Time to read: 4 Minutes. How are kitchen cabinet dealers and smaller home improvement shops using social media to generate leads and sales? You’ll be surprised how they’re doing it. For a select few, Facebook, YouTube videos, blogs and other social media are helping kitchen cabinet dealers, woodworking and home improvement professionals cope with and exploit the economic slow-down.
Cabinet industry expert Jim Gurulé says social media platforms are quietly helping some cabinet dealers and manufacturers generate leads, shorten sales cycles and increase sales. So what is it that these dealers understand that most of us don’t? I sat down with Mr. Gurulé to discover how more cabinet dealers and manufacturers can apply social media in ways that move the needle.
“People don’t remodel their kitchens just so they can cook food. They do it because they want more meaning in their life… what social media allows dealers to do is create a virtual line-out-the-door and a virtual waiting room of customers that know, like and trust you.”
JM: Jim, you say that the kitchen cabinet industry—like so many—has changed from a craft to a commodity. Customers treat this craft like they’re buying a food staple, sadly. Lots of factors are coming together: abundance of suppliers, various players are entering the business from Ikea to Home Depot and everyone in between. They should not but customers now DO believe what cabinet dealers sell, in the end, is a product. Do me a favor and give me some good news!
Gurulé: “The designer that conducts the whole process is what really makes the difference. In fact that’s always been the case. We talk about all this technology and all these changes but success is about getting back to the basics. People buy from other people who they know, like and trust… Designers that are using social effectively realize the power lies in how you don’t need to appeal to a broad audience any longer. You can be very specific and craft relevant content (blogs, video, etc.) that applies to what their needs are—in context of their specific buying process.”
JM: What do you mean by that exactly?
Gurulé: “When we say ‘the conversation’ what people want is all the same. They want examples of what you do for people like them. It’s really no different than going to Costco. Ever notice all the food carts at the end of the isles? They’re sampling food. Well social media is a very powerful tool for customers to sample a dealer’s work. The samples are converted into content… and what we’re talking about here are projects, information relating to past projects. This allows customers to sample the service component which is really what they’re buying.”
JM: Ok, I’m clearer now.
So this is “the conversation” customers want to have about cabinets and kitchens? Interesting. It’s more about past projects and proving to customers that a great installation is not only possible in their lives but likely if they work with you… without really pitching them on your business. Ok, so let me go right for the jugular, Jim. What’s the secret sauce here? How do you convert a blog reader or watcher of a video or slide deck filled w/ lovely kitchen images into a buyer? What are we talking about doing here in practical terms?
Gurulé: “Ok, how does this fit into the overall business strategy. Here’s what I’ve discovered. Ultimately you have to produce a qualified lead that’s willing to pay for a dealer’s services. What social media does is allows access to buyers. Then the strategy is to take them off of the social media. Next you put them into a process. This is where we get into emotional-driven, direct response marketing routines… where they find you through relevant content via social media and you put them into a campaign. Dealers can leverage marketing automation technology to deliver more content that nurtures them along toward a sale.”
Hungry for more details? This interview, and others, can be accessed via podcast on our Listen page. Or click the link below to go directly to the interview.
Photo credit CharlesCabinet
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff served as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.
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