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Who Are My Potential Commercial Customers? Part 2

How to find commercial prospects in your market
by Wayne Tracy, Operations Manager

Wayne TracyLast fall we started offering a one day training class on commercial duct cleaning.  We also introduced a training DVD on commercial duct cleaning.  We have had a huge response to both the classroom training and DVD training.  Listed below are topics covered in both the live training and DVD training.

  • Commercial Air Handlers
  • Commercial Air System Components
  • Commercial System Designs
  • Who Are Your Commercial Customers
  • Evaporative and Swamp Coolers
  • Commercial Duct Cleaning Procedures & Steps
  • Duct Cleaning Equipment
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Quoting & Estimating Commercial Jobs
  • Many more topics

Over the next several issues of our newsletter I’ll discuss in detail some of the topics included in the DVD and live training.  This month I’ll discuss a common question I’m asked about commercial work:

HOW DO I REACH COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS?
Reaching commercial customers will be different then the way you attempt to attract residential customers.  I’ve detailed below different approaches for reaching out to potential commercial customers.

PRINT ADVERTISING:  There are several options available for this approach, be sure whatever you try is a publication directed towards the commercial property owner or manager.  Depending on the size of the market you serve, your options will vary.  The following types of publications may work well for you if they exist in your market:

  • Chamber of Commerce Magazine or Newsletters
  • Chamber Annual Business Directories
  • Trade Magazines, newspapers, newsletters for specific industries in your market
  • Civic Organization Newsletters or Magazines (i.e. Lions Club, Rotary Club, etc.)
  • The Business Section of your local daily or weekly newspaper

DIRECT MAIL:  This option can work for you, but you have to be careful that the cost of it does not get too far out of hand and exceed any chance for a reasonable return on your investment in it.  You’ll first have to come up with an ad design.  Usually a direct mail postcard will get better results than a letter someone has to open.  There are several companies available to purchase mailing addresses from.  Some companies will print and mail your postcard for you.  We have a few companies we work with for our mailings that offer accurate lists and reasonably priced services.  Please contact me by e-mail if you want the contact information for these companies.

YELLOW PAGES:  It wasn’t too many years ago that this was everyone’s most relied on way to reach customers.  That is not so today, with the internet being the most popular way for people to find services.  However, I feel it is still important to maintain a presence in the yellow pages with at least a small ad.  Prices will vary depending on the size of market you are servicing.

Three weeks ago the environmental engineer for a local hospital contacted me for a quote in the operating room and ICU unit of his facility; I was surprised when I asked how he heard of us and he stated “The Yellow Pages”.  We start an $11,000 job for them this week.

WEBSITE:  If you don’t already have a web site; it’s time to think about it and get one set up.  Costs for setup and hosting of a site are now very reasonable.  We even offer a service of setting up a website and hosting it for you – just contact our Web Marketing Manager, Buddy, for details.

E-MAIL:  If you are not already gathering e-mail addresses for all of your customers, you should start immediately.  Contacting existing customers or contacts by e-mail is free and takes very little time to maintain contact with your customer base.

The next option to consider is to buy e-mail lists for businesses in your area and e-mail offers and information to them.  Many companies that sell lists will also send the e-mails for you.  A word of caution when e-mailing is to be sure you are not tagged as a spammer.  Use of a mailing house will eliminate this risk.

PERSONAL CONTACT:  This method will have very little cost associated with it and could provide immediate and very positive results.  Be sure you have a handout developed, that could be as simple as a company data sheet you prepare yourself and print in color.  The following is a list of ways to contact commercial customers.

  • A telephone campaign to set appointments to meet commercial customers.
  • Personal visits to targeted commercial customers.
  • Join and attend meetings of your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Join and attend meetings of civic organizations (i.e. Rotary Club, Lions Club, Eagles Club, etc.)
  • Contact civic groups about speaking at their meetings about your services.
  • Visit construction/remodeling sites of commercial properties and speak to contractors (specifically HVAC companies, architects, & general contractors.)

Regardless of the type of contact program you choose – YOU NEED TO HAVE A PLAN – to be productive.  Set up a schedule for the next 30 days of what you intend to do and follow it.  Without a plan, it will be hard to have positive results.  Once you do set up your plan be sure you work it diligently.

If you have a subject area related to commercial duct cleaning you’d like to see covered; call or send me an e-mail and I’ll try to cover it in future issues of our newsletter.  Until the next issue “HAPPY SELLING” and go chase those commercial accounts, that $5,000 or $10,000 job may be just around the corner.

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