AdWords, banner ads, eBooks, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, mobile phone apps, and other opportunities to place an offer in front of people on the Internet, brag about the efficiency of their respective media.

But you can’t build a brand with search marketing.  

Stalled Growth

Over the last decade two major factors have stalled growth for most home services contractors.

First, in all technical fields, technicians are retiring, and there’s no one in the wings to take their places. An elemental truism of business is if we don’t have people to do the work, we can’t charge for that work.

But stalled growth is also the outcome of a growing dependence of home service contractors on digital media. They’ve bought into the “wasted circulation” concept. That is, people who did not intend to buy today, viewed, read, or heard the ad anyway. The contractor pays for this exposure to people who don’t buy. Therefore, the ad is “wasted.”

But wait. Those people exposed to the advertising message absorbed that message. They formed an opinion about the company. They didn’t buy, but as it turns out they are a primary source of good word of mouth, and of solid reputation.

True. Pay-per-click doesn’t charge for those people. None of them saw the PPC ad. But, they were becoming aware of the company. They were learning about the company.

Pay-per-click eliminates that awareness among non-buyers. It robs contracting companies of their identities.

And a second elemental business truism: homeowners are much less likely to call if they don’t know who you are. If they know you, they search for you by name. This “direct search” costs less and produces much better results than the “tell me who’s available” organic search.

So, we’ve identified two reasons for the minimal growth of too many contracting companies. Too few technicians and diminishing awareness of the company.

Now, here’s the odd part. Both of these growth-limiting factors have the same solution: Tell people who you are. Tell them what you stand for. Tell them why.

What a great opportunity for contractors like you who are ready to stop blending into the herd.

While competitors babble on about the services they offer, contractors like you, who understand the process we call The Personality Prescription™, will focus on the treatment of customers. That focus will build your professional reputation. You will enjoy the greater cash flow that comes from being better known.

How about it, Mr. or Ms. Contractor?

Are you ready to become the homeowner’s first choice?

The contractor they feel good about before they need your services?

The one they trust not to take advantage of them?

The one they call?

Good. This is an exciting time to be in business.

The Personality Prescription™ will help your business to overcome both of the major growth constraints. It’s not uncommon for businesses applying these strategies to show year-over-year growth of 18 to 30%.

One other thing. The Industry may be short of technicians. You don’t have to be. The best techs want to work for a company they can be proud to represent. One they’ve heard of, and have an opinion about.

Perhaps you’re making impressions on those technicians right now. Or, you could, if you’re willing for them to be part of the “wasted circulation” of mass media.

Buckle up. These next pages are intense and frightening to those who have grown too comfortable with the status quo. These pages are exciting to those ready to think differently. They are a roadmap to success.

I hope you’re one of those who think differently. Or, are ready to start.


The Personality Prescription, Part 1 – Stalled Growth

Bill is a plumber. He’s been at it for years. In a casual conversation in the lobby of my dentist’s office he told me:

“I love plumbing. I love working with my hands. And solving problems. I love the gurgle when a drain clears, or when I’m testing the new toilet I’ve just installed. I love the smell of soldering copper when I install a new water heater. I love watching the pressure gauge when I’m testing backflow.  

“Plumbing used to be simple. Buy an ad in the Yellow Pages, perhaps send out some direct mail offers. Now there aren’t any Yellow Pages and I’m told I need to build a better website. To hire a search engine specialist to SEO that website. I’m told I need to advertise with AdWords, or in Facebook. Oh, and to create “valuable content,” whatever that is, because people want to have a relationship with their plumber.  

“Everyone I talk to offers different advice. I honestly don’t have time to learn what I need to do. But I’m afraid of being left behind if I don’t do something.  

“I just want to get back to solving my customer’s plumbing problems.”  

You don’t have to be a plumber to recognize Bill’s frustration. As an HVAC/R technician, an electrician, mason, roofer, a flooring installer, or carpet cleaner you’ve shared those exact feelings, haven’t you? You’d recognize the same issues if you offer foundation repair, window installation, landscaping, asphalt driveways, or granite countertops.

And you probably find yourself asking the same questions every other home services contractor is asking: Why aren’t my phones ringing more? Why do leads cost so much? Why is the quality of those leads so inconsistent? And why doesn’t my company show up in search engines?

Worse yet, how much have you spent promoting your contracting business? Do you think your return on advertising investment (ROAI) has paid off? Or has it left you frustrated at best? Feeling ripped off at worst?

I get it. I’ve spent the last three decades working with owner operated local businesses to help them find people to buy more of what they sell.

My clients have had the greatest success using a process called Leveraged Personality™. I’ve shared these observations with my own clients, but never before with other contractors.

The methods presented in this series are the standout, battle-tested techniques that can bring greater success to any competent contracting firm. Leveraged Personality™ will provide new insights into preparing homeowners to want YOUR services.

Everything you’ll learn in this book is based on three critical elements:

  1. You’ll make more money when you stop trying to sell your contracting services to people who can’t, or won’t pay your price. Focus instead on those who want exactly what you have to offer.
  2. Every home service provider offers pretty much identical services. You’ll never stand out by focusing on your services or your offers. Great results happen when you reveal exactly who you are and why you treat people as you do.
  3. Unless you build a brand, and become the first contractor that homeowners think about, and the one they feel positively about when they need the services you sell, getting the service call comes down to pure luck. And Lady Luck is fickle.

A Surprising Number of People Don’t Like Butterscotch

Some people like butterscotch. Some love it. But, there are always some who don’t. Some people will like us, too. Others won’t. Those are simply facts of life.

No product, no service, no brand ever gets unanimous acceptance by any market. And regardless of what we sell, roughly 30% of homeowners are going to dislike us.

Why? We can only guess.

Perhaps it’s because they aren’t feeling the pain described in our ads. Maybe they don’t like the style in which our ads are delivered. Maybe they assume anyone who advertises is trying to sell them things they don’t really need. (Face it, liking or disliking are almost never rational decisions.)

The 40% in the middle will ignore us.

But the final 30%? They are the butterscotch loving homeowners. They will be inclined to really like us. To identify with our messages. To make us their first choice. They probably won’t even know why. But we will. We’ll focus on that why in Chapter 2.

And assuming that we’re presenting to our own butterscotch loving homeowners, we should close at least half of the sales we present. Really good closers will bring 65%-70%. The phenomenal closers will walk away from 8 out of 10 presentations with a signed contract.

Who are these people? We’ll cover that in Part 2 of this series.

We’ll learn how to get more appointments with the butterscotch lovers in Part 5.


The content for this series of posts was taken from Chuck McKay’s The Personality Prescription for Contractors, available on Amazon.