“You earn your stripes in the shoulder seasons.”
— Chris Yano
Marketing expert Chris Yano was an Indy race car driver and a professional bull rider before harnessing his energy with the home trades. At last count, the CEO of RYNO Strategic Solutions was zeroing in on hosting 100 episodes of his “To the Point Home Services” podcast.
On “Toolbox for the Trades,” Yano steers the discussion around financing promotions, special marketing strategies and the 6 P’s to please the prospect.
Here are Chris Yano’s top tips for marketing a home-services company:
Key TakeawaysExpect transparency from a home-services marketing company.In-house data saves valuable time and lends flexibility to change.Seasonal marketing is critical. The 6 P’s of Pleasing a Prospect Quoting a ballpark price is better than avoiding a cost conversation. Keys to financing offers: low price and speedy service. Do a podcast that gives back to your customers. SEO + PPC = Success. Recommended research and reading
Expect transparency from a home-services marketing company.
Yano isn’t afraid to be honest with his clients when it comes to delivering the monthly numbers.
“If someone is going to pay us money as an agency, you have to deliver a result,” he says. “And they should know exactly what you delivered. Especially if you have ServiceTitan, it’s really easy to see the results.
“Most companies don’t report in the depth we do. Why? Because bad months are going to happen.”
Yano believes even the bad months are learning opportunities.
In-house data saves valuable time and lends flexibility to change.
“I don’t outsource anything,” Yano says. “Business coaches tell me I could get it cheaper outside. But I need to control what’s going on, understand quickly.
“If it’s a seasonal change we’ve got to be on it. I can’t wait to make a change I needed 24 hours earlier. That’s how you lose the game.”
Seasonal marketing is critical.
“You can only create so much weather as a digital marketing company,” Yano says. “So, you earn your stripes in the shoulder seasons. You can’t ignore the weather. There are always people searching.
“There is a postseason buyer who does installs and the same with pre-season. You’ve got to figure out how to go get them. Contractors want volume, so you have to overcome the shoulder seasons.”
The 6 P’s of Pleasing a Prospect
“We’re in the business of pleasing prospects,” Yano says. To do that, here are Yano’s 6 P’s that prospects should be easily able to find on a company’s website:
Product. Don’t make it tough for customers to know what you do. No matter what it says in the name of your company, spell it out. If you do plumbing, say you do plumbing, Yano says. Don’t make them guess what you do.
Place. Same general thought as specificity with product. Don’t make customers guess where your coverage area is.
Price. Some people don’t believe in putting prices on a website. I see highly successful results when you do include price.
Promotion. A promotion can be financial. Or it could be emergency services. It could be reviews, because you’re promoting credibility. Whatever it is, it should be easy to click on to schedule an appointment.
People. Website promotion needs to understand the people who are your customers. It’s an absolute necessity to understand their buying habits.
Personality. This can be a tough one. Don’t be afraid to give your business a personality. It’s okay to be funny. Try new things.
Quoting a ballpark price is better than avoiding a cost conversation.
A contractor who shares pricing—even if it’s ballpark estimate—will have a higher conversion rate than one who says they’ve got to send a comfort consultant out to look at the job, Yano says.
“Even if it’s a ridiculous ballpark, at least you’re sharing a minimum,” he says. “And the customer is more willing to move forward. But by giving nothing today, you stand to lose far more.”
Keys to financing offers: low price and speedy service.
Yano points to two factors that make offers of financing attractive to potential customers.
“You’ve got to give out a monthly number—and it needs to be low but not too low,” he says. “My suggestion is don’t go less than $89 a month.
“The other thing is speed to service. If you can do it, definitely mention that you have next-day installation. Those two things together in tandem will work wonders for your install business.”
Do a podcast that gives back to your customers.
He’s done a large number of podcasts, and had to be brought into it “kicking and screaming,” but Yano has discovered the value of doing them.
“If you start a podcast, everybody can listen to it,” he says. “You can bring on knowledgeable guests. It serves the home industry and, whether listeners are customers or not, you can give back to the community.”
SEO + PPC = Success.
Yano is frequently asked if the same company doing search engine optimization should also do pay-per-click advertising for a customer.
“Absolutely,” he says. “As long as they’re doing it in-house and those teams can talk to one another. Using two different companies is a horrible decision because then there’s no synergy.”