Developing Business Through
Builders and Social Media
I recently visited with more than 100
integrators in a three-week period,
sitting down to discuss business in small
groups and one-on-one. I was posed
with questions in almost every business
meeting, most of them were about
selling to builders and how to effectively
use social media. Here are some ideas
that I hope you will find useful.
Creating Business with Builders
The world works based on relationships,
period. Everything you do is intentional
from the way you talk, where you hang
out, what you wear, and how you are
perceived. I suggest meeting builders in
their favorite places
outside the jobsite
or office, like the
country club, a bar, or home building councils.
When you meet a builder that potentially could
be a great partner, spend the time understanding
the demographics of his clients and the houses he
builds. Position your company as the solution for
turnkey work. If you offer multiple solutions and
are organized, then you just made that builder’s
life easier. Ask many questions about what their
experience has been with what you do; chances are
they have worked with an installer in the past and
had a bad experience. Explain how you will not be like the last company.
Tell him how your systems will help him sell his house. Explain that the
homebuyer wants integration, they want to be able to play their iPod
around the house, and/or that they want a big display and outdoor audio.
When you meet a builder that potentially could be a great partner, spend the time understanding
the demographics of his clients and the houses he builds.
Always remember that you are a specialist and offer products that are
not easily available to everyone. Don’t sell based on price, but instead on
your ability to deliver amazing performance and to help the builder better
serve his clients.
If the home is being custom built, then talk your way into getting a
meeting with the owner. Often the builder asks what is in it for them. You
decide if you want to give them a free system and then accrue a percentage
toward their purchases with you. I also have seen people give a straight
percentage to the builder. I like the idea of giving them a system, because
they will be yoked to you for the life of the system, and you can show off
how great the work is that you do.
How to Use Social Media
I am asked about social media daily. It is a hot topic, and I am blown away
by how many people don’t know anything about it. USC has been my son’s
home for five years, yet I feel very close to him and his friends because they
are my friends in a social media circle. To develop a killer social media
reputation for your business, however, you have to follow a few rules.
People don’t want to be marketed to with products; you will only piss
people off by pushing product with social media. How would you like to
be sold first thing in the morning while talking with friends? You wouldn’t.
Don’t pitch product and services; tell stories about what you do.
Don’t market your goods or services like you would through an ad.
This is not a place to sell stuff. It is a place to build relationships and trust.
Who are you, and what’s your business life like; what do you feel?
Continually create, share, and reinforce the value and mission of your
company. Share experiences related to the products
that you deliver. For example: “I am blown away by
the bass response of the speakers we just installed. Our
client was playing the new Odd World track, and the
bass from the subwoofer was so heavy it shook the
walls.” Just don’t write something like this: “The new
SpeakerCraft Aim Five has a Kevlar driver and the sub
was so good that our client was bumping it. Call for a
When setting up a social media account, first add
friends that you already know. The goal isn’t to get
as many people as possible; it is to communicate with
people you care about and consider your friends.
Don’t just post updates. Instead, have a strategy when you post
comments and plan your posts to ensure that your communication is
on point and hitting your objectives. Friends usually respond to notable
contributions from others.
Your company has a great opportunity to gain business with new
technologies and better products than ever before. Your dedication to
being the “system doctor” will determine your success. Like a doctor,
you have the ability to make sure your past clients are satisfied and to
continually take care of them. Your new clients have yet to experience the
amazing work that you can do, and
you can exceed their expectations.
They are your best advertising tools
and will recommend you to their
friends if you do a great job on their