Don’t Panic, Slowdown to Surge
Ernie Cvetezar, HMI CEO
It is vacation time and does your business feels like it is slowing? Don’t panic!
I just had a conversation with the manager of our contracting division (RaiseRite). He was expressing anxiety because: incoming calls for new estimates where slowing down, the daily amount of jobs being accepted is falling off and his back log of work is shrinking. I had great empathy but had to hide a small smile. I know the feeling because for the past 41 years I have been experiencing the same anxiety and concerns about this seasonal slowdown. It happens every year around the 4th of July.
Our prospects children are out of school and it is time for a family vacation. Potential customers who already received a quote are waiting until they are finished with vacations to commit and schedule. They are either saving money for vacation or they don’t want to have to worry about having work done while they are away. Potential customers who have not called for an estimate yet are waiting until the family vacation is out of the way before calling.
In our monthly “Discovery Seminars” we talk about the importance of obtaining as much customer information as possible and having a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program. It is at times like these – when it has its highest value.
Below is the coaching I provided to our contracting division manager over the past week:
Always anticipate the mid-summer slowdown. Trends are important. In 41 years of business, I cannot recall one summer without a slowdown. Work to build a good back log of work early in Spring to carry your business forward through the inevitable.
Once you feel/see/measure business slowing or around the middle of June (because you know business will slow in July) send an email blast or a mailing to all unaccepted estimates offering the same price of a discounted price if they accept by a certain date.
Don’t be afraid to have your crews leave door knockers on neighbor’s doors when they are doing a job and notice work next door. This is a good practice all the time because it increases call volume.
Send out an e-blast or mailing to all unaccepted quotes from prior years. We do this twice a year. Once at the beginning of the year to help boost sales in early spring and again in June to help get over the mid-summer slump.
The steps above are easy and require only a couple of key strokes IF you have a good and well maintained CRM system.
It’s the beginning of August – don’t panic and anticipate. Traditionally, by September, when the kids go back to school, everything will pick up again. You might even feel like you are too busy. However, in my world, we are never too busy. I love too busy – that means evaluate pricing!