Local Expert Status
I have been looking forward to this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report because we’re covering something that is a lot of fun – how to grow the awareness and brand of your company by doing things to establish yourself as your area’s expert! First, though, I have three important things to mention.
- We’re cleaning house and you can benefit! We were looking around our warehouses recently and realized that we have some great products that have been sitting around for awhile, so we’re willing to let them go at a fraction of standard price – to open up some much-needed space here while finding these things a good home where they will be put to use. So, through our ARS Metal Supply division, we have started a new “Outlet” website. This new site lists a variety of things such as bulk painted aluminum, painted steel, and copper coil, obsolete and “left-over” roofing, some “seconds”, house wrap, and underlayment. Please visit our new ARS Outlet site and browse to your heart’s content. If you find something that might work for you, complete the online form or give us a call so we can give you the details! The website is continually updated to check back frequently!
- On Thursday, August 9, we’re holding another conference call at 11:00 a.m. Eastern featuring Frank Farmer, president of American Metal Roofs and Metal Roofing Consultants. Frank has built a highly successful multi-million dollar business installing high end residential metal roofing. In this call, he will discuss the keys to success and the opportunities that abound in this high-growth industry. To be a part of the call, dial in to 857-232-0476 at 11 a.m. Eastern and then enter the password 332616. If there is a particular topic you’d like addresses on this call, drop me a note and I will be sure to ask Frank to comment on it!
- Next, our Mid-Year Training Event is scheduled for August 13-15 here in Piqua, Ohio. Free online registration is available. We’re limited to 120 participants so please register soon. Whether you currently are involved in the high-growth field of residential metal roofing or just thinking about it, this is your opportunity to learn all about the in-home sales process. You will go home with an immediate plan to enhance your company’s marketing and sales efforts.
Now, on with our series regarding “What Does It Take To Be Successful?” Throughout 2018, we are taking a look at core attributes of successful home improvement contractors. In previous issues, we have looked at Business Systemization, Professionalism, Commitment, Knowing Your Numbers, Marketing and Lead Generation, Referral Maximization, and Leadership. In this issue, we will look at how to establish your reputation as an expert.
Leading contractors use their website and social media as well as public relations opportunities to establish themselves as their area’s expert. Depending upon the total scope of their business, this may be as an expert in metal roofing, replacement windows, room enclosures, design-build remodeling – you name it. The more specific you are, the easier it is to establish your expertise and the more targeted your potential customers will be. For the rest of this article, we will use residential metal roofing as our example area of expertise.
Establishing yourself as a trusted and reliable expert is critical as, when homeowners invest in a quality metal roof, they are going to quickly determine that they need someone who can give them good information and advice. Fact is, every homeowner seems to have their pre-existing “roofing guy” to whom they intend to turn when they need a new roof. In order to break through that pre-conceived notion, you must use your messaging to establish the fact that, for metal roofing, they need an expert, not just a “roofing guy” and, furthermore, that you are the only expert in your area. If you do not gain this level of need as well as personal recognition and status, then homeowners, rather than seek you out, will just go to their “roofing guy” and do whatever that person recommends. And, of course, chances are that person’s recommendation is not going to be that they buy from you!
Here are some specific things to do as you work to establish yourself as an expert:
- In your company’s messaging, stress the fact that getting what they are paying for with a metal roof – a lifetime of worry-free durability, energy efficiency, and added home value – is not something to be left to someone who is inexperienced or without credentials.
- Take advantage of any and all training that is available through associations, manufacturers and suppliers, and local organizations. Build your resume – your Curriculum Vitae – to include all of those things, and make that information available to prospects on your website and elsewhere.
- Join local business leadership and service groups such as Rotary International and Kiwanis. These are great “fraternities” for business referrals and recognition.
- Join trade associations and take advantage of any credentialing programs they may have. Show up at meetings and conventions!
- Provide your own face and voice as much as possible in your marketing campaigns – on your website, in your advertisements, in your radio and television spots – every company needs a “face” and your company’s face needs to be yours!
- Establish local media ties. See if you can write a “home remodeling expert” column for the newspaper or perhaps even host a Saturday morning “home tips” radio program. While you will need to go a little broader in scope than just metal roofing for opportunities like these, you can then clearly zero in on metal roofing in your articles and shows.
- Create videos of yourself discussing very specific questions and topics – things that your customers ask you about. Create your own Youtube channel to host these videos but also use them on your website and supply links to them in your emails, e-newsletters, etc.
- Use your own company website to personally blog on a regular basis. Do all you can to deliver educational content to your prospects and your customers.
- Make sure that your in-home presentation includes a discussion of your experience and expertise. Even if that particular person may not buy from you, you can establish a relationship with them that makes them recognize you as an expert so they will later refer others to you.
- Provide prospects with your Personal Commitment of exactly what they can expect from doing business with an expert such as yourself.
- Create your own personal brand, always tied to your corporate brand, through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Consider your own personal website as well, which can help you gain SEO in your local market.
- Seek testimonials from past customers and endorsements from colleagues, and post those wherever possible.
By following these tips, you will find that, when a homeowner even thinks about a metal roof in your area, they will know that they need to contact you. As always, thank you for being a loyal reader of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. Please feel free to contact me anytime to talk about what’s working well in your business, and also those areas where you may feel that improvement is necessary.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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