No matter how good you are, no matter how diligent, too many customers think they can wait until the last minute to make their decision on winter snow removal.
Are you crazy yet?
It’s that time of year. Procrastination by customers who have asked for pricing in August is beginning to drive us nuts. Why can’t they just make a decision and be done with it? Why do they have to wait until the last minute to decide whether to go with us (the best contractor) or “them” (the other guys) ?
This is an ages old problem. No matter how good we are, no matter how diligent we are – too many customers think they can wait until the last minute, call us up and say “yeah, we’ve decided you are who we want”, and expect we’ll just jump up, take the business and get it right. Why do they do that? Because they can – that’s why. We allow it. We let it happen. We actually encourage it. We encourage it by not diligently following up on a regular (weekly) basis. We’re afraid if we do too much follow-up the customer will become irritated and angry. If we followed up via email E-Post cards, or just leave a voice mail message that we want their business – they won’t get angry. Unfortunately, we back off for fear of losing the business for the want of being too pushy. Unfortunately, customers are procrastinators and most feel we cannot get around that.
In some cases, we don’t have much choice. We’re not real businessmen (or business women). It is how we are perceived by those who purchase our services. So – we look for other assistance in pushing customers to make their decision. Many snow contractors are praying for a cold front to come through and allow a good frost to cover the market. That gets these procrastinators thinking. Even better would be some flurries – and it would be even better if those flurries come down during the morning rush hour. That will push an awful lot of “undecided’s” over the edge. I know some contractors who are nimble enough to force all their snow sales people into the office, on the phones doing follow-up work in order to gain the advantage due to a short burst of snow. The excitement in such organizations is really fun to watch. Everyone knows this sort of false alarm is one of the best things that can happen at this time of year.
We know the snow is not going to stick. We don’t even warm up the trucks. But the phones sure do heat up with this kind of weather. If that kind of weather comes along – use it to your advantage. Get on the phone and do follow-up work on those customers you have quoted. Let them know “snows coming” and it’s time to make a decision. I know some contractors who sign up 50% of their contracts when this happens. So – pray for some cold weather. And, when it happens don’t sit back and watch the flurries.
Get on the phone and MAKE SOME CALLS!!!