You've finished that job, with your company's lawn sign up so that everyone in the neighborhood knows who did the work. Your customer was happy with the job and is prepared to say so should anyone inquire. Now you move to follow up on that job with what we call proximo marketing.

Here's How Proximo, or proximity, marketing involves contacting homeowners in the neighborhood where you have just completed work. The best way to do it?

For siding, roofing, gutters/gutter protection, windows, and cabinet facing, as well as sunrooms, decks, patios, and pools, we recommend a marketing method called “hang 'em.” This is a door hanger that briefly describes the product(s) being installed on a neighbor's house. It requests phone, e-mail, or fax responses. In this format you extend the range to a larger number of neighbors, perhaps an entire development. “Hang 'em” is phase one, which can be followed by direct mail, direct solicitation, or both.

Perseverance Pays The next step (beyond direct mail) would be personal contact. Here the salesperson or a canvasser makes a house call to get a specific appointment. If your salespeople seem loath to take on this task, hire canvassers (visit our Web site for free information on canvassing programs).

Don't give up after the first pass through this neighborhood. Thirty days later repeat the process with another “hang 'em” and a direct mail postcard a few days later.

In the case of those who attended your open house — and assuming you have their phone and fax numbers or e-mail address together with permission to call — you're now in a position to glean additional prospects. If your sales presentation to all prospects and a follow-up includes solicitation for referrals, you will find that proximo marketing pays off with low-cost leads. —Dave Yoho ( or is president of the oldest and largest consulting group serving the home improvement industry. His company presents seminars on “How To Run A More Profitable Business” and “Super Sales Seminars” for management and salespeople. You can reach him at his office at 703.591.2490.