Social Media

CTi Dealers around the country are finding a lot of success advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and others. The data gathering these platforms have performed provides a terrific tool for targeting customers who are likely to be interested in decorative and protective coatings for concrete.

Targeting these types of customers is a simple matter of browsing through the hundreds of demographic and psychographic data points these various media can provide. Homeowners who are actively seeking ways to improve the looks of their home, who live in a home that is in the top 30% of the values for the area you’re targeting and have expressed an interest in decorative concrete is just one of the combinations you can use.

This rifle shot approach can be supplemented by targeting the zip codes, cities, counties or other geographic areas of your choosing. When you put it all together, you have a cost effective way of putting an ad in front of a customer who can sometimes be close to ideal. Dealers have been finding the average lead costs them between $15 and $25.

Pandemic Selling

In our current times, home improvement type sales has some challenges. Homeowners are hesitant to invite strangers into their home but are in dire need of sprucing up their home since they’re spending so much more time there. Here are a few tips for setting up an environment where the customer is comfortable and therefore more likely to buy:

  • Mask up – Whether you normally do this or not, it’s important for the customer to think you’re going overboard in making sure they’re safe.
  • Keep your distance – If you decide to speak with the customer at their location, be aware of your distance in proximity with the customer and err on the side of safety.
  • Consider virtual meetings – In an earlier post, we went over how to meet with your customer virtually. Technology allows you to do almost everything you would do at the home via your computer.

Sales Numbers

One of the key elements in any business’s success is its ability to generate sales. At CTi, we stress to our Dealers the importance of knowing their sales numbers so as to know what advertising is working best and whether they are doing the things necessary when meeting with the customer in order to make a sale.

A typical CTi Dealer experiences one sale for every six inquiries his Dealership generates. Normally two inquiries will come in that either are not viable due to not having a proper need for the product (ex. they have an asphalt driveway), or they don’t respond to the Dealer’s follow up. Four of the inquiries will answer follow up calls, texts or emails and the Dealer will be able to setup a time to see their project. Out of these four meetings, a Dealer will normally make one sale.

Knowing your sales model can help you in a number of areas within your sales and marketing efforts. An example might be if you’re generating a lot of leads from a particular advertising source but not getting customers to respond to your follow up. Your cost per lead (what you spent in your advertising divided by the number of leads it generated) may look great but you need to take your analysis a step further and see if your cost per sale (what you spent in your advertising divided by the number of sales you made) is still competitive with your other ads. If not, you’ll find that your return on investment from your advertising will suffer along with having to spend more time following up with inquiries that are not responding which will drive up your sales costs.

Adding Employees

One of the advantages of a CTi Dealership is its ability to generate a vast amount of business with only one or two employees. Even so, finding that first employee can sometimes be daunting.

CTi Dealers find employees in a number of ways.

  • Family members
  • Emergency workers such as firefighters or ambulance technicians.
  • Some Dealers have had success working with their local churches and utilizing members of their alcohol or drug rehabilitation centers.
  • Contact your local trade school’s placement office.
  • List your position with your local employment offices or job bank.
  • Use temporary labor outfits as a way of seeing whether an employee is right for you by using them on the job.

Social Advertising

Our Dealers have been experiencing good results from social media advertising. Media such as Facebook, Instagram and other online outlets provide our Dealers with the ability to target homeowners in their area that have expressed interest in home improvement. In some instances, the social media outlet now has a filter for people who are specifically looking for decorative concrete.

Creating an ad can be as simple as uploading a few pictures of the work the Dealer has done and then creating a carousel of revolving pictures that will then show up in these potential customer’s timelines.

Social media’s ability to not only target these ideal customers but to also allow the Dealer to set a specific budget each month (or in some instances specific days), makes it a flexible and effective way to get the word out.

Creating Evangelists

I’ve been working with Dealers since 1993; one of the things I’ve seen in common amongst the most successful businesses is their ability to generate positive word of mouth. Referrals propel a Dealership into another level of both growth and profitability. The question I’ve discussed with Dealers on numerous occasions is, “how do I generate positive word of mouth?” Over the years, here are some of the key takeaways I’ve heard.

Doing great work generates positive word of mouth but isn’t strictly a function of the work you do. Setting realistic expectations with the customer is a part of this equation that is often forgotten. Customers will sometimes have notions about a product that simply aren’t true, it’s the responsibility of the Dealer to educate the customer and insure they know what to expect from the products. Questions as simple as “do I need to clean it once it’s installed?” come up often and need to be answered in a way where the customer’s long lasting enjoyment of the product is enhanced.

People will talk positively about your business when they’re treated and communicated with respectfully. As business owners, Dealers have a busy day. Appointments with customers can sometimes sneak up on a schedule and cause a time management plan to go awry. A simple call letting the customer know you’re running late is the most respectful way of handling this situation and the one that will lead to long lasting satisfaction from the customer. The same thing can be said when you schedule the project or any other appointments set during the transaction.

Every time your business interacts with a customer, it’s a chance to build a relationship. How a phone is answered by using “Good afternoon, CTi, can I help you?” vs. “Hello” can go a long way towards a customer feeling good about sharing a Dealer’s information with one of their neighbors. The same is true in each interaction your business has with a customer.

Getting a customer to not only share your information with people who ask but start to spread the word of your business is the goal, creating evangelists will propel your business to new levels.

Coverages

Below are excerpts from an article written in September 15, 2020 issue of Concrete Decor magazine by Chris Sullivan:

Ever wonder where 21 square feet per bag or 300 square feet per gallon comes from? Coverage or application spread rates aren’t just a made-up number or educated guess. Determining coverage rates is always based on a mathematical constant known as the Theoretical Coverage Rate of a Coating. This in conjunction with surface conditions is how the rates are calculated.

According to www.powerwraplp.com, “The theoretical spreading rate or coverage of a coating is a function of the volume solids. The volume solids is the percentage of the coating consisting of binder and pigments which remain on the substrate, forming the final film after the volatile

Using this constant and the solids percentage of the product allows us to calculate the coverage rate of any material when applied to a smooth nonporous surface.components or solvents evaporate.”

A less technical explanation translates into how much of the actual solids of the applied product will remain and how far it will go once the volatile liquid portion evaporates. The mathematical part is based on the constant that 1 gallon of any 100% solids material will cover 1,604 square feet when applied at a dry thickness of 1 mil (1/1000th inch).

Example:

One U.S. gallon of sealer with 25% solids by volume will cover 267 square feet at a dry film thickness of 1.5 mil.

1,604 sq. ft. / 1.5 mil thick      X      0.25 solids      =      267 square feet

Most manufacturers will provide coverage ranges to take into consideration variations in surface smoothness and porosity. The smoother a surface the greater the coverage rate will be. The more porous a surface the lower the coverage rate will be. Understanding how coverage rates are established lets us better understand common decorative materials’ rate of application.

Cement-based overlays

Decorative overlays are treated like a 100% solids coating when it comes to coverage rate. In the case of microtoppings, the application is thin, with most ranging from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch.

Coverage ranges from 200 to 400 square feet per 50-pound bag. The variation in coverage comes from the final thickness. It is usually determined by the top size aggregate (sand) in the mix.

Single-component acrylic sealers usually top out at 30% solids.  These are applied between 1 to 3 mils thick. Therefore, after working the math, you end up with 481 to 160 square feet depending on thickness.

Looking at a high-performance coating, like a 100% solids epoxy applied 5 mils thick, the theoretical coverage rate is 320 square feet. This is right between the 250 and 350 square feet most manufacturers state in their tech data sheets.

The big variable in all these applications is the surface profile and porosity. As stated earlier, the theoretical values are based on a smooth surface. Any roughness of the surface negatively impacts coverage rate.

Inside or Out

As the weather turns cooler, homeowners begin to look for ways to make the inside of their homes cozier and more attractive. CTi offers a number of looks for areas inside the home that are durable, easy to clean and beautiful. Compared to industry standard products, many times the CTi alternative can save the homeowner money as well.

Here is an example of our Acrylistain finish. Perfect for a warm, cozy feel to any room.

A Different Choice

You’ve created a look for your home that is uniquely yours. One of the advantages of using a CTi Dealer is their ability to provide a look that is perfect for your home’s personality.

Below is our Designer Series application, perfect for homes that require a clean, modern look for areas such as patios, pool decks or walkways. CTi offers Dye Packs for its sealers that come in 14 colors to match any look needed.

Introducing Aqua Shield 365

CTi introduces an exciting new product to it’s sealer line.

The Aqua Shield 365 is perfect for environments where you need:
* Low Odor (Aqua Shield 365 is the lowest odor sealer in our line)
* High Strength
* Chemical Resistance
* Waterborne (can be used in any state regardless of VOC requirements)

Available in Regular or Matte finish
Available in Clear or it can be pigmented.

The Aqua Shield 365 can be pigmented using a dye pack in six standard colors to make it perfect for environments where you need a tough, chemical resistant, one color floor.