The Int’l Builders’ Show is Still — And Always Will Be — About the People in the Building Products Industry

14 Feb

IBS Focus is Right to Remain “About The People”

I’m writing this on a flight home from Orlando after attending the International Builders’ Show (IBS).  I’ve heard attendance was up 10% this year. Still about half the size it once was, but the Show, as it has been forever, was full of great people.

Yes, great products were there, but those products just sit there, until a well-trained or knowledgeable person talks to me.  And, as is always the case with the building products industry, it’s filled with genuine people. People you want to be friends with, not just on Facebook, but face to face.

As I walked the show or sat in a meeting, I was continually reminded how many people have been in this industry for most, if not their entire career.   People you may only see at IBS or the Pacific Coast Builders’ Conference (PCBC) or another show/event, but people that greet each other by name, with a hug and almost always a smile.

I heard a speaker use this phrase one time speaking to business owners and it resonated well, especially after IBS:

 The race to the future will not be won by the companies with the best talent, but by companies who utilize their talent best. Which, coincidentally, attracts the best talent.

 So what can we, as building product marketers, do to take advantage of this? Here’s 3 things to remember:

  1. The home builder is about the trade. At a core level, the home builder of today is not that different from those of the past. While the world we live in, the systems we use, and the technology has changed, in the end, the people that love to roll their sleeves up and build something has not changed.
  2. Keep your message genuine. Speak to the audience as real people. Builders, distributors, rep firms, remodelers or your sales team all are working together and know when they are being ‘sold’.
  3. Get out of the office. Get to a trade show and talk to people. Stop by a job site and just talk to the people doing the work and using your products. Listen for the words they use. See what really resonates with them.

In the end, companies all work with people we know, like and trust. Fortunately for all of us, the building product industry is full of people like that.

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