Whether your company installs flat glass window film, automobile window tint, or both, word-of-mouth referrals ought to be at the top of the list of ways you land new business. It’s hard to top the value created when a satisfied customer recommends your services to a friend, relative, or co-worker.
While customers are a prime source of referral business, it’s important not to neglect another type of opportunity to get people talking about your company: recommendations from those working in other trades. At times you may share a jobsite with electricians, flooring installers, carpenters, automotive techs, and others. You can recruit all of them to drop your name at the right time – provided your work is top-notch, and you’re willing to return the favor.
Why is a recommendation from a tradesperson so effective? When consumers hire a contractor to work in their home or business, and they come away satisfied with the experience, they tend to remain loyal. Nobody’s very fond of searching out a new contractor, in part because it takes time, but also because of the way horror stories spread about bad experiences with unfamiliar contractors – even if the story is exaggerated.
So when a consumer finds a contractor they like, they almost always want to preserve the relationship. When you gain a word-of-mouth referral from that plumber or mechanic, you piggyback on the good will that’s been forged between two parties – buyer and seller – that are happy with each other. This contractor, by virtue of earning the trust of the customer, becomes an authority, and his recommendation of your services is likely worth at least as much as any advertising that you do.
Keep these tips in mind to help build your business with referrals from tradespeople:
Stand behind your work, and make sure they do, too. That your own work and reputation must be excellent goes without saying. Make sure the same goes for the contractor you want referring you. Looking at their work on the jobsites you share will tell you a lot, and so will conversations with the owner of that jobsite, and other customers of the contractor.
The golden rule applies. Once you’re comfortable with the contractor’s work and reputation, this one follows naturally. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to recommend your tradesperson friend the same way he’s referring you.
Keep it going. Make it a point to call or email the tradesperson regularly, to see who, if any, of his customers are asking about window film installers. Of course, be ready to provide the same information in return about inquiries for his trade. Staying in contact also allows you to find out whether these referrals are leading to sales, or if the recommendations you’re getting from tradespeople are dying on the vine.