Your job has gotten harder and many of you haven’t adapted how you market your business since the internet first became a “thing”. Competition is everywhere. There are almost no barriers to selling kitchen cabinets in today’s world.
If you can generate a home improvement lead, you can buy cabinets direct from someone, whether that is an importer or manufacturer. If you think this is the domain of importers - think again. Major US manufacturers are just as likely to sell a non-traditional dealer as are the importers.
Without trying too hard I came up with 12 unique places a consumer can buy cabinets in your marketplace and here they are:
- home center
- tile store
- online seller
- hardware store (think Ace and TruValue type stores to small Mom and Pop)
- kitchen dealer with showroom
- kitchen designers without showroom
- contractor working from his home/truck
- design/build remodeler with a showroom
- granite fabricator
- building materials distributor/lumber yard
- surplus building product distributors
- the multi-chain retailer that buys better than you do
If you are a stand-alone owner/ operator kitchen dealer, your competition is way beyond the other kitchen dealers in your area.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking referrals, as valuable they are, is the exclusive path to success. I get it - a referral feels good. But depending on referrals is a sure-fire way to marginalize your impact in your local market. How are you going to stand out?
I have one word for you:
Marketing is the area where I can impact your business in the most direct way -- benefitting both of us in the process.
For those of you that buy Brighton Cabinetry from me, you have the benefit of their Sales Aid and Advertising Program (SAAP). This is a co-op marketing program that gives you a 4% credit based on your purchases. Samples, displays and other Brighton materials are discounted 50% from net, and then you can use your co-op dollars to pay for the discounted samples. This is a great value that most dealers use.
However, what if you purchase more product than you can buy in samples, displays and marketing materials? I have seen 10s of thousands of marketing co-op dollars expire as I tried to get dealers to engage in some sort of marketing. Even if I wasn’t offering my services, I wanted those dollars to be used.
As my frustration grew, I heard all kinds of excuses:
- I work on referral only
- I sell contractors
- marketing doesn’t work
- my web designer stopped in mid-project seven years ago and website was never updated
- I’m not technical enough
- social media isn’t for me
You get the idea.
The Brighton SAAP program credits 50% of your digital marketing spend. This includes other types of marketing expenditures, like consumer shows, signage for your building or vehicle that uses the Brighton name and logo, print advertising materials, etc.
What This Means To You
We have a kitchen designer client who pays us $879 per month for content development for his website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Facebook advertising. He additionally spends $100 to Facebook for the cost of his ads that we produce, and we manage his sales funnel. Depending on the year, he buys $125,000-$150,000. He works from his home, so he stays updated with sample doors. That leaves a healthy amount of SAAP.
Here’s the math
$125,000 In purchases x.04 = $5,000
Minus $500 in new sample doors per year = $4500 in SAAP left over
$879 per month x 12 = $10,548 marketing expense
Brighton SAAP program allows him a credit of $5274, of which $4500 is covered by SAAP
Total annual marketing expense = $6048 or $504 per month
So the big question is: what do we accomplish with this money?
- Crafted strategy for his business, focusing on design as the key differentiator
- Created lead magnets to be used on his website and for warm customers
- Recommended reputable web developers
- Wrote all the web copy for his new website
- Worked with website developer so that design was SEO-friendly from beginning
- Within 6 months over 170 new visitors/month based on organic keyword searches. With another 100 searches coming from a combination of Houzz, Facebook, direct name/business search (direct name search means someone was searching his business name specifically instead of kitchen cabinets any town, USA)
- Page 1 ranking or number 1 for his area for keywords like custom cabinets, kitchen remodel, cabinets, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, kitchen designer. This was accomplished in about 5 months.
- Significant reduction in bounce rate, meaning people stayed on his site longer and interacted with several pages before leaving.
- One to three new opt-ins per week from Facebook advertising (an opt-in requests a lead magnet that helps them get to know you better and gets them in your lead funnel.)
- As of July of 2018, he has more jobs than he can quote.
- If we find there are sales conversion issues, we will tackle as he works through quotes. And do our part to fix the things that we can control.
For the limited budget and goals we were working with, these results are nothing short of transformative.
If you are someone who doesn’t want these results, here are some suggestions:
- Charge a design fee so you are only designing for best prospects
- Outsource your design
- Change your sales/design and quote process to reduce your time and speed up your response time
- Interview your leads and pick your top 3 favorite prospects and give them your best effort, while telling the rest you will get back to them in a specific period of time
- Keep doing whatever you are doing