on quality roofing materials, click here.