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MARKETING & SALES

1/21/16       
christian

Hello guys,
We are in south florida. We want to start doing some marketing to boost sales but not sure what marketing would work best.
I want to get a feel of what type of marketing works best for custom cabinetry.
Some people have said flyers, radio ads, magazine ads, etc. All these people that have suggested these type of marketing are not in the cabinetry business.

Can anyone share what marketing & sales strategies has worked for them?

1/21/16       #2: MARKETING & SALES ...
RobertNH  Member

We do this differently, get on the list of promimate contractors.
Depending on your market, getting on the list of Better contractors in your area may be an easier way.
No investment of money.
They send you the projects.

If independent.. tougher..
I used to do market search of income in an area.
Who can afford what I have to offer and where do they live.
That meant a trip to the library to access the info.
In todays Internet.. That should be much easier.

Flyers, newspaper ads and yes a spot on TV, did not do as well as getting on the list of better contractors.

If your product is that good.. And I do mean that good.. Look for the better Architects! You hook in with even one of them, GOLD!

I have 3 Contractors and only 2 Architects that insist we install.
It's all we need, yet others wonder why and solicit us.
They learn as we produce.
We're not always the cheapest, yet we produce the quality they're looking for.

If your product is that good, get on the list and prove it!
Results will come.

1/21/16       #3: MARKETING & SALES ...
rich c.

Are you doing any social media? Facebook is free. I know a lot of folks don't like interior designers, but they were always good for me. The hardest part of getting that down payment is selling yourself. You need to earn their confidence really quickly. If their designer does that for you, before you even walk in the door, it's a valuable service!

1/22/16       #4: MARKETING & SALES ...
Blake

Bet pat gilbert is lurking, waiting for people to give their ideas so that he can chime in, not with any actionable advice of his own but with information on why all of your ideas are stupid.

U just turned on the batman light and pointed it towards the horizon with that marketing post bro.

1/22/16       #6: MARKETING & SALES ...
Dave

Christian-

Who do you want to sell your products to? Homebuilders? Remodelers? Designers? Architects? Tract Home Developers? Commercial General Contractors? Direct to end users like homeowners and/or small businesses?

Selling B2B vs B2C (business to business vs. business to consumer) will most likely take different strategies and tactics.

Having a clear target or set of targets will dictate which methods will be the most efficient. If you don't target, you will be wasting lots of money, time and effort doing inappropriate things with your marketing.

We'll await your reply. Take anything you hear from anyone about what works and what doesn't as their experience. However, if they don't include who or what they were trying to reach with their marketing message, results they got are pretty much meaningless.

Dave

1/22/16       #7: MARKETING & SALES ...
Grant Mosley

RobertNH,
What is a prominent list of contractors? I work with a variety of GC's and designers, and I would like to find a few more good apples. I wish it were as easy as how you're describing it. The only 'lists' I've seen are from middle men peddling publicly available information for government jobs that lots of shops bid and only the lowest gets.

1/22/16       #8: MARKETING & SALES ...
Pat Gilbert

The best strategy in marketing is to emulate what is working for others.

To do this survey (examine and record the area and features or description.) the shops who are doing well. That is what you are doing here.

If you think that is a duh idea. That is perfect because that is what marketing is about. It is not about you or what your ideas are. It is about the customer's ideas.

A lot of this has to do with selling the sizzle. I.E. emotional reasoning. EVERYONE has an emotional reason for buying something the trick is to find out what that reason is. E.G. By survey I have found that people who buy kitchen remodels are between the ages of 50 and 60. At this stage of the customer's life the lady of the house wants to fix up the kitchen, her "emotional reason", which is best communicated by her wanting elegance in her life. The husband could not care less but if she is happy he is happy.

By far and away the most successful thing you can do in the way of advertising is to keep a list of your former customer's addresses and to mail (not email) them a post card every month. Really doesn't matter what you say as that you remind them that you are still there.

1/22/16       #9: MARKETING & SALES ...
Blake

the eagle has landed!!

1/22/16       #10: MARKETING & SALES ...
flyfishermanwannabee

Pat is mostly correct about what motivates people to purchase.

He's halfway correct about the demographics of the average kitchen cabinet customer.

He is absolutely correct that anybody who can stay married to a woman long enough for her to turn 60 has figured out the path of least resistance.

He is also correct about selling the sizzle. Sizzle (and fear) is the basis of all advertising. Check out a commercial on TV sometime for Ford pickup trucks. The commercial will usually start with a bunch of handsome guys with shiny teeth flyfishing in float tubes with their buddies and everybody is catching a 4lb trout. The next scene shows them knocking back whiskey around the fire and some guy cozying up to a beautiful blonde. The next morning everybody piles into the truck and drives down the middle of the stream. Who wouldn't want to join the tribe of Ford SUV owners after seeing all that sizzle? What they don't tell you is that you could buy every truck on the lot and that chick is still not going be relaxing in your sleeping bag with you.

Sell the sizzle.

1/22/16       #11: MARKETING & SALES ...
Joel

Without knowing exactly what you do....Pound the pavement. Go up and down the street with a card and a handshake in every neighborhood you have a job in. Call architects and designers for sure. Most are receptive to at least a short meeting. I have found meeting with GC's to be the least effective. They all want to talk about maybe giving you work 6 months from now if your half what their current guy is charging. I have had some luck with newspaper ads but they were small potato jobs.

1/22/16       #12: MARKETING & SALES ...
Joel

Oh yeah, I got several jobs from a cabinet shop where I knew the owner. He didn't want intricate/high skill jobs so he gave them to me.

1/22/16       #13: MARKETING & SALES ...
RobertNH  Member

RobertNH,
What is a prominent list of contractors? I work with a variety of GC's and designers, and I would like to find a few more good apples. I wish it were as easy as how you're describing it. The only 'lists' I've seen are from middle men peddling publicly available information for government jobs that lots of shops bid and only the lowest gets.

To Grant and all;

You know the market your trying to reach. Drive around that area and each Contractor will have their sign out.
Look them up and find the contact person. Write them and get on the list.

All Contractors will take new bids. Their always looking for a better deal. Whether it be lower cost or better product or even, as we do, more efficient time management.

We are always looking for new clients.
I picked an 'Open Shop' Contractor up that stated he would never (dis-like that word) use a Union Company.
He hired us as he was caught in a pinch and found that not only did we come through ahead of time, he did not have any 'call-backs'.
He's a current client.
Found him as I drove through an area on a weekend pleasure drive. His sign was out!

It really isn't that hard if you put the time into it. Several lists we're on we do not get work from. Yet we're on the list.
This gives me a 'heads-up' of what is happening in an area I wish to be in.
I then contact those that may also be bidding (sub's of such that are my clients) and have an advantage to the process to possibly get in.

Once in it grows. But you have to put in the effort to make it happen.

1/23/16       #14: MARKETING & SALES ...
Jim Conklin  Member

Website: http://www.jhconklin.net

Who do you want to sell to?
How do they get their information?
How can you get yourself into that?

Basically, profile your ideal client(s). What details can you list about them? What appeals to them? What scares them? What do they want? What can they afford?

Sure, take some input from the prominent competitors around you (if possible). But don't just emulate them. Meet their game where you can and up the ante. What are they missing? Where can you differentiate from the 'me-too' same-same? What gaps can you exploit? (May I suggest that you mention/illustrate actual project prices. Folks are hungry for price information, not just blah about 'cheap' or 'affordable quality' - they want the real deal.)

Apart from merely mailing your prior clients (a referral program), consider how they came to you. Is there a chanel there that you can identify and exploit? If that is Facebook - cool, but I doubt it - social media is a follow-on game, not a generation tool.

Do you have a website? Is it optimized for inbound inquiries? Or local search even? Is it about you or does it speak to the emotions/desires of your target clients(s)?

The rise of Houzz and HomeAdvisor speaks volumes about the market desires. They pander to people's fears of being disappointed - of being ripped off - of having a lousy experience - of getting poor information - of getting hammered with sales pitches. Answer those via whatever media you choose and you are golden.

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