Entrepreneurial Marketing-Part II
Let’s continue our discussion on Entrepreneurial Marketing. The first step was to define an entrepreneur, then to define marketing.
An Entrepreneur is a risk taker, willing to try new things, always hunting for business and welcomes failure. Marketing is simply all activities to get goods and services from your company into the hands of customers.
You need to start treating our communities as if you were the owner. You need to adapt the mindset of a small business owner who hustles to bring in customers. I know some of you are shaking your head and saying, “But Melinda, what does this have to do with me? We have a marketing department!” WE all need to take personal responsibility to drive traffic in these challenging times and make this our new game plan for the future.
A successful Marketing Plan consists of 4 parts:
- Marketing to Prospects (intense, creative, quirky follow up)
- Marketing to Homeowners (community events, referral requests)
- Marketing to Realtors (identifying the top 10, Stay Top of Mind)
- Marketing to the Community at large.
Let’s discuss one of these areas…Marketing to Homeowners.
Many salespeople forget about their customers after the sale and are busy working with the next buyer walking into the model center. BIG MISTAKE! Homeowners drive referrals and instead of begging for referrals at the closing table, we should be in touch with our homeowners on an ongoing basis so the referrals occur naturally.
Typically, once our homeowners move in, they go on a few walk throughs and maybe speak to someone in the warranty department. Their connection with the sales person ends. I say this is where your connection continues.
The move in day should be treated like a major event. One builder we know in Tampa, Florida puts out a red carpet in addition to a welcome sign in front of the home the day of move in. You need to remember what a big day this is for the homeowner and if they are a first time owner, how very scary it is as well. Another suggestion is to host a “move in” party within the first 2 weeks of move in. Tell the homeowners you will host a party for them and up to 10 friends. You will supply the food and drinks. Now, you have an opportunity to shine in front of 10 potential new prospects as well as earning points with tired worn out homeowners who just moved into your community. Another suggestion is to develop a 3 year Customer Appreciation Plan where the homeowners continue to hear from you. The first year, make it quarterly. The 2nd year, contact them 3 times. The 3rd year, contact them at least once. The contacts can be a combination of emails, newsletters, phone call, small inexpensive gifts to drop off.,etc. The plan is constant contact so when they are talking to their friends who have NOT had this constant contact by their builder, you will be building your good name and earning referrals naturally.
When I have a problem with my toilet, I call my plumber. He comes on time, fixes things the first time correctly and charges me fairly for his time. He doesn’t stop and say “Can you give me 5 of your friends’ names that I can contact?”. I give him referrals naturally because of the awesome job he does. He keeps his name Top Of Mind by his yearly calendars he drops off.
We will receive more referrals if we simply stop asking and be referral worthy instead!
Melinda Brody, MIRM has been inspiring and evaluating salespeople for almost two decades. She offers sales seminars, keynotes and video mystery shopping services for builders across North America.