Capturing leads is one thing—turning them into sales is another. Nurturing them along their journey to becoming customers is an area where beginner homebuilders and remodelers often don’t have expertise, given that their business is primarily focused on, well, building homes. One expert likens the process to ripening fruit: 95 percent of the bananas harvested are green, and only 5 percent are ready to eat. Unless you want to lose the 95 percent, you need to nurture them along carefully until they ripen. Good analogy, actually.
The secret is to build and maintain a relationship with the prospect until he (or she) is ready to buy, but to do so without becoming a nuisance. In the age of the Internet, users have become much more discerning about allowing marketers to bombard them with sales pitches. If you don’t want to be tuned out, it has to be subtle. So here’s an eight-step program for doing just that:
Step 1: Capturing the Lead
The internet has all sorts of powerful software programs that can help you with this, but it doesn’t stop there. Too many home builders and remodelers are so snowed under doing the work that they don’t have time to take note when a new lead comes in. It won’t achieve anything languishing in your inbox, however, so look for a way to capture it automatically and put it into a database for future use.
Step 2 : Responding Promptly
When a homebuilder is already juggling numerous home projects at one time, email response times can lag. The great part is, you don’t have to respond personally. Automate your initial response by sending a standard email thanking them for connecting and letting them know what the next step will be.
Step 3 : Offering Value
Your automated response should offer something of value—not a sales pitch, but a link to some downloadable content, a discount offer for your services or a related product. For example: a prospect that selects bathroom remodeling as his area of interest might be really happy to get a link to your free e-book on celebrity bathrooms.
Step 4 : Creating Access
Give your prospect a way to find the information he wants. Grant login access to your rates, provide online estimates (they’re only estimates, not contracts) or an option to enter for a contest. Let him play with bathroom layouts on your site or social media profile. Give him something to do.
NOTE: You’re halfway through the steps and you haven’t had to pick up the phone and talk to him. Yet.
Step 5 : Getting Feedback
Find out what he’s looking for. He checked the box on bathroom remodeling, right? So, find out what aspects of remodeling he’s looking for:
- Expand the list with checkable options
- Send an automated email with additional questions to refine his response
- Provide a link to an online survey
Ask him outright: “What’s your biggest home building or remodeling challenge right now?”
Step 6 : Staying In Contact
Add him to your email marketing list (on a double opt-in basis, of course!) Send information regularly. Remind him of your existence. And never, ever leave out an option for him to get hold of a real live 3D person if he wants to talk to someone.
Step 7 : Tracking Interactions
Most of the software programs available for lead nurturing enable homebuilders and remodelers to track what their prospects are doing. By creating a profile, your prospect makes it possible for you to see what he does. If he tries out the estimating tool, you’ll know. If he opens your emails, you’ll know. By reviewing all the collected intelligence when the time comes to actually speak with him, you’ll know his hot-button issues and interests.
Step 8 : After the Sale
Once the deal’s done, is it over? Not at all. That’s when your CRM program needs to kick in and use your customer to help nurture other leads through reviews and testimonials. And there’s always repeat business—consider him a qualified lead, now that he’s bought from you. Start the process all over again. After all, it’s not as if you have to do it all in person, is it?
Photo courtesy: money-job.ru