1 – Look for opportunities

The first of the 5 winning sales techniques is to look for opportunities. Crazy as it may appear, too many construction salespeople and estimators still “schedule” their selling effort. But you can’t schedule sales to a particular amount of time each day or to some regimented hours. Successful contractors realize that you are always ready, and looking, for sales opportunities. And when “opportunities knock” you must be poised to respond. Remember when a customer reaches out, they are motivated to move forward.

Having tools that keep you prepared reduces your stress level and presents confidence to the customer. 

2 – Plan for the next step

Great sales doesn’t happen by accident, at least in our experience. Instead we have found that planning and visualizing what might happen next is the key to moving sales forward.

This means running through exercises where a customer says; “yes”, “no”, or has concerns. This might seem a bit awkward and uncomfortable initially, however practice can carry you through tough sales. If you will mentally rehearse potential sales opportunities that might pop up at any moment and visualize how you would execute a conversation and how you would lead a customer to buying from you, you might be amazed when the visualization is actually realized.

3 – Have everything written down (and with you)

The third of the 5 winning sales techniques is to be prepared. Simply put, customers want answers and the sooner you can provide them the better. This means you need information, tools and data at your fingertips.

Spending hours crafting a quality estimate servers little purpose if you don’t have it quickly at-hand when the customer wants to review and/or revise details. Obviously, not all situations are rewarded immediately, and not all sales opportunities can be so quickly handled. However, if you are not prepared with the necessary estimating information and proposal templates, there is a tendency almost to turn away when presented with an opportunity. Often contractors have their bid sheets and proposal templates loaded on their laptop and can create an estimate in a matter of minutes when the opportunity arises, it really does pay to keep these documents close by whether on your laptop or as paper copies.

4 – The ‘Buy Now’ discount

There is good portion of customers that are looking for a discount or are motivated by a discount to instantly close a sale. Key here is to firmly know your costs, if you can support a 2%-10% discount on the job, and remain profitable. Being prepared with this information can often increase your job closing rates by 25% and as long as your jobs remain profitable, far exceed the discounts!

5 – Ask for the sale

Number 5 of the 5 winning sales techniques is likely the simplest tip of all. Sales professionals continue to find that a leading reason why more sales do not happen is simply because the salesperson does not ask for the sale.

We have found this to be true in the construction industry as well. Many contractors, or their estimators, will work hard at pulling together accurate numbers and perhaps even give the customer some of the best reasons for doing business with their company. However, when it comes to the “closing” time the same contractor or estimator fails to gather enough courage to ask for the sale.

From the customers perspective: Over the course of one or more meetings, a customer has heard the contractor (or estimator) say some impressive things about their construction company and crews. Why then, at the time when the sales question should be raised is it not presented? For the customer, this creates an instant source of doubt. They could easily think, “You had me going, and then you don’t even ask me to buy from you. What’s wrong with your company?”