Change the season, step up your marketing. With spring (March 20) and daylight savings time (April 2) just ahead, why not send clients and prospects a reminder of how your company can help them maintain or improve their homes?

Here's how it's done at Benvenuti and Stein. Several times throughout the year, the high-end Chicago design/build company sends friendly reminders to local homeowners about various aspects of keeping up their homes, says Roberta Lamerdin, service manager of the company's Home Care Service maintenance division. The letters suggest maintenance tasks ranging from sump pump checks to gutter-cleaning, and always trigger phone calls from homeowners who “have a whole list of things they want us to do,” she adds.

Benvenuti and Stein's fall mailing would make a terrific spring greeting as well. Twice a year, most homeowners know — but often forget — to change the batteries in their smoke detectors. The company's “battery promotion,” mailed just before the end of daylight savings time, comes with a snap-in, 9-volt battery and a four-color printed piece about fire safety. The tagline is “Fall Back on Benvenuti and Stein.” The phone starts ringing the day the mailings arrive, Lamerdin says.