This episode of the Smarter Building Materials Marketing was recorded live from the Building Products Customer Workshop in Denver, where a panel of building professionals — contractors, remodelers, and installers — shared their candid insights and answered burning questions posed by Zach, Beth, The Farnsworth Group and several building product companies in attendance.
Meet The Panelists:
Jon Drew, Refined Exteriors
Erik O’Connell, Own 2 Hands
James Zarecki, James Builder, Inc.
Zach Martin, ZNS Contracting
Jeremy Johnson, Built With Pride
The Power of Satisfied Customers
One of the recurring themes highlighted by the pros on the panel was the significance of satisfied customers in driving business growth. They emphasized the importance of ensuring customers understand the work done and why certain products were chosen. By providing detailed explanations throughout the process, customers become well-informed advocates who can effortlessly sell your products or services through word-of-mouth referrals.
I think an important thing for me is just knowing that our manufacturer kind of has our back if something comes up. So when an issue comes up, just knowing they're going to answer that phone call and take care of something. It's usually relatively minor issues, but just having that confidence even is helpful when you're selling to a homeowner." - Jon Drew
Building a Good Reputation
Building a strong, long-term reputation was another essential aspect discussed by the panelists. They highlighted the value of being introduced to new products by brands or representatives they already trust. Time constraints often limit their ability to thoroughly research every new product on the market, making familiarity and trust crucial factors in capturing their attention.
Challenges and Lessons Learned
The panelists shared their experiences of trying new products, some of which were hit or miss. While a few were disliked, others provided valuable lessons. One panelist even mentioned providing a specific customer with a product at cost for a test run, enabling them to determine its pros and cons through extensive use. The consensus among the panelists was that discounts or free offers would encourage earlier adoption of new products.
Hiring and Retaining the Right Talent
The struggles of hiring and retaining skilled and courteous employees were extensively discussed. The panelists emphasized the importance of professionalism when working in people's homes. Building trust with customers and using word-of-mouth recommendations to find reliable contractors and subcontractors were considered more effective than online advertising.
Customer Assurance and Cost Considerations
The panelists stressed the significance of conveying to customers that their projects would be fully covered. They emphasized providing excellent installation and using high-quality products, backed by comprehensive warranties. While cost reductions were deemed relevant, long-term objectives and the delivery of excellent outcomes held greater importance.
Leveraging Incentives and Relationships
Incentives, such as rebates, discounts, and rewards, were acknowledged as powerful motivators in building business relationships. The panelists highlighted the importance of cost savings and benefits while maintaining strong customer relationships. They emphasized the need to align with customers by promoting products they genuinely believed in.
Being Reluctant To Try New Products
The panelists generally expressed caution and skepticism when it comes to incorporating new products. They highlighted the learning curve and potential problems associated with new offerings that could incur additional costs. Unless a new product significantly outperforms their current solution, they prefer to focus on marketing, selling, and improving their existing products.
I'm not really in the market to find new products unless there's a problem I don't have a solution for [...] Because with new products and services, there's always a learning curve, right? And with that learning curve, there's generally problems that you have to overcome and with problems there's generally cost." - Zack Martin
What Even More Insight?
One key additional takeaway that emerged from our discussion is the importance of engaging in meaningful conversations with your customers to enhance your marketing and sales efforts.
By taking the time to truly understand your customers' needs, you can tailor your marketing messages and strategies to resonate with them on a deeper level. Satisfied customers who fully understand the benefits of your product or service can become powerful advocates, promoting your brand through word-of-mouth referrals - a highly effective form of marketing that money can't buy.
Furthermore, when your customers have a clear understanding of the value your product or service offers, they can confidently answer questions and address concerns from potential customers. This not only helps to build trust and credibility, but it also relieves some of the burden on your sales team by having your customers serve as ambassadors for your brand.
In addition to understanding your customers, it's crucial to prioritize building long-term relationships over short-term gains. Taking the time to educate your customers and provide them with the necessary knowledge and resources allows them to make informed decisions and positions you as a trusted advisor in their eyes. This approach not only leads to more successful sales but also contributes to a positive reputation for your brand.
While it's important to be proactive in reaching out to customers, it's equally important to listen actively to their feedback. This helps you identify pain points and areas for improvement, allowing you to refine your products and services to better meet their needs. By consistently seeking feedback, you can continuously evolve and remain ahead of the competition.
Thank you for tuning in to the Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast. If you have any questions about this episode or the topic discussed, feel free to email us at [email protected].
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More About The Show
The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insights on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.