Management • Operations • 54 minutes

Change with the market, says tech-savvy trades consultant

October 20, 2020

Episode Overview

Mike Claudio has taken his real-world sales and marketing experience and become a consultant for the home services industry. He owns Win Rate Consulting and hosts two podcasts: “Big Stud Sales” and “Remodeling the Carolinas.” 

Claudio has developed a system that can help any contractor market to the modern-day, tech-savvy customer. He believes the market has changed drastically in 10 years, that business owners shouldn’t be afraid of new solutions and that specialization is key.

Here are Mike Claudio’s top marketing tips for all the home services trades:

The market has changed drastically in the last decade.

Claudio says anybody that’s been in the industry for at least 10 years can see that things are radically different. 

“The client base is different,” he says. The expectations are wildly different. If you’re not adapting to that, you’re going to constantly feel the weight of business constantly on your shoulders. There are new opportunities—but you’re not going to find them if you don’t adjust your approach.”

The results from making changes are worth the initial hurdles.

As a consultant, Claudio says he isn’t teaching most company leaders new information as much as he’s showing them how to conceptualize and implement information. 

“People often say, ‘Oh, that’s a great idea, but how do I make that work in my system?’ he says. “I give people permission to move forward with the ideas they already have and give them ways to implement those ideas into their business.”

There are, essentially, no new problems that don’t already have solutions. 

“No matter how alone on an island you feel as a business owner, somebody has already beaten the challenges you’re going through,” Claudio says. “So, don’t be too busy to have a conversation. If having a conversation is going to make your niche a half a million dollars next year, you shouldn’t be too busy for that.”

Don’t try to be all things to every customer. 

Marketing the idea that no job is too big or too small for you is a bad way to promote your business, Claudio says.

“That creates brain confusion,” he says. “People who want big work will say, ‘He does little work, maybe this is too big for him.’”

And vice versa. Rather, Claudio says it’s better to find a niche and become the authority in a product or a service.

When you specialize in a field, your benefits multiply. 

Another upside of being an authority in something is that your techs will learn to create efficiencies in their processes, Claudio says. 

“They create different efficiencies in how they prep for jobs,” he says, “And they know what tools and materials are needed every day on the job.” 

That makes time management better and also keeps customers happy.

Follow these four pillars of specialization: Identify. Target. Qualify. Acquire.

“First, you identify who your ideal client is,” Claudio says. “Then you target them through prospecting, networking, or social media. Learn how to qualify a lead when it comes in—before you get to a job site and realize it’s not a good job for you. When you qualify that something is a good job, acquire it by differentiating yourself from the competition.”

Create a highly targeted marketing campaign. 

Zero in on awesome client experiences and put together a marketing plan to get similar business, Claudio says. 

“For example, when I was working in Charlotte, I realized that banking was a big business and executive vice presidents are a great client base,” he says. 

Those were the customers he targeted. That marketing message might have missed certain segments, but by the end of the campaign, he’d gotten through to the specific demographic he wanted.

Sales success comes from follow-ups. 

“I ran an analysis once, and equated about 40 percent of my sales to follow-ups,” Claudio says.

He counted anybody he contacted at least three times as a follow-up win. 

“Over a five-and-a-half-year period I sold $10 million in projects—and $4 million of that came from my follow-up process,” he says.

ServiceTitan is a great platform for managing sales follow-ups. 

ServiceTitan is huge, and especially with some of the more modern upgrades that weren’t around five years ago,” Claudio says. “There’s so much you can automate—like with meeting alerts, appointment alerts, and follow-ups. It can be time consuming on the front end, but once it’s built out you never have to touch it again.”

Stop relying on word-of-mouth. 

Sometimes you have to go out and hunt for new business, Claudio says. 

“Stop relying only on word of mouth,” he says. “It’s a gift but also a curse. If you’re stagnant, create a good social media presence. Put out content. Network. Prospect. Do a podcast. Don’t let word of mouth be your crutch.” 

About ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help home service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business.

Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business?

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About the Show

Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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