The first step in successful marketing is to establish your company in the mind of the public you intend to serve. Your company image lays the foundation for your future success.
You are selling a product that represents the largest purchase most of your clients will ever make. It is a product that defines your client's self-esteem, economic status, investment acumen, children's future, physical comforts, social circle.
It is a lot to ask that the client places sufficient faith in you as she makes this buying decision. To reach this point in the relationship, you must demonstrate that you have the capacity, confidence and competence to provide what the client desires when she commits to buy a house.
Everything you present -- from your personal appearance to the way you speak, from your vehicle to the appearance of your jobsite, from your business card to the way you answer the phone -- adds to or subtracts from your image.
The potential client is always filing each input on the credit or debit side of your ledger in her mind.
Ultimately, when the decision is made, it is made on the basis of this subliminal ledger. Below, you will find discussions regarding how to make sure there is always a credit balance on your ledger.
It is critical to formulate and understand the size of the opportunity your market offers. If you live in a small resort town that has an average build of three houses a year and there are five builders competing for the business, you have a very difficult market.
If you live in a city of 200,000 and the average build is 1,800 homes, you can probably identify a niche that will provide you with the opportunity to succeed.
Perform a "no B.S." analysis of your market and identify where your business best fits. Then build your marketing around that analysis.
Click on the hardhat for more in-depth suggestions regarding the Market Opportunity Analysis.
To make an intelligent decision regarding how to present your construction business, it helps to become informed regarding your market. Fortunately, the initial information is not that difficult to ascertain.
Every city or regional building authority makes available the information it collects. Reviewing this information in the context of successive period (months, quarters, years) can provide very useful information regarding the state of the construction industry in your area.
Scan the phone book to identify the other builders with whom you compete. Make note of which segment in the homebuilding arena they are targeting with the copy in their ads.
Clip any newspaper ads; make note of any radio campaigns; drive by open houses to get a feel of traffic.
Build a dossier on the builders competing in the area you intend to address. What are their strengths, what are their weaknesses. You are going to be doing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis later. Start gathering the information now.
What amenities are being added to or used in houses built by competitors? What are the national homebuilder organizations writing about? What are the local construction-related businesses (lumber yards, paint stores, appliance retailers, etc) showing in their showrooms?
All of this information is important in your decision-making process. Learn as much as you can about your area and your prospective clients, and you will make better business decisions.
See the discussions on market intelligence for hints on putting together this important research.
Once you are on the way to developing an image that represents all that is best about your company and you gathered and analyze the business intelligence available, you are ready to address the positioning of your sales efforts.
Your goal here is to position yourself as offering something unique that your potential client needs, wants or is going to want. Your research, if conducted properly, will expose gaps in the sales efforts of the other builders. As you position your business, you will take advantage of those gaps to be able to proclaim, truthfully, that you are providing something that the other builders are ignoring or are not taking the effort to provide.
Your goal is to be Number One at some niche of the market.
The sooner you can make that happen, the more successful you will be.
Other topics in this section will discuss how to approach your chosen client segment, branding your company, keeping track of prospect and competitor information, converting leads to sales, and many more suggestions relating to presenting your company as an alternative to all the other builders.
Select one of the following topics to begin thinking about your marketing efforts.