Michael Klein

The project is done, the clients are thrilled. Instead of having these satisfied clients simply hand your business card to interested family, friends, or neighbors and leave it at that, how about a more proactive approach?

If you’re Louisville, Ky., remodeler Brandon Bailey, you actively coach clients on how to refer your company. The owner of Bailey Remodel  requests that clients ask the interested party for their permission to have Bailey contact them, reaching out to prospects instead of waiting for them to call. Bailey also provides clients with details about which project types his company excels at and which neighborhoods are preferred.

The inspiration for proactively reaching out grew from a tip Bailey received from a college adviser who suggested that when people ask for your business card, tell them you don’t have one with you, and ask for their card instead.

When someone expresses interest in the remodel, Bailey suggests that his clients say, “If you’re serious, I’d like to pass your number to the remodeler. They’re great about following up.” If the person declines that offer, Bailey says they likely wouldn’t have called his company anyway.

Sooner Than Later

Bailey recommends that remodelers discuss referrals when the customer is signing the construction contract — because they are more likely to talk about the project to family and friends while the work is under way. Wait for project completion to ask for referrals and your chances of getting them dramatically decreases.

Bailey says he sells to about four of every 10 contacts referred by past clients, versus waiting for phone calls from 10 prospects who might never reach out. Referring clients receive a $100 restaurant gift card if the referral results in a signed contract. Bailey plans to create a post-project binder for clients that includes not only the paint colors, tile orders, faucet models, etc., for their remodel, but an explanation of the referral process as well.

Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.