How To Capture Attention And Communicate Value
Don’t think that communicating the value of whole house performance to your customers is as difficult as say, learning a foreign language. You’ve got the words already. Indeed, you know the language of both energy efficiency as well as household systems.
And don’t think telling your customers the benefits of a whole house solution is some wacky idea. They are primed to understand about connectivity and relationships and how one part affects the whole, and that systems are intertwined. Why?
Because it just makes sense. And all you have to do is make the case.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home performance is an industry nearly 20 years in the making. In the mid-1990s, some changes in regulation and restructuring in electricity providers led to what the government describes as “creating a new archetype for residential energy efficiency.” And an industry called home performance was born.
Since then, a DOE/EPA-administered program, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, is now in its tenth year. This is a voluntary program designed to improve the energy efficiency and overall performance of homes across the country, and it claims to have supported more than 1,800 contractors in improving more than 200,000 homes resulting in homes that are more efficient, more affordable and healthier to live in.
Now, what does that little history lesson have to do with you? Well, it’s a window into your possible home performance sales future. Since there’s an uptick in home remodeling – a key indicator for economic turnaround – the market timing is spot on. In fact, home improvement investments are expected to hit double-digit growth during the first half of 2013, according to a fancy sounding report – the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released last fall by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (whew – what a mouthful).
So the time is right, and your market is persuadable. Generating interest in whole house performance is a combination of what you know, what your customers are certain to understand, and how it fits together with the services you provide. As you prepare to help homeowners improve the efficiency and comfort of their homes using a comprehensive, wholehouse approach, your efforts will fall into three areas:
1. Online – The online world enables you to create a platform for your expertise, to weigh in with your influence, and guide your market (prospects and customers) toward the solutions that are right for them.
This is done through “content creation” that builds your image as an expert while showing how your services can solve problems for customers. Your “content channels” are the repositories for this image-building, relationship-nurturing, and advisory-establishing information – including your website and social media. You can make this happen through:
- Blogs– Introduce the topic of whole house performance, highlight big benefits, then link to…
- Free reports – Here’s where you can expound on the topic and display your knowledge in a way that customers can see what’s in it for them. Use bullet points and push benefits. And while some people are readers (great for reports), remember that others are visual. So make sure you reach both, by adding to the mix…
- Online videos – Videos are great for “how it works” scenarios and they can be very inexpensive to produce. Just make sure your script is strong and compelling. All of these pieces should link to…
- Landing pages – Here’s where you have the details about your particular services and offers, and your prospects should also be able get to all of the above through…
- Social media links– Each time you add any of this content to your site, give it a plug by posting links on social media.
Email, e-newsletters, online articles, infographics, or other types of media can attract and engage consumers – establishing your credentials, opening a dialogue, and leading prospects toward a call to action in whole house performance. But, remember, online content marketing is only one part of your multi-pronged approach. It should also be integrated with…Offline – Traditional marketing avenues continue to be relevant tools for reaching your market when combined with strong online marketing: newspaper, direct mail letters, postcards, radio, billboards, etc. In fact, with fewer mail delivery dates and the information overload of email and social media, Direct Mail is making a resurgence. You cannot afford to ignore mailboxes in the quest for inboxes. All of these pieces are, of course, making your case in the market so that when that door is opened, your prospects will be ready for…
2. Offline – Traditional marketing avenues continue to be relevant tools for reaching your market when combined with strong online marketing: newspaper, direct mail letters, postcards, radio, billboards, etc. In fact, with fewer mail delivery dates and the information overload of email and social media, Direct Mail is making a resurgence. You cannot afford to ignore mailboxes in the quest for inboxes. All of these pieces are, of course, making your case in the market so that when that door is opened, your prospects will be ready for…
3. Upsells – Once your online and offline marketing efforts generate a lead that gets your team in the door (for say, tune-ups), you have a critical opportunity. The right word, nudge, or explanation from a knowledgeable service tech with decent communication skills can make a tremendous difference in drawing your customer’s attention from one solvable problem to a whole-house solution. So, train your techs to speak the language of whole house performance and open the door for a follow-up from sales.
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Posted In: Building Performance, Residential Buildings, Sales & Marketing
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