Written by: Suzanne Ratti, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
If you are a home and design professional, you are probably wearing a lot of hats. Builders, architects, remodelers, interior designers, and home services companies all face similar challenges. In this article, we’ll discuss common challenges and, most of all, how you can improve your home & design sales and marketing strategies. This information is key for businesses that are serving an upscale consumer for home and design services.
Tip #1: Jack of All Trades
The phrase ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’ refers to a competent person in many skills but is not outstanding in any of them. This is the most common pitfall of any small business owner, especially those in the home and design industries. Often, a technician will start their own business and fall victim to the e-Myth dilemma. This is one problem you can easily address with a little strategy, a coach, or even by reading the infamous book. Don’t try to be the VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, and President all at one time. Outsource your business areas that are not your area of expertise and focus on what you do best – building or designing!
Tip #2: Lead Development
While it may be great to hire a marketing company to drive quality leads, it is a waste of money if you haven’t honed your lead development process. Home & Design sales and marketing requires a different approach (further discussed in Tip #3). Simply put, how are you handling that first phone call, contact us form from your website, or email inquiry. That first touch, and all the subsequent touches, are what develop the relationship and separate you from your competition. At the core of the process is obviously a well-defined sales strategy. For many of my clients, this process may include various additional tools to help move the customer from lead to prospect to client. This process often incorporates prompt response times, educational information, qualifying questions, and resources or checklists to educate the client on your specific niche.
Tip #3: Nurturing Longer Sales Cycles
When a potential client/homeowner is considering a new home or remodeling project, they are likely making a high-dollar investment. Naturally, the sales cycle is longer. For home and design sales & marketing, the sales cycle must be evaluated. One of the best ways to nurture the sales cycle is with a well-defined process that involves a CRM, email drip campaigns, and potentially retargeting campaigns. This can be a complex process, but the time and resources you invest in each touch will absolutely produce a better Return on Investment (ROI). Even a small business with limited resources can benefit from a refined sales cycle process.
Tip #4: Technology
Technology provides a wide array of information and research tools for clients considering home and design services. Make sure that you are one of them. Do you have recent reviews and testimonials where it counts? Which platforms are your prospects using to research this purchase? Google, Houzz, Yelp, and Angie’s List are just a few of the platforms you’ll want to be certain have up-to-date information on your company and client experience. Is your website modern and fresh or old and outdated? Is it mobile-friendly? Does it have recent photos? Is it SEO’d properly for the specific type of searches your prospects are engaged?
Tip #5: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words & Dollars
Do your website and company profiles on Houzz and other platforms have a diverse portfolio showcasing your work? In the home and design industry, photos are not only worth a thousand words. They can be worth thousands of dollars in revenue. Do your photos show an accurate representation of your style, project complexity, and unique offerings? Often, these photos will be the first decision-making tool for consumers about whether to even contact your business. Don’t let the big fish getaway because you haven’t invested in professional photography or an up-to-date website or profile.
Most business owners aren’t groomed in the art of selling. Yet, selling is the primary goal of your business, right? Asking probing questions, creating a client intake process, and qualifying clients early is key to actually selling the job. If you are in the home and design industry, be sure to work with a coach or business advisor who understands, knowledge, and expertise to help you attract high-end homeowners and high net worth clients. After all, in this space, that’s the type of client you likely want! If you need help, Ideas360 has over 20+ years in this space, and we’d be glad to help!
Suzanne Ratti, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Suzanne Ratti is a Sales & Marketing Strategist, a proven performer, and an entrepreneur with a passion for helping businesses revolutionize how they deliver their products and services to their target audience. Her extensive sales and marketing background and 20+ years in the Home & Design industry allow her to translate real-world experience, critical skill sets, and proven results for businesses. Suzanne also provides engaging coaching and presentations that inspire, motivate, and empower business owners, solopreneurs, and their teams to think differently.