Diversity is an important and hot topic of discussion today. Most of the conversation is around employing a diversified workforce. C-suite level positions are being created to assure companies are taking action on their commitments for diversity. There are increasing more conferences and panels dedicated to the topic of diversity. As I read about each of these important and necessary investments, I find one thing missing and ask myself “Which diversity are you talking about?”
My point of reference for most topics of discussion is the construction industry and, more specifically, the residential and commercial construction industries. This industry is predominately white men in the offices and fields of construction companies, architectural firms and building materials suppliers and manufacturers. As a result the vast majority of the diversity efforts are aimed at increasing the number of women and people of color to the ranks of these companies. I applaud these efforts and support them in thoughts, words and actions. At the same time, I still find myself asking, “Which diversity are you talking about?”
The diversity conversation that appears to be absent today is the one about the customers. We have recognized the Hispanic-Latino workforce in the construction industry but we continue to fail to properly acknowledge them in our efforts to connect with them. For example, I was told last week by one of the leading building materials companies in the country they recognize the importance of the Hispanic-Latino customers but they do not market them because they do not have the sales and customer services support to address them in their preferred language, Spanish.
Did you know that the number of white construction business owners fell 11% while the number of Hispanic construction business owners jumped 20 percent? According to an article from NAHB citing the latest U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners report.
What if I tell that you can grow your customer base by one-quarter? Does this get your attention? Hispanic-Latino construction professional’s account for 30% of the total marketplace with higher percentages for carpenters and painters.
Let me guess you share the same initial thoughts I once did; specifically, Hispanic-Latinos do not make product buying decisions. This is not the case as Constru-Gia learned and reported from their Hispanic-Latino readers and followers.
More Than Lip Service
Imagine seeing images that look nothing like you and being spoken to in a language you do not prefer from a company that wishes to acquire your business. Would you believe they are sincere in their commitment to become your business partner? Would you feel respected and supported as a customer? I think the answer is obvious but let me say it “No.”
Authentic communications begins with knowing how to best reach and connect with the Hispanic-Latino professional. No longer is recycling English content through poor general translations enough to grow your business. The Hispanic-Latino professionals acquire information, education and training differently than traditionally provided. Knowing the difference and providing your information in the preferred communications formats and channels is fundamental to successful sales and marketing.
Make no mistake this will require an investment in the diversity of your customers to bring large dollars to the bottom line for your company. This investment will also bring tremendous loyalty to your products, brands and you, which is another benefit of reaching out and embracing the Hispanic-Latino professionals.
No se por donde empezar? Podemos ayudarlo.
Don’t know where to start? We can help you.
We are pleased to share we are working with the Hispanic Construction Association and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to reach the Hispanic-Latino builders, remodelers and contractors directly as they prefer.