Charlie Scott has more than 25 years of hands-on homebuilding experience, much of this in senior management positions with an award-winning, nationally recognized Midwest builder. He credits a "Voice of the Customer" firm as instrumental in his homebuilding company's strategic growth and success. Today, Charlie is an owner of that "Voice of the Customer" firm – Woodland, O’Brien & Scott – and helps North American home builders grow their own customer-centric cultures, pursue operational excellence, and increase referral sales. Charlie is an internationally known customer satisfaction expert and has presented keynote addresses in the U.S., United Kingdom and India. Charlie also authored the book, “Construction Knowledge 101” to help builder personnel in all functions understand the nature of homebuilding. He would love to hear you from you at: CharlieS@woodlandobrien.com.
Quick decisions and growing market share: the chicken or the egg?
While making sales presentations to three of our four most recent prospective clients, we were hired on the spot – three times! On the first two occasions, we did not have our start-up paperwork and consulting agreements on hand and ready to go. We had become conditioned over the past three years to home builders requesting a proposal, mulling it over ad nausea, requesting more information, etc. Even proven, time-tested, high return investments were being delayed for ‘safety sake.’ Many older-school builders were totally focused on reactive, ‘survival’ strategies opting to ‘see how the climate evolves’ – making the decision to ‘make no decision.’ So, how do we explain the most recent “Let’s go, NOW!” clients? It is easy once you know the details.
These three private builders are their state’s largest, fastest growing home building companies. On the average, they have grown their market share by over 50% in the past 24 months. How did they do it in this terrible business environment? Simple - by being DECISIVE! By looking for good opportunities and acting FAST! By taking little time to ‘mull things over,’ or sending strategic decisions to a study group, etc. If something is good for their home building company’s objectives, then they got it and started NOW!
Decisiveness has paid off handsomely for these homebuilding companies. We are ecstatic that these builders are focusing on both growing their operations and investing in Voice of the Customer and Referral Sales strategies to sustain this growth. Perhaps a new age of home building is upon us; while the meek may eventually inherit the earth, the fast and decisive homebuilders are growing market share – now. And, growing market share with a broad base of satisfied customers is both a potent and defensible market position.
Perhaps the most applicable historical quote to this entry’s point was by Admiral Farragut in 1870. While many of his fleet’s ships were turning back from their objective due to ‘dangerous conditions,’ Admiral Farragut shouted, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” and accomplished their objectives. Admiral Farragut’s aggressive leadership was highly effective and won many decisive battles.
What decisions might you be mulling over at the expense of your market share growth?