What will lure business and what doesn’t

At the end of the day, if your marketing fails to lure business, is there a point?

Some years back, I was related to this guy through marriage. He owned a construction company in East Tennessee. Quite successful, they focused on residential and did a bit of everything – new construction, renovations, additions, and refurbishments.

They were BUSY. People seemed very happy with their work. One day, they decided to expand to Nashville. Another family member came to Nashville. He stayed with us while he took on the hard work of expanding this company’s book of business to Middle Tennessee.

Lure business with signs

One big point of consternation for me (and there were several) occured when the owner of the company sent over quite a large number of yard signs. These were typical signs – you’ve seen them – small yard signs with the name of the construction company, “free estimates,” and a phone number on them.

lure business

I very much adhere by the KISS method of signage. Keep it simple silly.

Well, those signs sat in my garage. At first, the guy establishing the new expansion wasn’t sure of the local laws. I called city hall and figured it out for him. Though there were some parameters, we could indeed, put the signs up.

Then it was, “People just steal those signs.”

So the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. Not one estimate was given. Not one request for information was ever received. Netflix’s watch it again told the story of his day, and after a couple months I had to ask him to leave.

I remember shaking my head about four years later when I found the box of those signs still sitting in my garage, as pristine as they day they arrived. Not one sign put out. No flyers in damaged neighborhoods after storms. Not even a $5 Craigslist ad. Nothing was done to lure business.

Do the signs work?

To be honest, I don’t know.

I have no data, only years of anecdotes. Quite a few contractors swear by them. I know one, whom I called before writing this and he claims 3-4 calls per month off his signs. Another, a plumber, told me he put out signs that said “Master Plumber, Licensed/Insured/Bonded, Phone #.” He said the first time he put signs out, he received a call within an hour and that to this day, he’ll get a couple calls a month off those signs.

Of course, a call is not a sale. It is just a lead, but also an important part of the sales process.

Would they have worked for my (now former) family’s construction business? No clue. Maybe?

What bugs me is we’ll never know.

Signs today

When I’m chatting with a contractor or service provider in the trades about my services, I always ask a question. What do your digital signs look like?

It confuses them at first, until I ask it another way. How quickly can I find the information I need to get in touch with you?

The beauty of good yard signs is that the “what you do” and the phone number really pop out. Power Washing, Phone Number.  Master Electrician, Phone Number. Or the one that got my attention recently. Stuff Hauled Off, Phone Number.

They make it ridiculously simple, ridiculously clear, and ridiculously easy. And if yard signs are effective, that is why.

If you need help getting your digital signs in order, email me at clay@clay-morgan.com.