“F*** Off and get a proper job”
Russ Stephens started working with builders back in 2011 as an online provider of Workplace Health & Safety documentation.
In some ways it was the perfect business.
No stock, no warehouse or offices…just a website selling digital downloads.
In other ways it was a nightmare.
It was quite normal to get abused by a caller and then take a couple of thousand dollars off them for a product they desperately needed but never wanted.
However, it also gave Russ an insight into the revolution that was taking place online.
No one was looking in the Yellow Pages for solutions anymore, they simply ‘Googled’ what they needed.
And yet, every builder that complained about low margins and a lack of leads was not taking advantage of the new opportunity unfolding right under their noses.
Their websites were uninspiring and the phone was the only tool in their arsenal.
The opportunities were there, but only a handful of builders were taking advantage.
At the time Sky Stephens was studying marketing at university.
However, she had become bored with what was being taught and was keen to get started in the real world.
The opportunity to leave safety documentation behind and focus on helping builders with improving their businesses by generating more leads was very appealing…
And in the blink of an eye Sky left university to focus on building websites while Russ stopped selling safety documentation to focus on developing a sales system that builders could easily use.
It was exciting!
Building websites that generate leads and then nurturing and educating those leads through an automated selling system created happy builders that enjoyed rather than begrudged becoming clients.
However, there was a problem.
Most builders simply didn’t know what they didn’t know. So why would they go looking for a lead generation website or an automated selling system if they didnt know it even existed.
To address this problem Russ & Sky started working with the coaches and consultants that builders were seeking out in order to help them with their businesses.
These business coaches were in the perfect position to advise their clients on how they could shortcut the learning curve and implement a lead generation strategy quickly and easily by getting marketing professionals to set it up for them.
It was great.
The builders were happy because they were getting quality leads.
The coaches were happy because their clients were happy, which meant longer retention.
And of course Russ & Sky were happy because they were helping so many building companies and seeing first hand the impact it was having on their businesses and their lifestyles.
But like all things in business, it wasn’t long before another problem appeared.
Generating more leads only solved one part of the puzzle.
However those leads still needed to be converted into contracts and that’s where things started to fall apart.
A custom home builder faces some very unique challenges in their sales process which is very different to any other industry or type of business.
So in order to coach a custom home builder on sales, you have to fully understand not just the challenges, but the sales process.
And if you’ve not owed a building company yourself, it’s not easy to understand what’s going wrong and how to fix it.
Fortunately Russ Stephens had owned and operated a building company in a previous life so this was an area he had a lot of experience in.
And by analysing the key numbers, along with asking the right questions they were able to uncover the real problem in a builders sales process.
Which is why back in 2015 Russ & Sky launched the Association Of Professional Builders so that they could start coaching builders themselves.
Again, it was great for a while, but generating more opportunities for builders to sign contracts only solved one part of the puzzle.
For some builders qualifying their leads was still a challenge, for others it was following up their opportunities.
However the most common challenge was that they simply didn’t know what to say without appearing ‘salesy’ and as a consequence they were allowing good opportunities to slip through their fingers.
We documented everything. And then we started building…
Email templates, sales scripts, agreement templates, video scripts and of course, checklists.
Nothing was left to chance, we mapped out the entire sales and marketing process for a custom home builder and then documented what to say and when to say it.
The goal was simple. To create the ultimate collection of email templates, sales scripts and content videos for custom home builders.
The end result has been referred to in the industry as the ‘Builders Bible’. We like to call it the Builders Sales & Marketing Templates.
Instead of telling builders to ‘create their own templates and scripts’ so that we could review them, we systematically mapped out the entire process and built the assets they needed.
We then made everything available to them in an online portal and via a hard copy binder for easy reference. All for less than the cost of one single session with a business coach.
Today, over 647 residential home builders from 5 countries have benefited from the email templates and sales scripts with many going on to have their Facebook & Google advertising campaigns managed by our team of marketing experts as well.
Which is how we came to be known as the ‘Builders Marketing Assistant’.