~~ Contractor Best Practices Newsletter ~~

by Ron Roberts
The Contractor's Business Coach



Volume 2 - issue 18

May 2, 2007


Tip of the Week:

Train your employees to solve their own problems. Demand that they bring two proposed solutions each time they ask you to solve a problem. Eventually, they will stop bringing problems to you.

Today's Article:

Making Your Advertisements Stand Out

Go grab your Yellow Pages. Now open it up to the page where your services are advertised.

Are any of the advertisements unique?

Do they all look the same?

I just opened up my Yellow Pages to the Concrete Contractors section. Here’s what I’m seeing:

Flat work, Retaining Walls, Floors, Foundations, Driveways, Curbs, Sidewalks, Patios; Commercial, Residential; Free Estimate; Licensed & Insured

Ho hum. Here’s what we do if you’re looking for that service.

Not compelling. Not unique. Not persuasive.

Nothing tells me that any of these concrete contractors are going to give me better service than any of the others.

This is why 90% of Yellow Pages customers get three estimates and take the low price.

Now, go gather up all of your advertising materials.

I’m not kidding. Go get them.

Got them in hand?


Read them thoroughly.

Do they all read like bigger versions of a Yellow Pages ad?

I’ll bet your website does also (assuming you have one).

99% of contractors make the same advertising mistakes. Don’t be like them. Be different.

Don’t list your services.
Don’t list "free estimate".
Insert a testimonial or three.
Offer a free report "How to avoid getting shafted by your
concrete contractor."
Make a bold statement that grabs their attention.
Be funny.

Somehow, you must show prospective customers you understand what is important to them and will bend over backwards to meet their needs.

Let’s pretend I am a home owner looking for a concrete contractor looking to replace my porch. What might I care about?

A fair price.

Quick work - in and out in the shortest possible number of days.

Minimal evidence you were ever there.

A porch that lasts for rest of my home ownership.

Knowledge of how to keep the concrete, and the base below it, in good shape.

And most importantly, confidence that I will not regret my choice of concrete contractor.

Now that you are beginning to understand what is wrong with your advertisements, let me tell you how to fix them.

Most problems in life have already been solved by someone else. Your challenge is to find those advertising solutions. Fortunately, the internet came along and made your research a lot easier.

Get online and start searching for contractors in your trade. Dig deep into their web sites. Print out pages that have captivating text.

Now, call several of your best customers and ask them why they selected you. Ask them how they select other contractors. What advertising has grabbed their attention? What has gotten them burned? What will they do the next time they are looking for a contractor?

With all of this information in hand, you are ready to write your advertising copy. How about having some fun while doing this? Work is always better when it’s fun.

Grabbed several friends and a couple of businessmen and women you respect (from outside the construction industry), talk them into joining you for a brainstorming session, provide food and drink, and get their input.

You will probably end up with far better advertising ideas than you will by hiring a professional marketing agency. You will have a lot more fun, save a lot of money, and produce better results.

You’ve got to give your prospects a reason to call you and only you. If you have been using "me-too" advertising, re-do them immediately. You’re losing business everyday you don’t.

Until next week, good luck with your business.

Ron Roberts,
The Contractor's Business Coach

P.S. Share this with your contractor friends. They will thank you for it.


Independent Lease Review, Inc.
Experts in equipment lease negotiation and contracts.
Synthesis, Inc.
Construction accounting, lead generation, and customer relationship management software consultants and trainers.



World Sweeper.com contains several articles written
to help contractors run profitable businesses.

For Construction Pros.com is the online presence of
Cygnus Media. Cygnus publishes several construction
magazines. Bookmark their site and check it monthly
to find helpful articles.

This website contains an abundance of great articles
and helpful tools to help owners improve their business

Shouldn't I pimp my own site? :-)



Copyright © 2008 The Contractor's Business Coach - All Rights Reserved
HQ: Kansas City {913-961-1790} │Branch: Chicago {708-774-6500}