Blog for Building Materials Companies

The Need to be a Multi-lingual Building Material Marketer

  |  Posted in Marketing, Tips

The Need to be a Multi-lingual Building Material Marketer

To be an effective building material marketer, you need to be multi-lingual. I don’t mean you have to go out and buy a Rosetta Stone course to learn Mandarin. What I mean is you have to be able to speak the language of your customers.

The native language most building material marketers speak is Corporateez.

This language is full of words like Core Competency, Synergy, Empower, Alignment, Paradigm and more. Not only is this language meaningless to your customers, it is insulting. People who speak in this language are talking down to their customers with their noses stuck up in the air.

Building material customers speak in plain, easy to understand languages like:

“How much does it cost?”

“How do you install it?”

“Who else has used it?”

“Where do I buy it?”

“Why should I change from what I use today?”

Your customers aren’t interested in being empowered to expand their core competency by breaking paradigms through alignment with new partners for a win-win solution. They’re interested in learning why they should use your product.

There are several dialects of the language used by building material customers. These dialects are based on their primary motivations. If you understand the primary motivation of each customer, it is much more likely that you will be understood.

Here are the different residential and commercial building material audiences you may encounter and the primary motivation that controls their dialect:

Building OwnerThe Performance of your product or system.

Architect – Their reputation as it relates to the aesthetic or function of the structures they design. And maybe more importantly, how a problem in one of their designs can negatively affect their reputation.

General Contractor – Is primarily motivated by the time value of money. You should speak to them in this language as it relates to your building products.

Contractors – Are focused on labor costs, which is where they make or lose their profit margin. Because of this, they are resistant to any change that might threaten their profit margin during the transition.

Distributors – Profit margins is the language they use. They don’t create demand or grow sales. They warehouse and deliver, so profit margin is what they speak.

HomebuyersLifestyle is the most important word in the language of the new homebuyer. You hear words like “location” and “resale,” but the main word is “lifestyle.”

HomeownersDurability is the big word in the language of home improvement and repair. Even when homeowners talk about aesthetics, they don’t want something that will go out of style quickly. If they are replacing a roof, the most important thing to them is that they won’t have to do it again.

Being able to speak multi-lingually in building materials will make your sales and marketing efforts much more effective. And since many of your competitors only speak Corporateez, you can have a distinct advantage over them.

The best way to learn a language is to visit that country. So, get out of your office and take a trip. Spend time with your customers; learn their customs and their language.

This was originally a guest blog for the Optimization Group

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.