How to Avoid Gaps between Building Projects

contractorsRecently I wrote about photos and the importance of hiring a pro to get stunning photos of your residential remodeling projects. Testimonials are the same deal! When you have these 2 things, you’ll have less down time and less gaps in work.

You need good testimonials to help you close referrals and new people.

Here’s an observation. As a general contractor you are different than the people you sell too. You spend a lot of time at job sites and little time on a computer and using social media.

The executives and business people you sell to spend their work days at desks and online. The majority of them are social media users.

The good news is you don’t have to become a daily social media user to be successful marketing your contracting firm.

Hey, you don’t have to use social media to market your contracting business. However, you do need to accept that your clients are online far more than you.

You can get more business if you have both testimonials and photos on Houzz, your business website and a few other places where people are checking you out online.

Stellar Testimonials and Stunning Photos are what Sell Your Next Project

Repeat that 3 x’s like a mantra. (Yes, I live in NorCal.) This is what you have to do!

You are wasting our own time and money by not having testimonials and photos in place. Every year 1-3 exceptional project needs to be photographed and a few testimonials requested.

Testimonials are more challenging to get then photos and with good reason. You won’t necessarily get a testimonial from everyone you ask. There so many factors that can effect your ability to get testimonials. How you ask, how at ease you are with people, how busy or giving the person you ask is…all these factors. Don’t beat yourself up over it; just proceed as confidently as you can.

Asking for Testimonials

If you ask for testimonials, you’ll get some them. Once you have some, it’ll be easier I hope. If you keep asking, you’ll accumulate more and more and in time you’ll have lots and you won’t worry much about the ones you didn’t get.

Also, ask other professionals like colleagues, business coaches, architects for testimonials. They are all people who need testimonials as well so it’s OK to trade testimonials as long as it’s sincere. Obviously, you don’t want to give or receive testimonials from colleagues who aren’t high integrity.

Look for the Givers

Some clients will be delighted to write you a testimonial. They will offer them or gladly supply them when asked. These folks want to help and are givers.

Other people will never get around to giving you a testimonial even if you did an outstanding job. It may be that they are takers or they are wrapped up in their own world or have real problems at the time. Whatever the reason, you just have to move on and not take it personally. Also, when you take projects, look for givers and avoid takers…as takers won’t help you grow your business by supplying referrals and testimonials for your blood, sweat and tears.

How to Get Testimonials

There’s more than one way to get great referrals; pick one that will work for you.

  1. Ask for a referral at the start of a project when in the honeymoon phase.
  2. Ask for a referral at the end of every project when they really know you and your work.
  3. Tell the client you’ll ask for a referral at the end of the project; tell them to come to you whenever they have a question or a comment so you can be sure they get what they want and are happy throughout the project.
  4. If people gush or say great things to you, ask if you can write it down and send it to them for confirmation. That gets the ball rolling on a testimonials.
  5. Tell clients you are working on your X (marketing, website, Houzz page), and are asking for a testimonial to include.

If you have other ways to get testimonials, please include them in the comments!

General Contractors Marketing
Karen Nierlich works with high end residential contractors on their marketing and websites. Read the 10 or so posts on the blog to learn the basics of marketing yourself as a contractor. It’s not obvious what works, that’s why it’s important to have help! Call her at 510-527-9920 or email her at