Preparing For Life After COVID-19: Part 2
I hope this finds you well, safe, and productive. The word gets used non-stop lately but these are “unprecedented” times. But, out of unprecedented times, those who are resilient, determined, and tenacious always rise to new levels of knowledge, activity, and success. While some companies will “connive yet dive” as the result of COVID-19, others will “jive and thrive”. I know which side of that equation I want you to be on!
So, with that, I bring you four specific things that can help you “jive and thrive,” baby! Here we go:
- We see it out of every economic downturn – an influx of “new blood” in the home improvement industry. I don’t think that this time around we will see quite as many “Chuck In A Truck” folks scrambling to make it in our industry as we have, say, back in the early 2010’s but, trust me, we will see it. Those newcomers, though, do not have what you have. They do not have history, they do not have previous customers, they do not have a database of old leads, they do not have successful stories and projects, and they do not have the marketing skills that you have to set themselves apart from the competition. Use this time now to define and begin to tell your Unique Selling Proposition – that summary of why someone should do business with you instead of someone else. Here’s a hint – this has nothing to do with your products and services but is all about you and your organization. Define this and begin to tell it in your marketing, your website, your e-newsletters, and your emails. And begin to work snippets of it into your call scripting. What will that prospect miss out on if they do not work with you? That is the seed to plant!
- While I know that those of us in North America have short memories, I do believe that we will, to some degree, remain forever changed by COVID-19. I see this happening in two ways that will impact your business:
- This one is to a lesser degree but I believe that consumers will be less likely to invite throngs of contractors to their homes to give them estimates. And of course you will be dealing with contractors giving estimates without a home visit at all. Read Point 3 below to discover how to respond to this.
- There very much will be an ongoing desire on the part of consumers to use their dollars to benefit those in not only their country but their community. Read Point 4 below to see how to use this to your advantage.
- There are two major ways to benefit from consumers having fewer contractors come to their homes. First, build out more content on your website and pay attention to your online reviews. Consumers, more than ever, will do their research upfront to first of all eliminate those contractors they do not want to do business with. This will be based a great deal upon online reviews and ratings, and it happens no matter what your lead source is. Next, make sure that your website has lots of content to help them realize that you are the exact expert they need. I hear it everyday from consumers – there are so many “stories” out there from different contractors. “Who can I trust?” Well, they end up trusting the one who talks with the greatest authority and that is typically done through reliable, helpful, honest, and accurate website content – articles, details, and videos. Do not worry about any risk of “spilling all your candy” – you need to use your digital content to get them to set an appointment to come visit their home. Finally, promote your “secret sauce” –there must be something you do in your in-home presentation that most other contractors do not do. This is your candy! (Anyone who has ever made an online purchase from Sweetwater Sound will know exactly what I am talking about!) In your case, though, it may be an attic inspection, it may be a drone inspection, it may be 3D Visualization, or perhaps something else. But know what your unique “secret sauce” is and then help homeowners see what they will lose out on if they do not have you come to their home. This is your way of ensuring that you are one of the few – perhaps even the only — they have come to their home for a presentation and proposal.
- We’re already seeing it – calls to “Buy American” and “Buy Local” to help our country pull out of 25% unemployment and an economic disaster. Make sure your company is a part of this. Not all building materials are USA made. Not all crews and workers are local. Use your social media and other marketing to TELL THE STORY of A) The products you sell and B) Your team members. Consumers want confidence that working with your company will benefit their country and their community. Give them that confidence. Also, they LOVE reading stories about your team members – put up regular social media posts that feature your team members, their faces, and their stories. Show how your entire company is an embedded, important part of your community so that consumers know that working with you will benefit the area in which they live.
Stay well and healthy. Please feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-543-8938, ext. 201. I always enjoy sharing ideas that will help us all to jive and thrive, baby!
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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