Effective Sales Strategies for Contractors

In competing for jobs, many contractors tend to underestimate and undersell their firm’s strengths. It’s not difficult to understand why: Selling doesn’t come naturally to most contractors. Sales skills tend to be regarded as “soft” skills and viewed as much less important than craft or estimating skills. The reality, however, is that contractors need to develop a range of sales-oriented skills and techniques if they want to be successful. Here are some steps recommended by sales professionals that can help improve your sales skills and boost your firm’s chances of winning contracts.

Do Your Homework

Research potential jobs carefully before you bid on them. Make sure the job is within the range of your expertise and your experience. Your bid should cover contingencies and leave room for an acceptable profit. If the job seems like a good fit, qualify potential customers by using publicly available resources to identify any past problems they might have had paying contractors and suppliers.

Focus on the Personal

Bringing a bid or a quote to a prospect in person can sometimes be more effective than e-mailing it. Why? A face-to-face encounter introduces you to the prospect and personalizes the process. It also gives you a chance to answer any queries and to clarify and elaborate on certain aspects of your bid that you consider important. You may even be able to use the opportunity to close on the job with the customer on site.

Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

Use every available opportunity to define and highlight to prospects what it is that separates your company from other contractors. In promotional material, ads, and bid documents, emphasize your employees’ years of experience, your firm’s special skills, any awards you have won, and any guarantees or warranties you offer on your work. Give prospects a reason to seriously consider your company for their next project.

Follow Up

Always follow up on sales calls and quotes in a timely way. Follow-up calls give you a chance to counter possible objections raised by the prospect. Above all else, they demonstrate your professionalism and your enthusiasm about working on the project.

“A face-to-face encounter introduces you to the prospect and personalizes the process.”