Over the past year, we've been aware of some contractors who have taken advantage of lead-safe certification and done a great job of promoting their status. Others have not been as skillful at maximizing the opportunity.
As with any sales opportunity, it is helpful to have a variety of materials to illustrate your skill and differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are a few suggestions and resources:
Using the EPA's "Lead-Safe Certified Firm" logo
If you are a Certified Firm, you can download the Lead-Safe Certified logo from https://www.rrpfirmlogos.org/. Your username is the application ID number found on your certification letter from the EPA. Your password is contained in an email sent to you by the EPA after certification. If you no longer have your password, you can obtain it by sending email to EPARRPFirmLogo@battelle.org or by calling 1-800-424-LEAD.
You can use this logo in any promotional materials that provide exposure for your business … on all your printed sales materials, letterhead, on your website, and on your business cards.
Organizing a Sell Book
Put together a customer sell book for potential lead-safe jobs. Gather third party articles and materials that discuss the necessity of using lead-safe certified contractors.
One of these documents is the EPA "Consumer Fact Sheet' that can be downloaded at
http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/lscp-consumers.htm. This sheet can be reproduced and left with the customer, however there are some other resources that emphasize more strongly the importance of doing a renovation job the right way.
When you provide a quote for a residence, consider showing the parents materials written for them. On the Lead Free Kids.org website there are resources packaged as a Parent Tool Kit, including several brochures you can download and include in the sell book.
Additionally, there are toolkits specific to different audiences: Pregnant Women, Educator or Child Care Givers, D-I-Yers, property managers, landlord and medical professionals. Run off these materials and add them to your Sell Book for a fast reference to third party confirmation regarding the importance of using lead-safe certified contractors.
Third Party Articles
Take a look through our archive of Industry News for third party articles discussing the need to be lead-safe and hire certified contractors. One such article is "Consumer Outreach: Need to Hire Lead-Safe Contractors" Include these articles in your sell book, so you can showcase a number of third-party articles to support the need to hire certified contractors.
Phone Waiting Messages/Ads
If your phone system has a recorded "hold," you can download radio PSAs about the hazards of lead paint and the need to use certified contractors. These PSAs can be downloaded at http://www.leadfreekids.org/materials.html. In addition to recorded PSAs, you can also download print ads and TV PSAs.
Make sure your website contains the key words of "lead-paint certified renovation" on your home page and in your meta-description and meta-keywords. Check with your webmaster to make sure you are maximizing this medium.
A Parting Gift for your Customers
Finally, as you leave your estimate for pre-1978 work and have explained the items in your Sell Book, you can leave your customers a small sugar packet. Explain to your customers that just one small sugar packet of lead dust is enough to poison a child. That statistical fact is from the EPA and has been widely circulated.
Encourage them to contact a realtor and ask about the impact that lead paint will have on the resale of their home …especially if it is not done properly. Better yet, contact a realtor in your area and ask them to provide you with documentation and educational materials about forms needed for resale.
Let Your Fingers Do the Research
Finally, do your own research on the internet and take a look at what some other contractors are doing to promote their lead-safe certification. There are some good ideas out there in cyberspace.