Retention Marketing

Contractors often fret when their leads slow down. They often become desperate, looking for anything that will generate some leads. Unfortunately, they frequently overlook one of the best sources of leads—their past customers.

While I advocate regular marketing to past customers, it is a marketing method that can be easily turned on or off. Whether it is direct mail or email, retention marketing can be used when you choose. Unlike most other forms of marketing, you have complete control over when it occurs.

There are many ways to do retention marketing: direct mail, email, and phone calls are the most common. But anything that reminds your customers of your business is effective.

Winter is Closer Than You Think

I’d like to share a secret with you: Winter will be here in few months.

Many contractors will be unprepared because they aren’t taking steps now. We may be experiencing the dog days of August at the moment, but it’s not too early to start thinking about the winter.

The seeds you sow today will determine the harvest you reap in December and January. If you begin planning for the winter now, you won’t find yourself struggling to stay busy later in the year.

An easy way to address the winter doldrums is to pre-sell interior work. Begin marketing and selling interior work a month or two before your exterior season ends.


Contractors often fret over customers who want to negotiate the price of a painting job. Personally, I love customers who want to negotiate. It means that they want to buy from me, and we just have to work out mutually beneficial terms.

Negotiations are simply a process of give and take. The customer wants us to give up something on price. The customer should also give up something—lower quality of materials or a reduced scope of work.

However, contractors often view negotiations as a one-way street. They think that they have to be the only one giving. If we view negotiations that way, then it is understandable that we would dislike negotiating. But if we view them as a chance to create a mutually beneficial trade, we can make both parties happy.

Def Leppard

I saw Def Leppard in concert for the first time this past Monday night. I’m not a big fan of the band, but I am a huge fan of their drummer, Rick Allen. I don’t think Allen is a particularly great drummer. But I think he embodies a spirit that we all can and should admire.

When he was 21 he lost his left arm in an auto accident. It appeared that his career as a professional drummer was over. But with the support of his band mates and friends, Allen persevered. He designed a drum kit that allowed him to make more use of his feet and play instruments that he previously played with his now missing arm.

Faced with such a situation, most people would simply give up. Allen didn’t, and he’s had a very successful career.

So, when you think things are going against you, think of Rick Allen. He overcame an unimaginable adversity. So can you.

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