Sales Is Simple!

Selling construction services is simple!

Price every job ten percent lower than your competitors and you should get at least eighty percent of the projects you bid or propose on. Or you can implement a winning sales system that beats your competition on a regular basis. Your company organizational chart is also simple. In order to build and grow a profitable company, you only have to do two things well: get work and build work. The primary responsibility of the owner or president of a small to medium size construction and development company is to be the chief salesperson accountable to get enough work at the price needed to pay all job costs, overhead expenses, and make a fair profit that meet your goals.

The chief salesperson must love to sell, tell people how great their company performs, and be excited about the hundred plus reasons why they’re the right choice to be awarded contracts. This energy can’t be delegated if you want your company to grow. And therefore, the owner must dedicate at least one-third of their time to sales, meeting with potential and loyal customers to generate more business for their company, and building customer relationships. And to make this happen, they need a good construction operations team in place who is 100 percent responsible to estimate the work and get it done on-time and under budget.

Successful salespeople do not have to be good at selling or cold calling if they have and use a systemized plan of attack they follow on a regular basis. Top salespeople have a lengthy list of target, potential, and repeat customers who fit within their specific market and project type they want to go after. This list is focused on customers who buy or award contracts based on how you want to do business: negotiate, cost plus, lump sum, design-build, value engineering, fast-track schedule, or by being the low bidder.


updated_10-23-14_New-Home-Construction-2012To get a high return on your sales effort investment, you’ve got to increase your odds of success. For example, a better way to get on a developer, general contractor, or homeowner’s short list of bidders would be to get to know the customer first and then ask for an opportunity to propose on their projects. Getting to know customers is easy if you focus on where they spend their time. General contractors and builders often attend local builder association meetings, chamber of commerce events, and charity golf tournaments. As a contractor or builder, getting involved in these type of organizations where potential customers are involved guarantees you’ll meet decision makers. When you know potential customers, you’ll then have an edge over your competitors and increase your odds of winning work with them.

Another simple sales strategy is to ask your current and past customers to go to lunch or attend a sporting event with you. Make it your goal to build rapport, talk about personal and business issues. Ask them how you can do more business with them, and if they know anyone they could introduce you to who could use your services. Remember, don’t ask, don’t get. When you ask for help, people will gladly help those who they trust and enjoy doing business with.

The key to winning more work than your competitor is to be more aggressive, make more calls, ask for the order, and persistently follow-up. Most contractors submit their bids and never follow-up or ask for the order. The purpose for your bid is not to price the work, keep your estimator busy, and hope you get a contract. When you wait for a customer to call you after you submit your bid, guess what? They’re talking to your competitor! If you are willing to do what you know you need to do to grow your business, it will happen. Rather than being afraid to make a cold call, go out in your community, get involved in groups where you can meet people in a friendly environment, and then get to know them well enough to ask for the opportunity to work with them and get a referral.

George Hedley is a professional business coach, popular speaker and best-selling author of “Get Your Construction Business to Grow & Profit!” He can be reached at

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