Have you ever experienced the client from hell?
If you’ve built more than 12 homes, then chances are there’s been one that you wished you’d never signed…
And if you’re honest, the warning signs were there from the start…
But you signed them up anyway.
Big mistake… but how do you avoid making the same mistake again?
In this article we're going to share with you how to attract perfect clients while repelling the not-so-perfect ones!
Avoiding nightmare clients is easier than you may think.
All you need to focus on is the type of client you want to build for, rather than those you don’t.
So to do this you need to be clear on your client avatar.
Your client avatar is a fictional, generalised representation of your perfect client. Creating an avatar helps you to understand your clients and prospective prospective clients better. Which makes it easier for you to tailor your marketing messages to their specific needs, behaviours, and concerns.
The best client avatars are based on the information you gather from your actual clients through the build process.
Depending on the size of your building company and the different types of work you do, you could have as few as one or two avatars, or as many as 10 or even 20.
But if this is all new to you, then start with one! You can always develop more avatars later, as and when they are needed.
Whereas a client avatar is a representation of your ideal client, a negative avatar is a representation of who you don’t want as a client.
This could include, for example, first home buyers if you are building high-end custom designed homes, people with their own architectural plans hunting for the cheapest price, or ‘High D’ personalities who want to be in control of the process.
All of these types are potential clients that are not going to be very profitable for a custom home builder. So you need avoid wasting time on them by expelling them from your sales funnel as soon as possible.
At the most basic level, avatars allow you to personalise or target your marketing for different segments of your audience.
For example, instead of targeting everyone that is interested in new home design on Facebook, you could refine your targeting to females between 30 and 55 who live in a certain area and are interested in new home design.
You could then use an image of family enjoying a BBQ by the pool with an opening line of “Thinking Of Building A New Home?”
The advert becomes far more effective because you have not only honed in on someone who you want to build for, but also the image is resonating with your target market which means they far more likely to respond to your advert.
And if you take the time to create negative avatars, you’ll have the added advantage of being able to exclude certain types of people that you really don't want to build for, such as lawyers.
To identify the perfect client for your building company start by looking at all of your contracts for the past 2 years.
If you have not already 'niched' your business then you can potentially kill two birds with one stone here.
Look at the type of work.
What do you prefer doing? Custom homes, investment homes, renovations or sloping blocks? Pick one.
Next, list the jobs in order of gross margin, not actual profit....but margin percentage from high to low.
Look at the top 20-40% and make notes about the actual clients for those jobs.
Age group, kids, interests, location, income band, net worth, cars, holidays, schools, sports teams, magazines they read. Anything at all.
What you’re looking for are the patterns…
When you identify a pattern i.e. 40% of your top clients have kids going to the same school, or they work in the same industry, you can start to build out your client avatar.
Take into account any feedback you can get from your team. Your supervisor will have some great insights that you may not be aware of, as will your sales person.
When you have an outline of the avatar, print it out and place it somewhere on your wall along with a picture of an actual client that represents the avatar.
Creepy? Maybe, but just a little :)
Every time you create an advert, write an article for your website or produce an email to send out to your database, look at the person on your wall and write to them.
And to avoid wasting your time on negative avatars, make sure you download our Builders Qualifying Checklist which gives you the questions you need to ask in order to avoid building for nightmare clients!
Click on the link to download the Qualifying Checklist for free.