(This is the second in a series) By Jim Augustus Armstrong Tribe building means to gather a group of customers, then nurture those customers and “wow” them so thoroughly that they only want to do business with you. They become evangelists for your business, telling people in their sphere of influence about you. Businesses with a focus on tribe building may still get new customers through advertising, but it’s so they can add more raving fans to their tribe who then spread the word about their flooring store.
Tribe building is a completely different way of thinking about your business. Successfully building a tribe protects you from the ups and downs of the market—and against large, billion-dollar competitors. Effective tribe building takes place before a prospect becomes a customer, during the sales and installation and after the installation is complete.
Over the next couple of installments, I’m going to cover practical strategies you can implement to build a loyal tribe of customers who spread the word about your flooring business.
Let’s start at the beginning of the tribe-building process, before they are customers.
Invite new prospects into your tribe
Many new prospects begin their relationship with your business online. However, most flooring websites say the exact same thing: here’s our name, here’s what we sell, here’s how to find us. This is a big missed opportunity to create differentiation, develop instant connections and begin the tribe-building process.
Following are some strategies to change that.
A dealer I work with in Idaho created a 40-second video of himself welcoming new visitors to the site, giving them a little background on his family flooring business, pointing out their guarantees and inviting them to look around and watch his other videos. It’s on the home page, above the fold, so visitors see it immediately. It was purposefully shot on a mobile phone and is not professionally produced. He did this so it would feel very personal—like he’s meeting you in person and welcoming you into his store. It puts a face on the company and creates an immediate connection between the owner and the prospect.
Get video testimonials from existing tribe members and post them on your website and in social media. Train your sales team to ask happy customers after the insulation if they can record a short video testimonial on their smart phone.
Multiple uses of online reviews
My team and I help dealers get reviews, but we go far beyond that and turn those reviews into flyers, which the dealer gives to all walk-ins. We also stream reviews on the dealer’s website and use reviews to create social media posts; you should do the same.
Invite website visitors to join your tribe
On your website, invite visitors to give you their name and email address in exchange for information they want. Once they opt in for the report, plug them into a long-term lead nurture campaign. These can be emails educating them about flooring and how to choose the right dealer. Include a testimonial from existing tribe members in each message.
Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For more information, visit FlooringSuccessSystems.com.