How Contractors Can Compete with Retailers for Consumer's Attention During the Holiday Season

Let’s face it, your clients would rather spend their money on beautiful gifts, sparkly holiday outfits, home décor and family trips than needed home improvements. We know that. So how do HVAC contractors, plumbers, electricians and other home service contractors maintain a profitable business during these holiday months?

Here are 2 key marketing strategies to initiate in your home service business today:

1.Get in front of the holiday marketing chaos

Email marketing platform Constant Contact reports that last year in the week leading up to Cyber Monday their customers sent out 1.3 Billion emails to consumers. That number will only increase this year and that is just one marketing platform. The amount of marketing noise hitting your clients in the coming months is overwhelming. One way to get in front of your clients is to get in front of the retailers. That means acting now with engaging promotions that benefit your clients, improve their home and bring safety and comfort to their lives and family.

Use a sense of Urgency and Scarcity to initiate immediate action. Think – limited time offer, limited availability or “first come first serve” messaging. For example:

The holidays are coming and so is company! Are you ready? Is your kitchen ready?

We currently have in stock 12 of last year’s model garbage disposals. We’re ready to change out our inventory and you’re the winner. Be one of the first 12 customers to call us to replace your old unreliable disposal and save $___/___%.

PLUS, we’ll do a free inspection of your home’s plumbing system – just to make sure you don’t encounter any unexpected backups during the busy holiday season.

Enjoy stress free holidays with peace of mind that at least your plumbing isn’t going to be the cause of your headaches.

2. Focus on Wants instead of Needs

This time of year you're competing with much more than your fellow contractors. You’re competing with the toy store, the jewelry store, the book store, the airlines… you get it. You are competing with what your client WANTS to spend their money on. And if you’re promotions are all about needs, you’re going to lose.

Consider how your services will enhance the holidays for your client and their family. What products and services do you provide that will make entertaining easier? What can you provide to your clients that they will be proud to have in their home? Even proud to show off.

There are services and products that you provide that your clients think of as luxuries, things they might not normally buy – things they WANT. This is the time of year people buy what they want, not what they need.

Here are a few examples you can build your promotions around:

New kitchen faucet with extended sprayer – makes cooking for the family and cleaning up a whole lot easier.

Deep sink – “It’s time to quit the battle with the turkey trying fit it in that old shallow sink. This year make your life and Thanksgiving a whole lot easier with a deep sink…”

Dimmer switches – Lighting is a great way to enhance any entertaining experience and create the mood that’s just right. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to create the perfect ambiance with the right lighting.

Indoor Air Quality – The holidays add a lot of tasks, errands and events to your already busy calendar. Cleaning your house is not the way you want to spend your precious time. Including specialized filters on your heating system will help to reduce and eliminate dust and allergens from your home. Making it more comfortable for everyone.

These are just a few ideas for putting your services in the Want category rather than the Need category this holiday season.

If you haven’t already created your holiday marketing plan, it’s time. Remember, get out in front of the retailers and be a Want, rather than a need.

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