How many construction sales personnel does your company employ? Estimators, marketing team, or countless other cliché job titles. Maybe you are a small construction company where you handle all of the above. I will share a little secret, this is a trick question. This question is answered with a better question. This correct question is, “How many people do you employ?”
Everyone within a company needs to have some sales training. From laborers to the CEO/Owner, sales in construction is a cross company, and all-inclusive task.
Your construction sales team needs to include your entire staff. I am not advocating for training everyone in all aspects of sales, but creating a sales training program that explains how their actions affect the overall sales goal.
Many companies hire sales “gurus” or internet based instructional programs for their perceived sales team, and often ignoring the secretary that answers the phone. Just incase you forgot, the secretary is the first person a potential client speaks with! Most experts agree that a first impression is made within 4-7 seconds, and this impression can anchor the way clients see your business through the entire process. In effect, your secretary just gave your first sales pitch, and probably the most important. If the secretary botches the initial call, your so-called sales team has to work twice as hard to gain the sale, if there is a chance at all.
The secretary needs more than basic phone etiquette and organizational skills. They need to be able to accurately, and confidently deliver your mission, and promise to potential clients within the all-important first impression window. This is not the standard elevator pitch that so many “gurus” claim to be absolutely necessary. No, this is a clear statement of who you are, what you do, what to expect, and then instruct them on the next step to take.
Here are two common examples of this enormously important first communication.
“ABC Construction Company, how may we help you”
This example can be changed to include any of the standard greetings that companies use. Thank you for calling, how may I direct your call, and a lengthy list of empty anit-sales oriented garbage. Unless your name is “We Replace Roofs Construction Company,” the potential client hears nothing.
Construction Sales Focused Example:
“ABC Construction Company, Your source for construction perfection.”
In this example, and always, I prefer to allow the person to speak. By not asking a direct question at the end of the greeting, we are hoping for a more revealing first statement. We have also told them exactly who we are, and what they should expect from our company, construction perfection.
Once the potential client makes their opening statement, then we move straight to the call to action. “May I have some contact information to pass along to our solutions team?” It is a very subtle call to action, but one that says we are going to solve their problem.
By the time an estimator takes the call, the potential client has been told that we are their source for the project, we will complete the project perfectly, and the next step is to talk to someone that will solve their problem.
Instead of investing thousands of dollars on “gurus” and training for your construction sales staff, start with the first person who talks to potential clients. I guarantee you will see an improvement in the quality of leads that get to the estimators, and a higher closing rate on them.
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