I had an interesting experience last Sunday. I was volunteering for the Parade of Homes with my favorite home builder in Tulsa, Simmons Homes (I am biased, I consult with them as well) when Zach and Amanda came in. They had just signed their contract to build a brand new home and were very excited. They wanted to tour the model home I was manning to get some ideas and I struck up a conversation. Come to find out, they were perfect examples of first-time buyers taking advantage of the tax credit. Not only that, they are also getting married right before they move into their brand new home. It is a pretty cool story.
So, thinking about how to capture the moment – I asked if I could go over a few questions with them and record their response (the new iPhone 3 GS – should be standard issue for all sales executives). (You can see the results below – which we uploaded onto Simmons Homes Youtube account, published it on Simmon’s Facebook page and then tweeted out the message.)
After they had agreed their video could be posted online, I asked another question…
“Are you on Facebook?”
Amanda replied emphatically – “Yes, I am on Facebook all the time!”
I asked the next logical question, “Are you a fan of Simmons Homes yet?” – To which she replied, “No, I didn’t know you had a page – but I will be now.”
And here is where it got fun. I asked “Hey, would you mind, as you take pictures of your home and share them with your friends and family, would you also share them on the Simmons Homes wall?” She loved the idea and said, “Of course I will, that is a great idea – we are so excited!”
It is also worth noting – the sales executive that had sold the house hadn’t introduced this new “web 2.0″ script yet. This is a great way to stay engaged with the customer and also encourage them to spread the word for you. A builder doing a good job should be able to track 20-30% of their sales from WOMM – or word of mouth marketing. Social media allows for this to happen faster and to reach more people than ever before.
How can you ask your customers to engage with your company?