Who are the other homeowners? The ones that won’t grind every bit of profit out of each job?
Let’s look at them in Part 4 of the Personality Prescription for Contractors.
Value Conscious Homeowners
At the other end of the scale are the Value Conscious Homeowners who make up roughly another 30% of the public.
These folks don’t want to clutter their minds with BTUs, or SEER numbers, or cubic feet per minute. They don’t want to understand wire gauges, circuit amperage, and distribution box rejuvenation. And they’re flat out bored when it comes to flow restrictions or backflow testing.
Value Conscious Homeowners are shopping, too. But not for the best deal. They are looking for an expert they can trust not to take advantage of them. And once they find him they’ll never grind that contractor for a lower price, because trusted allies don’t treat each other like that.
Pay attention, because this next sentence is critical to your success:
Advertising controls which customer we attract.
The message that draws a Price Sensitive Homeowner will repel a Value Conscious Homeowner. “Are you trying to pressure me into buying something right now? I don’t even know that I like you enough to do business with you.”
Conversely, an ad which resonates with a Value Conscious Homeowner leaves the Price Sensitive Homeowner impatiently demanding, “Cut to the bottom line. What’s this going to cost?”
Whichever group we target, we won’t be saying anything noteworthy to the other 60 to 70 percent of the market. You’re not a $100 bill. Not everyone is going to like you. Success depends on choosing the customers you want to work with and giving up the others.
Let’s go back to our financial analysis to show the impact of catering to Value Conscious Homeowners
Value Conscious Homeowners don’t want to learn enough about how this industry operates to make their own decisions. When they determine we’re the expert they trust, they’ll defer to our advice.
So now, when our expert technician is in their home, and says, “I notice your little girl is coughing a lot. Does she have allergies? Let me show you what a good indoor air quality addition to your system will do to keep your whole family comfortable and healthy,” Ms. Homeowner will be inclined to consider the upgrade.
What Does That do to Our P & L?
The original sale was simply the price of the repair. Now, it’s increased to the price of the repair plus the installation of a UV Sterilizer and Micro Air Cleaner.
Let’s say you sell that pair for $2,250, installed. Assume your technician upsells one homeowner per week out of the 30 repairs he finishes.
It takes an extra half an hour, once per week. Negligible, really.
But now, his gross sales for the week have increased from $7,250 to $9,500.
WOW! By focusing on credibility and value, by sticking to our price, and by upselling only one customer per week, the total billing per technician jumps from $7,250 to $9,000. Our profit per tech suddenly leaps from $2,048 to $3,800.
It would seem that the Value Conscious Homeowners are the ones we should concentrate on attracting. This example was HVAC, but it works the same way in plumbing, roofing, electrical, landscaping, flooring, and every other home services contracting business.
Let’s now turn to the 40% in the middle.
The remainder of the public comprise the Urgent group.
Price Sensitive Homeowners are passionate about finding the lowest price.
Value Conscious Homeowners are equally passionate about making the right decision for their families.
But the group in the middle? They exhibit no passions. None. They are not “driven” to any particular shopping philosophy other than, “I need relief!”
Urgent Homeowners do not plan. Much like renters, they ignore preventive maintenance.
Urgent Homeowners don’t much care about our core values, or the financial value in our offers. They experience a trigger before they make any effort at all.
When something inevitably fails, these are the people desperately searching to find someone to make their roof stop leaking. Or their floor drain to stop backing up. Or the jammed garage door to open. They need services NOW!
Can we make a profit targeting Urgent Homeowners? Certainly. It will involve evening, weekend, and holiday service. We’ll make money doing the work at times when other contractors aren’t willing to put in the hours.
Familiarity Lowers Risk
Or at least the perception of risk. All homeowners prefer to call contractors they’ve heard of. So when a triggering event occurs, Urgent Homeowners will try to remember the names of companies they’ve heard of.
Some of our Urgent Homeowners live near a contractor’s shop and will have seen those trucks in the neighborhood.
Others will have driven past a contractor’s sign often enough to remember his name. This will be true whether your messages focus on price, or on value, or on urgency or convenience.
Whichever group of homeowners we choose to target with our advertising; the other groups will also become aware of our company. This is why the “Just get your name out there” philosophy of name recognition does have some value. Even if they weren’t in the market for tree removal, roofing repairs, or pest extermination when we were advertising, if those Urgent folks remember our name when they need our services, they’re likely to call us, first.
So, simply by focusing attention on loyal, high profit, Value Conscious customers who accept our recommendations, pay our prices, and recommend us to their friends, we’ll pick up a fair number of the convenience-oriented Urgent Homeowners, too.
Hey, that could take us from three out of ten who are likely to call, to four out of ten! An automatic 33% boost in revenue.
Can we create an advertising campaign which will appeal to both Value Conscious and Urgent Homeowners at the same time?
Yes, we can. And we’ll get to that in Part 6. But first, it’s important that we understand why what we say attracts the homeowners we want as customers. Because now that you know which customers you want to attract, we can sell some services to those attractive homeowners. We’ll do that next, in Part 5 of this series.
The content for this series of posts was taken from Chuck McKay’s The Personality Prescription for Contractors, available on Amazon.
Links to previous posts in this series:
- Personality Prescription, Part 13 – Finding Talent - December 2, 2022
- Personality Prescription, Part 12 – The Perils of Celebrity - November 17, 2022
- Personality Prescription Part 11 – You Should Be a Celebrity - November 3, 2022