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Success isn’t driven by any one area in your company. It is an approach that demands finesse in various aspects of your business. At CCN, we stress the six pillars of success: marketing, sales, sales management, production, operations and managing by the numbers. Let’s unpack the best practices that’ll help you scale revenues, profits and a great customer experience.

Marketing: Building Your Brand

Let’s look at key best practices in marketing. It’s not just about showcasing your services; it’s about crafting a compelling unique value proposition, or UVP. (Some also refer to this as USP, or unique selling proposition.) This is about educating the customer to focus on value not price, and the messaging must resonate with your target audience.

Before you can create your UVP, you need to go through a SWOT analysis and repeat it quarterly. This is where you identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Secondly, you must do a deep dive to learn as much about your competitors as possible. You can accomplish this by researching their website, their social media and their reviews.

Utilize digital platforms to your advantage, harnessing the power of social media, websites and search engine optimization (SEO) to amplify your UVP. Additionally, invest in traditional marketing—flyers, brochures, canvassing, home shows, radius marketing and local media advertising—to reach potential clients in your market area.

By establishing a strong brand message and consistently delivering it, you begin to cultivate trust and credibility. You’ll generate more leads, more demos and more sales.

Sales: Turning Inquiries into Contracts

Next, it’s time to capitalize on opportunities through effective sales techniques. Utilize a proven sales process, and every sales rep on your team should be following the same process. Listen intently to the needs and desires of your clients, demonstrating empathy and understanding throughout the sales process.

I recommend the 5P sales methodology. The five P’s stand for problems, products, process, people and price. It can be used for both one- and two-call closes. Tailor your solutions to address the customer’s specific concerns and highlight the value of your services.

Effective selling isn’t about pushing a product; it’s about building relationships and fostering trust. Customers are not buying a new roof, siding, kitchen, or bath; they’re buying the best contractor for them.

Sales Management

Managing a sales team requires a delicate balance of leadership, motivation and accountability. Managers must focus on beliefs, behaviors and skills. Each sales representative must truly believe that your company offers the best and most reliable solutions.

Finally, it is the sales manager’s responsibility to raise the bar on each sales rep’s skills. Set clear objectives and expectations for your sales representatives, providing them with the tools and resources needed to excel.

Implement regular training sessions and role-plays to hone their skills and improve their close rates. Additionally, establish metrics to track performance, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and celebrate successes.

Production: A World Class Experience

The heart of any contracting business lies in its ability to deliver exceptional results on time and within budget. The production team needs to hone their skills, too, and I’m not just talking about expert installation. They should build strong firewalls, improve scheduling processes and improve conflict resolution and communication.

Cultivate a production team that takes pride in every aspect of their work to ensure that every project meets the highest standards of quality. Implement efficient workflows and project management systems to streamline operations and minimize delays.

Again, communicate openly and transparently with clients throughout the production process, keeping them informed of progress and addressing any concerns promptly. IT is critically important to focus on excellence through every aspect of production.

Operations: Optimizing Efficiency

Behind the scenes, meticulous attention to operational details is essential for sustained success. From office management to procurement, logistics to scheduling and resource allocation, every aspect of your business must operate like a well-oiled machine.

Embrace technology to automate repetitive tasks and streamline administrative processes. Regularly assess and optimize your operations to identify inefficiencies and implement improvements. With operational excellence, you can enhance productivity, minimize costs and maximize profitability.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Data-driven insights are invaluable for informed decision-making. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your business objectives, allowing you to measure progress and identify areas of opportunity or concern.

Monitor critical metrics such as conversion rates, project profitability and customer-satisfaction scores to gauge your business’s performance. Leverage analytics tools to analyze trends and forecast future demand, empowering you to adapt proactively to changing market conditions. Create a dashboard with key metrics that drive data-driven decision-making. QR

Gary Cohen is the vice president of Certified Contractors Network (CCN). Prior to that he was clinical professor of business at the University of Maryland and served as associate dean for four years. CCN is a training, coaching and networking organization in the home improvement industry. You can contact Cohen at gary@contractors.net or visit contractors.net.

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