The most common complaint I hear from builders, architects, dealers and contractors is that building materials companies and their sales reps don’t understand them, and those customers will give high marks to any building materials company that does have that knowledge
What really frustrates builders, architects and contractors is how little building materials companies understand them and their business.
Your customers need and want to meet with your sales reps. They look for your sales reps to keep them informed. They depend on their calls to stay up to date about your products and how they can help them be more successful.
Nowadays, when there are fewer long-term relationships, builders, architects, dealers and contractors tell me that 50% of the sales rep meetings they have are a waste of their time. They’re a waste of their time because the sales person doesn’t actually understand how the customer’s business works and how it’s changing. And how fast their business is changing.
When your sales people don’t have this knowledge, they can’t show your customers how your product or company can help them. The sales call, then, simply becomes a product transaction where price is the most important part of the conversation.
Even sales people with years of experience have trouble keeping up with how much the customer is changing.
The same goes for building materials marketing people. The websites, trade shows, ads and other marketing materials they create and set up are frequently neither meaningful nor relevant to your customers.
These out-of-touch marketing materials—which are frequently more about you than the customer—make your expensive marketing programs a lot less effective than they should be.
Builders, architects, dealers and contractors are most loyal to knowledgeable companies and they are less likely to switch just because they find a lower price. Informed sales and marketing campaigns also make them more likely to buy from you, since they will be more relevant to their needs and problems.
Here are the four keys to providing a more effective and less frustrating customer experience.
- Take some time to learn more about your customer, both as a group and as an individual. The more you know about your customer’s business, the more successful your sales and marketing will be.
- Approach your customers with the right message: a message that communicates why they should want to buy from you, a message that makes price less important. An effective message will be focused on how buying from you will improve the customer’s life.
- Reach your customers using the right media or methods, whether online, trade shows, print or in other ways. Don’t assume you know how your customers want to find you and learn more about you; do your own research.
- Set yourself apart as the expert in your product category. Become your customer’s go-to source of knowledge. Whether they buy from you or not, they should look to you for the answers to their questions.
Most building materials companies are blind to how much they frustrate their customers. Companies who simply make an effort to better understand their customers are at a real advantage.
If you’re interested in giving your company an advantage by better understanding your customers, contact me, I can help!
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