It’s a common phrase I’ve heard more than a few times from various news commentators on TV and columnists in the newspapers: “The recession is over! People are spending again!” It’s great news, exciting news. And it’s true for most of our RSI and fellow SGI members, most did well during the recession, but they’re seeing an even bigger bounce now. But they survived then and are thriving now because they had a system to follow to keep finding customers and generating revenue.
Yes, it’s possible to somewhat “recession-proof” your business. However, just because you have the right procedures implemented in your business doesn’t mean that your customers still aren’t reeling from what happened a few years ago. There are people with tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards because that’s how they survived when they lost their job. There are people underwater on their homes, and they feel trapped. There’s all sorts of issues struggling people are dealing with these days—it’s why spending by homeowners hasn’t quite returned to the levels before the housing market tanked.
“How does this pertain to your business, your customers’ struggles?” you may ask. Well, the reason why so many RSI and SGI members have done well after the recession is because they were and are sensitive to their customers’ needs and situations. They know how to deal with homeowners who still haven’t quite bounced back from taking some losses in 2008 and 2009. Even customers who managed to do just fine during the recession can be hesitant to spend money because of fear of the next recession.
So, how can you, as a contractor, be sensitive to these homeowners slowly bouncing back from the recession? Great question. Here’s your answer: Offer options! Instead of only giving a person with a leaky roof a massive bid for a new roof, also give them a bid for a repair. Allow them to decide how much money they’ll spend. If you’re priced properly, you should make great money off either project. Also, you better be offering financing on all of your jobs. People today still need some help and don’t have thousands laying around for a complete re-roof.
But if you give people options, and allow them the ability to make decisions on how to spend their money, you’ll find way more people saying yes to what you’re offering, rather than no. And I think you’ll find that those people you sell repair to, for example, will ultimately call you when they’re ready to spend on a brand new roof.