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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Construction marketing: A little look at roofing (and some big marketing and sales issues)

Within the broader construction marketing theme, various industries and trades have their own unique marketing challenges and opportunities.  This isn't a one-size-fits-all world. Specialized consultants and resources are often helpful when your business is in a category where there could be dozens of local competitors.

Say, for example, you are interested in commercial and industrial roof work.  Your market will be truly different from residential roofers. (See my classic Canvassing in Columbus posting.)

I decided to purchase Eric Heath's ebook:  How to Create a Roof Lead Machine, after reading his blog where he described how some people buy the inexpensive book and quickly request a refund.  This refund request rankled Heath:

“I would like a refund, see I looked for a couple of minutes. I’m a small residential roofer so this info doesn’t apply to me. I don’t have a commercial contractors license so I couldn’t get the jobs if I wanted to.”

Heath issued the refund, but expressed his frustration at this contractor's narrow-minded view of things.

"Initially I thought it was just a scammer trying to get something for nothing, but on second glance I think it might be something MUCH worse… A person who lives in a World of [BLANKS].
Do you know a person who lives in a World of [BLANKS]?  See if you can complete any of these sentences:
  • I didn’t make the sale because of _______.
  • That really doesn’t apply to me because of _______.
  • I would have more _______ if it wasn’t for _______.
  • If it wasn’t for _______ , I would have _______."
Heath continued:

Here’s the bad news… The [BLANKS] are:
  • Shifting of blame
  • Lack of accountability
  • Excuses
  • And any other thing except taking accountability!
Okay, this is strong stuff -- for a poor residential roofing contractor who discovered that Heath's book has a system in place for big commercial and industrial roofs.  However, I can see why Heath decided to let his steam out.

I'm not in the roofing business and never will be.  But I learned something from Heath's book.  He has applied systems and technology in a rational, creative manner, and reminded us of ways to avoid the dreaded cold-call, without assuming that all sales should be repeat and referral leads.  

There's solid, practical sales advice here, which can be transferred to virtually any industry or business.  The book is worth every cent of its $10 fee, and more.  (If nothing else, you'll appreciate his approach to creating "touches" before asking for an appointment, and the potential use of contract telemarketers and researchers to help in the lead researching and setting process.)

Technology is also powerful.  As you can see in the video with this posting, Heath has discovered how to use Google Maps to discover leads, gather information, and even set the stage for preliminary estimation -- work he or an assistant can now do any time day or night, from home or on the road.  (Obviously Google maps with sattelite views is a more powerful tool for a commercial and industrial roofer than someone marketing interior renovations.  One size doesn't fit all.)

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