Building a relationship before face-to-face interaction ever occurs can greatly improve your lead
By SPENCER POWELL
It is hard to ignore the fact that the way people shop and buy has completely changed. Sales people used to have all the power. It does not matter if you were buying a TV or a new home.
Before, if you wanted information, you had to physically go to a store and talk to someone, or at least talk to them on the phone. A salesperson would tell you details around specs, pricing, timelines, etc. Today, all that information is readily available online. Consumers can research anything they are buying and get 90-95 percent, if not 100 percent in many cases, of the information they need to make a decision.
In our industry, potential customers are still going to come into a model; that has not changed. What has changed is when a potential customer visits a model. Now, they likely will not make it in until they have gathered a ton of information online. They have already researched builders, compared pricing, looked at floor plans, and identified nearby restaurants, shopping, and activities — they know what they want.
Today, you need to develop a relationship with prospects before they are 90 percent or more through the research process – before they visit a model. How can that be done?
Your website needs a TOp of the FUnnel (TOFU) offer: an offer that is directed towards a prospect just beginning their research process.
How does this work? Let us say Prospect Jane and her husband are thinking about buying a new home for their growing family. Prospect Jane goes online and starts doing various Google searches looking for information. She is typing in phrases such as: “New homes near me,” “New home communities in Denver,” “How long does it take to build a new home,” or “How much more do I pay for a new vs. used home?”
And the list goes on. If you have done a good job answering these questions on your website or blog and you are doing a good job with your search engine optimization (SEO), then Jane will find your website.
The catch is, she is not ready to talk to you yet. She is just looking. We need to capture Jane as a lead before she moves on to the next website.
Enter the TOFU lead conversion offer. This could be something like a “Homebuyer’s Checklist” or a “Community Guide,” giving Jane more information on the process as well as the community she was researching. In exchange for Jane getting the checklist or guide, we will ask for her name and email (maybe phone number). The idea here is that we have some value – added content that we will exchange for Jane’s contact information.
This may seem simple, but it is extremely powerful. After implementing this process and doing some analysis, I discovered that over 90 percent of our leads were coming from guides or checklists rather than a prospect scheduling a model home tour or calling a sales person.
Now, this number is on the high end after implementing several TOFU lead conversion offers that are relevant to every page on the website, but even on the low end, you can typically see an increase of two to four times in leads.
There is a caveat. Whatever you do, do not use Jane’s information to be a pushy salesperson. Use it to help her. She is still in research mode, not ready to be sold. Start a friendly, helpful dialogue with her so that when she is ready to buy, you have been building up trust, expertise, and rapport with Jane.
A first touch might look like this email:
Thanks for stopping by our website and downloading our Home Buyer’s Checklist. The homebuying process can be daunting, and it’s definitely a big decision. After reviewing the checklist, let me know if you have additional questions. I’m here to help as you research the best fit for you and your family.
All the best,
New Home Advisor
Now, Jane’s guard is lowered. She did not get a call she was not asking for, and your email did not push her to take any steps. You are building a “trusted advisor” status. You can continue to send Jane helpful blog articles or other resources on your website. This will start to set you apart from the competition. After a few communications, you can gently suggest that maybe she would like to tour a model (if she has not already asked about it!).
This process of capturing leads in research mode, and staying in front of them, will build your future pipeline and create a robust flow of opportunities coming your way.
Spencer Powell is the President of Builder Funnel, an award winning digital marketing agency focused on helping builders grow through inbound marketing. Spencer is also the host of the popular industry podcast, Builder Funnel Radio. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-660-5731.