Getting a home builder to upgrade can be very challenging. They have to be competitive within their price range with a set of standard features, such as granite counter tops. They don’t have room to add costs or increase the price of their houses unless they see a big benefit.
Here are seven ways to upgrade home builders to your better and best products.
1. Differentiation. Help small builders differentiate themselves with your products that will help his homes stand out from the competition. Builders are very interested in differentiating themselves. With a larger builder, call on the sales and marketing department with your differentiation story.
2. Local outreach. Pick a leading builder in a city or geographic area. Show him the benefits of your product. Offer to place some local advertising for him that tells potential homebuyers how he builds a better home with your product. Other builders will quickly notice this advertising and will usually start buying your product to avoid being left behind.
3. Pull through. In an age where everyone is rushing to go online, sometimes a simple old-school solution like classified newspaper advertising can work better. Many homebuyers still check the classified section of the newspaper to find a home. Small space ads in this section promoting your product will cause homebuyers to ask builders about your product.
4. Visualization. If you sell a product that the consumer can’t see, you need to bring it to life with sales center displays and sales training. Help the builder use these hidden details to show buyers why he builds a better home than his competition.
5. Upgrade. If the builder won’t make your better product part of his standard offering, have him list it as an upgrade as part of the buyer selection process. To do this effectively you need to train his sales people and have some sales tools for the sales person to use.
6. Parade of Homes. Builders pull out all stops for a home that will be in the Parade of Homes. This is a great time to get your product used and seen by an audience of consumers who are very interested in the latest and best home features.
7. Audience. Don’t forget the construction supervisor. If you have an upgraded product that offers a lower installed cost, faster installation or fewer call backs, take your story to the construction supervisor. Don’t forget to get the installer on board with your product or he may prevent a successful sale.
There are many ways to upgrade a builder. Work as a partner with builders to find the winning solution.
A final piece of advice is stay away from the largest builders with your upgrade story. You will have much more success with smaller builders who are more likely to listen to you. It’s also easier for a smaller builder to make a change or to try something new. If you’re successful with the smaller builder, the larger builders will follow.