Business tip: Converting leads to customers

Before you can successfully sell your services to a customer, you must help that customer understand the value of your business. Establishing a relationship with prospective customers based on skill, experience, quality and trust is essential to gaining their confidence and their contracts.

Customers are interested in a service more than a specific product. They want a contractor with the skill and experience to install a product and educate them about it. Since multiple contractors offer similar products, the customer is looking for someone whose quality and service they can trust. The best method of communicating your value to customers is through third-party endorsements from previous customers, certifying organizations or third-party services. Recommendations from others can be more powerful than speaking for yourself.

  • Provide references from past customers to demonstrate that your business is trustworthy. Besides providing quantifiable details about your service, such as cost and time spent, former customers can provide a qualitative view of your business, such as how respectful your workers were, how clean they left the job site and how polite and responsive they were on the phone.
  • Professional certifications can be valuable third-party endorsements when you explain their meaning and importance to your customers. While customers may notice the badges emblazoned on your company’s apparel, it’s likely they don’t understand the value of certifications like Building Performance Institute, North American Technician Excellence, Performance Tested Comfort Systems and Home Energy Rating System. Certifications like these demonstrate your specialization, expertise and commitment to upholding industry best practices.
  • Leverage your good standing as an Energy Trust trade ally. Throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, Energy Trust is a widely recognized, trusted brand. Customers regularly use the Energy Trust website to learn about quality local contractors. When you tell prospective customers that you are in Energy Trust’s Trade Ally Network, explain the requirements your business meets to participate and articulate the benefits to your customers—you can determine if a project qualifies for Energy Trust cash incentives and submit an application on their behalf. Mention that you invite Energy Trust’s quality assurance verifiers to review your projects and confirm that your work practices are among the best.