Why the telephone is still a powerful tool for construction industry sales

  • 19 Dec 2016

GUEST BLOG: David Crick from Contractors Marketing Services  explains why nothing beats the phone call for effective sales work and to promote good relationships that bring long term business.

There are more avenues for marketing than ever before, with online advertising and social media adding new options to the marketing tool box. You’ll always want a portfolio of good marketing materials ready to deploy, but the most useful weapon in the sales hunter’s arsenal has been sat on the desk the whole time: the phone.

The power of the telephone call

Not everyone likes cold-calling. If you’d include yourself in that, you’re either going to have to get comfortable with it, or hire someone to do it for you! Good construction sales doesn’t happen without it, and a sales professional will spend most of the day on the phone.

In previous posts I’ve looked at how to use market intelligence, and the various stages your sales leads might be coming in at. Now we need to look at the practical business of making contact. Start with the jobs you want most. We call them our A* leads. Pick up the phone and introduce yourself. Explain that you’re calling about a specific project. You’ll want to highlight your experience and say why your company would be a good fit. Make sure that you pass on contact details, and tell the potential client where they can get more information about you. Finally, ask when to call back.

This is important enough to say again. Inexperienced salespeople often forget that last step and then find themselves agonising over when to follow up, or can’t get through when they do. It’s far simpler just to ask your contact when they’d like you to phone back. They’ll rarely ask you not to. Let them suggest a time, log it, and then make sure you keep the appointment.

Following up is vital. Plenty of builders will do a round of sales calls from time to time. Not all of them will bother to call again, and again, and patiently build up a relationship. Sales work needs real persistence. It’s very rare to score an appointment on the first call, let alone a tender. It’s the discipline and dedication of the second and third call that wins work.

You’ll want to keep track of those calls, so invest in a contact management database, and log your calls in a sales admin system. You may end up with hundreds of contacts and dozens of jobs, and you don’t want to get them mixed up.

Think about the impression that you give over the phone too. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. If you sound warm, friendly and interested, you’ll sound like the kind of person people want to do business with. If you sound like you’re bored and going through the motions, or if your enthusiasm is forced and fake, you’re not going to get very far.

Above all, remember that your primary objective is to build relationships. Only the phone has that personal touch, making you a trusted voice, and eventually a long term business partner.

If you need a helping hand with your marketing, get in touch today. Download our Really Useful Guide to Construction Marketing – and if you’re a member of the CIOB, you can read it as part of your continuing professional development

fullscreen-capture-28112016-142624Marketing Guide

Download the CMS Really Useful Guide to Construction Marketing.

If you’re a member of the CIOB, you can read it as part of your continuing professional development.

More Guest Blogs from David Crick

Smart construction sales relies on tracking a job through planning

How to achieve long term partnerships with contractors

Marketing: 10 ways to make your business distinctive

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