Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
Four lessons learned at the ‘Master Your Remodeling Business’ workshopJune 15th, 2016 by
Remodelers Advantage is an organization dedicated to helping remodeling companies learn, network with peers, and grow their businesses. Recently they invited over 60 remodelers and industry partners to Baltimore, MD to participate in the Master Your Remodeling Business Workshop. I attended along with my co-worker, Nathan, and we had the unique opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best remodelers and thought leaders in the industry. Below is a photo of Nathan with Victoria Downing, President of Remodelers Advantage, and Steve Ray, President of Ray Building Company from the event.
The workshop included presentations and roundtable sessions where remodelers shared the ups and downs of running successful, quality businesses. A few themes surfaced throughout the week:
Many of the attendees agreed that it’s important to hold yourself and your team accountable in order to be successful. Taking ownership of issues as they arise instead of passing the blame or fumbling at excuses will always yield fast and positive results for a company. This starts with the owner, but should resonate throughout the entire company.
One of the interesting points discussed around this topic was that some companies have a “culture of victimology.” This is when employees and team members will try to dance around problems instead of facing them head on and claiming their role in the issue. Excessive pride and ego have no place in a successful business, and while this sounds harsh, it resounded with many of the business owners.
To avoid creating a culture of victimology, empower your employees to make decisions and correct customer issues right away. If a mistake or problem does arise, use it as an opportunity for learning and improvement. Employees who are afraid of making mistakes or afraid of conflict tend to adopt that “victim” mindset, so it’s important to create an environment where employees feel safe and supported.
Command your brand
Whether it is in the way you market yourself online, the sales materials you give to clients, or how your team interacts with each other and clients on the job, everything you do should support your brand and the perception you want to portray. Here are a few ways some of the attendees managed their brands.
You’ve heard the saying “content is king” with regards to online content, but that’s only the case if it’s meaningful, relevant content. Blogging is a great way to create and share content because it establishes your brand as a subject matter expert and it’s great for SEO. That being said, it’s important to keep that second part in mind – meaningful, relevant content. Don’t just write to write – write what you know and write to inform, not just to sell.
Your website is quickly becoming the first touch point many of your prospects will have with your company, so it’s important to make sure what they find is a good representation of your brand. Aside from functionality and ease to access relevant information, the copy you use on your site is incredibly important. You want to make sure it’s less about “me, me, me” and more about YOU (the customer).
You want to make sure all of your printed marketing pieces also represent your brand and are consistent with the look and feel of your online presence. One great idea that was shared during the workshop was to give brooms to neighbors that live next to the job site with a note saying, “sorry for the dust.” This extra touch not only shows that you care, but is also a great way to earn more business!
Want to enhance your marketing even further? Check out this post: 5 ways to use customer feedback in your marketing
Listen, don’t just sell
One of the speakers at the workshop delivered a talk on the importance of asking questions and actually listening during the sales process instead of being solely focused on the sale. The recommendation is for your team to take a more consultative approach instead of “sell, Sell, SELL.”
He shared one way to use a consultative approach in a sales meeting. During the meeting, the prospect may mention that price is a factor in their decision, and that they’d like to shop around. Instead of coming back at them in a defensive or salesy manner, why not say, “This is a big investment and I expect you to do your homework. I only ask that if you find another proposal that claims to give you exactly what you ask for at a lower price that you give me a call so I can ensure you’re getting what you actually want. Is that fair?”
This does two things: (1) it shows the prospect that you have their best interests in mind, whether that’s working with you or not and (2) it shows that you have confidence in your company, your process, and your offering.
Know your numbers
When it comes to running a successful, profitable business, everyone we spoke with agreed that accounting and ensuring your numbers are right is essential. In doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of your business and can make more informed decisions, like: where to spend marketing dollars; which types of jobs are most profitable; etc. If your numbers are accurate and updated, you can answer those questions with confidence.
“You can’t drive when the wind shield is foggy and you can’t run a successful business without wiping away the clutter in the books.”
Remodelers Advantage has been a valued GuildQuality partner for many years, and we always come back from their events feeling informed and inspired.