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6 Results-Proven Marketing and Sales Tips for Contractors

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6 Results-Proven Marketing and Sales Tips for Contractors

The Pinnacle Experience’s keynote speaker, author of "They Ask, You Answer" offers results-driven tips contractors can start today for improved leads

By Marcus Sheridan April 29, 2024
Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan

I created the most trafficked swimming pool website in the world—and it was all an effort to save our business.

Virginia-based River Pools opened in 2001, and I joined fresh out of college running the retail store. Within six months, I became the third partner. Things went well until 2008.

I had no clue about digital marketing, but in order to save our company, I began reading about inbound marketing, social media, and blogging. I focused on producing content for the website, and eventually, that made Riverpoolsandspas.com the most popular swimming pool website in the world.

It didn’t stop there. By rethinking our client relationships and making drastic changes to sales and marketing, we became an industry leader over the next 10 years. In 2016, I published “They Ask, You Answer,” a guide to mastering your marketing strategy that highlights all the game-changing approaches that transformed our business. Today, I speak and train teams across the world on becoming the most trusted voice in their industry.

By thinking outside of the box, any company can change its story’s ending. Here are six lessons I learned working on our brand for more than 20 years. 


1. Online research replaces the traditional sales pitch. Customers are more informed than they've ever been. On average, a customer at my swimming pool company reads about 100 pages of our website—80% of the buying process is done before the prospect reaches out to you. That’s hours of research on the customer’s end seeking answers to their questions, worries, and fears. 

Your number one client in this industry is one that considers doing a project themselves. They go online to learn, and the question is: Are they going to learn from you or somebody else? 

To maximize your effect, update content every six months or so. You don’t need to write a whole new post, but just make the necessary edits to ensure you seem current and knowledgeable. 


2. Market your strengths, not your secret sauce. People say they don't want to see how the sausage is made. It's true for sausage, but not true for remodeling. On your website and socials, post content that highlights how you approach projects, discusses available materials, and gives insight into trends. 

If you show your process, you come across as the expert and much more credible and capable. And the more trust, the more likely they are to reach out to you.

We were the first ones to show our pool manufacturing process. Nobody else did because they wanted to protect their “secret sauce.” However, they weren’t doing anything incredibly unique or proprietary. What differentiated us was our willingness to show that process so the customer understood our value.


3. Add a self-service price calculator to your website. Most customers want a sales rep-free experience. People don't want to talk to a salesperson until they feel prepared enough. To take advantage of this trend, remodelers should add self-service options like price calculators on their websites. 

I built an AI-driven price calculator on my website, and now we get up to 200 leads a day from it. Having the information on your website allows you to focus on meeting the customer’s needs during a meeting rather than discussing price.


4. Hire a marketing expert over another salesperson. Hiring a marketing expert will go a long way to building a company’s brand. If you hire a salesperson, they stop working for you the second they leave. A marketer will always work for you because their content continues to live.

This content helps grow your website and social channels to gain customer trust. Again, 80% of the customer’s journey is done before they reach out to you. Every job is a story, and a good marketer can capture those stories.


5. Embrace AI in sales and marketing or get left behind. Is AI coming to the home improvement industry? Does a bear poop in the woods? AI cannot replace the trades. However, companies that don’t leverage AI in sales and marketing will lose market share to competitors embracing AI. 

Remodeling companies are notoriously understaffed, but if a company can figure out how to use AI to write blog and social media posts, it can stretch a company’s resources. Companies need to prepare for a world where Google search is replaced by AI recommendations. If AI is recommending a company, you want to be the one that it is going to recommend, and you do that by becoming an authoritative voice through educational content. 


6. Elevate your business by attending industry events with a plan. Big ideas don’t generally come when swinging a hammer. Sometimes you have to step outside of the everyday. Industry events like The Pinnacle Experience are a great place to learn––if you have the right mindset. 

At this point, I’ve spoken to nearly 1 million audience members live, and the individuals who don't get a lot out of events are the ones who sit there and think “I'm different, I’m special, and I have nothing to learn.” Successful attendees go in with three things that they know are weaknesses in their business and intentionally look for ways to improve those three areas.

If you come to Pinnacle with a game plan, you're going to get actionable advice and counsel that you can immediately start to do in your hotel rooms at night.


Marcus Sheridan is the founder of River Pools in Virginia and partner at IMPACT. He authored the book “They Ask, You Answer,” and has spoken globally to audiences about sales and marketing. He is the keynote speaker at The Pinnacle Experience 2024 in Baltimore, where attendees can unlock the latest secrets in remodeling and home improvement.


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