Don’t Sell; Become a Trusted Resource

By Tess Wittler

iStock_000004058433SmallThere is a new “craze” in my life that has me jumping, spinning, clapping and hollering! It’s called Zumba and yes, I am addicted. I discovered how much fun exercising can be when I went to my first Zumba class in July, and since that time, I’ve become a huge advocate for the dance-exercise class, and in particular, my two instructors – Sandy and Cat.

One of the things I love about Sandy and Cat is they have become a trusted resource to their students. Cat has lost 80+ pounds in the last 18 months through diet and exercise. Not only is she an inspiration to those students who see her now lean, muscular body, but she is also a wealth of knowledge for all of us who are trying to watch what we eat … yet have that pesky sweet tooth, especially around the holidays. Cat updates her Facebook page with news and sends tips via her email newsletter.

Sandy also uses her Facebook page to share diet and exercise tips, but she did something last week that got me thinking about how much she truly is a resource to her students. Many of us non-teenager gals love the music at class, but we don’t know the artist or song name (you won’t find Zumba music on the Classic Rock radio stations). Easy enough: Sandy posted her song lists in a note on her Facebook page. Now we know the names of the songs and artists so we can download them and make our own Zumba playlist.

Why is this important?

To quote David Siteman Garland, creator of The Rise to the Top, “The path to success lies in your ability to become a resource for others on a particular subject about which you are passionate.” And this is precisely what my Zumba instructors are doing. They have become trusted resources for their hundreds of students (aka customers) they see each week. Not only are they providing (selling) a great exercise class, they are also providing tips, nutrition facts and song lists. They are becoming the information-source (expert) for all things Zumba.

Let’s put this into home builder terms.

What are you doing to become the trusted resource for all things home building related?

Are you using your Facebook page, newsletter or blog to hard-sell by only providing content such as, “Look here! Look here! We have another house for sale!” If you are, you probably are also turning off (i.e., becoming white noise) to everyone who isn’t in the market for a new home right now.

Instead, why don’t you think about what interests your potential customers? What information do homeowners need to know about their home? Give them tips on how to make their home more energy efficient this winter, or safety instructions like not running 50 Christmas lights into one outlet because it creates a fire hazard.

By becoming the trusted resource, you are educating your potential customers and building your credibility with them. You are becoming more than a home builder – you are becoming a resource and more importantly, you are creating long-term relationships.

The results: When it is time for them to build a new home, you will be properly positioned for them to think of you. Furthermore, when someone asks them for a referral, they’ll remember all those helpful tips you’ve provided … and they will recommend you.

In the end, you are nurturing relationships for the long haul. That’s what it means to be a trusted resource.

Need help figuring out which topics you should be writing about (for Facebook, your blog or your newsletter)? Contact me to schedule a consulting session, and together we can come up with a plan that’s right for you!

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