Builders: go where your competitors don’t

When looking for an architect or builder to build a new home or renovate, women and men start by asking their peers or friends for recommendations so – as we know, word of mouth is a key source of leads. 

When they are given some names, they do extensive online research to see who they might like to work with and then narrow down their choices and go about setting up meetings to get their quotes.  How credible does your business look online? 

Imagine if you got in front of these prospects before they did their extensive online research?  Women are usually the key decision maker when it comes to decisions around design in most households.  This is confirmed via research that is continually being undertaken by businesses like Colorbond (Bluescope Steel) – a previous client of mine.

In all the years I’ve been going to women’s networking groups like Business Chicks, She Business, Women in Heels, Inner West Women’s Business to name a few – events attended by women with above average household incomes – I have never met an architect or a builder or seen any do a pitch of any kind in these forums. 

There could be two reasons for this:

  1. Small to mid tier builders are usually run by men and the men are doing the business development.  SO they don’t attend women’s forums where in most cases men are welcome – if not encouraged.
  2. Builders think because they don’t have women ‘sales’ people there’s no point attending an event that is filled with their prospects.

If the male sale person – or male business owner – is not comfortable attending women’s forums or thinks they won’t be welcome – have they thought about the women in their office? 

In a stereotypical office – the one who deals with their customers, suppliers, partners each and every day and who probably knows the business inside out – is usually a woman.   She is also usually managing what the business shares in social media.  She is the perfect person to build trust and talk to prospective female clients at women’s forums and develop a pipeline of leads. 

If this key female staff member hasn’t worked in this kind of face to face business development capacity before – there are great training programs out there to develop skills and confidence.  (See Smarter Selling for example)

And if the business has a solid foundation of marketing strategy they are set up to sell.  By a solid foundation, we mean:

  1. The positioning, the brand strategy, for the business is done.  You’ve done indepth competitor and market analysis to see how you can position yourself with a clear difference to your ideal client. You can showcase the human side of your brand.
  2. You’ve identified everything about your ideal client – your buyer persona/ideal client – that helps you attract them.  Not just the basic demographics – how they think, feel, act.  What they read, how they research and where they read it.  What are they doing and sharing in social media?  See the template we use to build out this detailed picture. 
  3. The key messages that communicate the unique value proposition for competitive differentiation are done and tested against the ideal client.  The messages resonate with them and use the same language this prospect uses. 
  4. The business is clearly communicating the benefits of working with them – the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).  And the WWIBFY (Why Would I Buy From You)
  5. This language and copy points are woven through the website, the marketing materials, the sales documents, the tender documents.  You’ve made it easy for them to decide why to buy from you.  Remember that a Tender Document is a high value, sales pitch.
  6. Everyone in the business is ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’.  They have their elevator pitch and they know it back to front and how to tailor it to who they are speaking with. 

With these six things in place, potentially anyone in the business can communicate effectively with your prospects and develop a consistent pipeline of leads.    

A business that seeks growth is always seeking competitive advantage.   Here are two key ways to do this.

  1. Have your unique selling proposition, your key messages, your elevator pitch ready to go – wherever you go.  Make it easy for prospects to understand how they will benefit from choosing you over your competitors.
  2. Consider another business development opportunity and go where your competitors don’t tend to go – like women’s networking events.

For more tips on how builders can get in front of prospects earlier in the buyer journey and communicate a clearly differentiated value proposition, contact us today.