Ask the Experts

Expanding Your Customer Base

Question: What can I do as a business owner to increase my sales and customer base?

Gary Elekes: Well, a number of things, gosh. There’s existing customer marketing – just leveraging the customers you already have in your database, from the sales point of view, with accessory opportunities – training the techs to be more attentive toward those types of things.

Lead turnover opportunities. Setting up some basic rules for over-10, and 4K is one of our rules: price of repair times the age of the equipment -- if that’s four thousand or greater, we identify that as a definite opportunity for a conversation of repair versus replace or energy upgrade solutions.

Drew had mentioned getting into whole-house management. Identifying club memberships is an opportunity. Certainly when we have club memberships, existing customer relationships tend to buy 67% more than the non-customer relationship we have, just because of the trust factor. So there’s a lot of things you can do on the “existing” side of things.

Growing the customer base itself is a marketing problem, so you really have a couple of different options there. You can go to the acquisition tuck-in model, which is a very effective approach. Or you can go to the marketing model, where you’re generally advertising – media and advertising is one subset of your overall marketing plan.

So establish a good brand; create that brand promise; create a good unique selling proposition, something that’s strong enough in the market that the call-to-action, people will choose you over every other me-too company. And then you can go forward with the promotion and start advertising and trying to generate new customers through that model.

Typically the digital media platform is going to be the approach you want to use in today’s environment, and then you can drive all traditional media through that. Generally speaking, I could spend two days on the development of the answer of that question, but those are some general high-level, top-of-mind type of things. Drew, I’m sure you can probably add a couple of things.

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