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Business Advisor

Position Yourself as an Expert Eco-Builder: Stay Connected With Your Customers

7 steps to successfully setting yourself apart from the pack

Email newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with many people

Rapid changes in the residential construction industry are providing new profit and diversification opportunities for builders. Those who see and understand these opportunities can position themselves as experts in the field and provide exemplary service to gain an important edge in the marketplace. Knowing where you stand in relation to your competition is paramount. Educating and communicating that position to prospective customers is equally important.

Part 7 of a 7-part series

7. Stay connected with your customers

Quality builders listen to their customers and stay engaged with them; they hear their customers’ needs, questions, and concerns. They respond to questions promptly.

Have you ever forgotten about a restaurant because you had lost your “top of the mind” presence about your positive experience? Thousands of businesses (the pack!) fail to maintain relationships with past clients. Harvest emails, inquiries, and accolades from customers that you have collected over the years. These are truly “word of mouth.”

Find innovative ways to capture the email addresses of new visitors to your website, and continue to build your database. Offer some valuable information or a report that costs your visitors nothing.

For example, when they first visit your website you could invite them to receive an instant free report or article on a green home topic. Give your free report or article an appealing name, such as “11 Secrets of Sustainable Homes That Other Builders Don’t Know” or “4.1 Easy Ways to Green Your Kitchen.” When visitors click on that link, they should be prompted to enter their names and email addresses. Resist the temptation to ask them for more; many people are uncomfortable giving out much personal information online.

Now that you have an email database, use it! Send periodic newsletters or updates to your contacts. Include topics of general interest apart from marketing your green homes. Emphasize things that could help them or that are interesting to them. In this manner, you may start to gain ground in their minds as a trusted adviser.

Include an “organic” or some other type of green news item that a large part of your audience might be interested in. Include invitations to green workshops that you may be offering. This type of newsletter update is inviting rather than threatening. Best of all, there is less chance of recipients relegating your email to their junk mailbox. Include an invitation to follow you on Twitter or Facebook, or to check out a recent article on your blog. Send your updates consistently but not too often—monthly or bi-monthly.

Why bother trying to stand out from the pack? Because your competitors already are!

Also in this series:

6. Embrace technology

5. Update your website

4. Get organized with a homeowner’s manual

3. Listen to your customers

2: Deliver great value

1. Identify your ideal customer


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