In today’s competitive construction industry, subcontractors are finding it harder and harder to win new jobs. Even more so at times of slower construction when the phone isn’t ringing as often. As a result, companies are required to put more focus on sales and getting in direct contact with builders. This article is focused on trades companies, who are targeting builders of new single-family and multi-family construction. If you’re a business owner or work in sales for a construction trades or retail company, you might find cold-calling builders isn’t working great for you. Here are some reasons why this may be and how you can make cold calling work for you.
Before calling a builder make sure you have some information about him/her. The ideal situation is if you know the name of the person and the address of the project you are inquiring about. Simply calling a random builder and offering your services might not work well, but asking for them by name and mentioning the exact project you're interested in will improve your chances. An example intro might sound like this: “Hello, I’m calling about the project you are developing at 1432 Granville St. I would love to speak to the general contractor running that project.” It would help to do a Google search on the general contracting company or search for the prospect on Linkedin before the call.
2. NOT COLLECTING ANY INFORMATION ON THE CALL
When making cold calls most subcontractors hang up right after the builder says he or she doesn’t need a quote. This is usually where the communication ends. What you should be doing is collecting an email from the builder regardless if he or she needs a quote or not. If they say “no thanks”, your response should be “I completely understand. Do you mind if I get your email so I can send you some information on the promo we have? You might find it useful on your next project.” Once you collect their email, you need to make sure you keep a database where you can periodically send helpful emails. The key is to send helpful content emails, not just advertisements. When it comes time for you to call that builder again for a different project, they will remember you and be more likely to give you some of their time. Try a service like MailChimp to start building a list.
3. NOT ENOUGH FOLLOW UP
Once you get in touch with a builder and they have shown some interest in your services, it is absolutely vital you follow up. Most subcontractors send builders a quote and then sit and wait for a response for too long. Most of the time the builder is too busy with other things and may have forgotten about your quote. It is also likely they are getting calls from your competition during this time. By following up with a call, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to remind the builder about your company and address any questions or concerns about the project they may have.
4. ONLY ASKING INSTEAD OF OFFERING SOMETHING OF VALUE
Builders and developers get multiple calls each day from people trying to sell them something. If offering your services doesn’t seem to work for you, try calling a builder just to offer something of value. Here’s an example: If you’re a roofing company, instead of calling a builder and offering a quote, offer them a “Builders Roofing Guide.” Offering a useful piece of content will make them a lot more likely to accept. They may give you their email address as a result. You can embed your company advertising in this guide. When you make the second call, they are already familiar with you and they will be more likely to consider your company. This tactic can work with anything that provides free value to the builder, but of course, it requires more work from you to create this value item.
5. NOT COMBINING SALES WITH ADVERTISING
If a builder has heard of your company before, it creates credibility and greatly improves the chances of getting your foot in the door. Only relying on cold calling will not yield the best results. It is very important to combine your sales efforts with advertising. In the construction industry competition is high, especially if you are looking to focus your business on new developments rather than renovation and repair work. Credibility is key and most builders will base it on first impressions. If they remember your company name from a previous advertisement, you will instantly increase the level of reliability in the builder's mind.
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