Best of Success

Best of Success Seminar: Use Creative Communication to Win Customers

Rod Menzel

December 8, 2014
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Rod Menzel summed up his mission at Best of Success this way: “My goal today is to help you get your clients’ attention and win more jobs.”

Menzel is the president of GreatWay Roofing, a residential and commercial roof-contracting firm headquartered in Camarillo, Calif. He urged contractors to use simple and effective communication strategies to win customers, pointing to video presentations as the best way to break through the clutter of information most people face today. “We have to refocus on the customer experience,” he said. “We want it to be pleasant, not painful.”

“Tune into K.W.M.M. — know what matters most,” Menzel said, noting that the best methods of communication can change very quickly along with technology. He used the tenth anniversary of Best of Success to point out how much the technology landscape has changed in the past decade. Facebook was launched in 2004. Blockbuster — now defunct — was a $6 billion company. The iPhone was launched in 2007, and the first iPad debuted in 2010. “We’ve come a long way,” Menzel said. “In some ways, it feels like things have gotten easier, but easier has been replaced with more. We’re always connected.”

Email has become the method of communication most customers prefer, Menzel noted, but most potential customers are inundated with emails. “The wealth of information creates a poverty of attention,” he said. “If we use email to deliver a proposal, how does this impact the way customers choose?”

Detailed proposals with photos can be hard to read, especially on a smart phone, which is used to open 65 percent of email messages. “It makes it difficult for the customer to answer two simple questions,” said Menzel. “What type of roof should I install? And which contractor should I choose?”

Menzel has found that video offers the most easy and effective method to get his message through to customers. He pointed to the wildly successful ALS ice bucket challenge on Facebook as one example of the power a video message can convey. “This just wouldn’t be as effective with some text and photos,” he said. “It’s the video that brings it to life.”

According to Menzel, the key is to keep it simple. The email messages his company sends are neat, clean and compelling, with links to the YouTube videos showing both the roof evaluation he conducted and the installation of the roof system recommended.

He walked attendees through an example of a video proposal that allowed him to sell a job to a customer he had never even met. He advised contractors to hold the smartphone horizontally while recording and follow a simple script. He recommends that contractors act like an on-the-scene TV news reporter, introducing themselves, stating where they are, detailing the roof’s current conditions and offering their recommendations. “Be proud, and don’t worry about being perfect,” Menzel advised. “You can always do it again if you make a mistake.”

Menzel believes these video messages pay off for his company because they build trust. “What does the customer think? They hear your voice and your knowledge,” he said. “They know you took the time to do a thorough examination of the roof and know the severity of the problems. They hear how much you know, and they know how much you care. You got their attention and respect by keeping it simple. Remember, less is more.”

 

 

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