If you're looking to scale up your building or construction business, you need new customers. A sustained pipeline of customer leads will ensure your business has consistent growth and opportunity.
Leads alone won't be enough however. Keeping an eye on the competition, ensuring you know your market, maintaining your website and more are just the basics. The following is a winning list of sales and marketing tips that can help you step your business up to the next level.
1. Use LinkedIn® to its full potential
If you've been in the business for a while you may already have a LinkedIn account. It's a good first step, but it doesn't guarantee you'll get noticed. Make sure your profile is complete by including, as a minimum:
- your industry and location
- your current job title and at least two former positions
- your education details
- a minimum of 3 skills
- a profile photo
- at least 50 connections
You may also want to consider showcasing your most notable work. Include information on new builds and commercial projects that you've managed. Before and after photos are a great choice.
LinkedIn is also a powerful platform you can use to build your reputation: connect with clients through LinkedIn and ask for recommendations.
Once your profile is up to date, being active in the LinkedIn building and construction community will help you get noticed. LinkedIn has groups such as Civil Construction Projects Australia, Australian Construction, Resources and Engineering Network and Down Under Construction where you can find new potential customers.
2. Network strategically
Networking with others in the building and property industry can be often overlooked. Not only can it help you learn about your competitors, you can meet other suppliers that you can work with.
For example, if you're a builder you may want to build relationships with local electricians or architects. Real estate agents and strata managers can also be a great source of work.
If you specialise in a specific type of work, letting suppliers know that you are experienced in using their products can be a source of new business.
3. Keep your website updated
When your business requires you to work out of the office, keeping your website up to date can get neglected. A well-maintained, simple website with the right contact details is invaluable. Make sure your website is mobile friendly as more people are accessing information through their phones. Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use this tool.
4. Increase your visibility on Google®
Customers can find information on your website using search engines like Google. The more relevant the information on your site is to the customer's search engine query, the higher your site will rank in the results. A higher ranking will help drive more traffic to your site.
You can increase your search visibility by writing blogs related to your work and publishing them regularly. If you don't know what to write about, you can do a general Google search with words relating to your business. For example, if you were to Google 'find a construction company Sydney', the search engine will show you a list of results. At the bottom of the search page, you'll see a list of related searches to the keyword. This can help you decide on the kind of topics you should write about. Idea generation tools like AnswerThePublic can also help you come up with content ideas.
5. Attract more prospects through Google AdWords and Facebook Ads
Google AdWords delivers ads on the Google search site as well as on websites and apps that are part of their advertising network. The placement of your Google ads will depend on keywords that you define. For example, if you are a roof tiler in North Sydney, your keywords would ideally have 'North Sydney roof tiler' and other variations. If someone searches for the same or similar keywords and your ad is relevant to their search query, your ad will be served.
Tip: Google provides free access to a phone helpline and may even offer free AdWords credits up to $100 if you satisfy certain criteria when setting up an account with them. Taking advantage of this can help you kick-start your advertising.
You can also place advertisements on Facebook. Adverts can be targeted at potential customers based on age, income, location and more. Facebook has many different types of ads you can use to promote your services. Facebook Lead Advertising allows you to collect contact details from potential customers directly on Facebook.
6. Get involved with industry associations
Whether you've been in the industry for a year or ten, participating in industry associations can help you stay up to date on industry news, services and potential membership discounts. From the Master Plumbers Association and the Swimming Pool and Spa Association, to the Master Builders Association or the Australasian Timber Flooring Association, these organisations can add credibility to your profile, help you learn new techniques and serve as networking hubs.
7. Lock in face-to-face time with clients and prospects
Text and emails are great ways to communicate quickly and conveniently. That said, nothing beats face-to-face meetings when you are looking to build rapport. Make sure you try to meet with potential clients and industry peers whenever you get the chance. This builds stronger relationships and can lead to more work.
8. Understand your own limitations
Nicholas Smedley, MD of Steller says it's important to understand your limitations. If you're looking for competitive advantage in areas you may not have experience in, look to hire skilled people to help. "Bring people into your team who understand more than you," says Nicholas.
9. Seek out the decision makers
When you are selling to a business, it's common for more than one person to be involved in the buying process. Knowing who the decision makers are can help you get that sale. With Cordell Connect, you can be one of the first to find projects coming up in your area and the best point of contact.
If you haven't done it already, ensure that your business is on Google's My Business directory. The directory adds you to Google Maps and provides customers with important information like phone numbers, office addresses, working hours, website links, reviews and more. All of this can help customers find you.
You can also list your business on other directories in your area and for your industry. Websites like Yelp, HiPages, TrueLocal and more can be very helpful. Try an evaluate the effectiveness of each promotion source so that you can concentrate on the ones that deliver the best results.
11. Ask for referrals
It's the most direct way of doing business and it can also be the most effective. Remember to ask for referrals from people you have worked for or people who know your business. Remind your customers to put you in touch with other potential leads and ask for customer testimonials. A positive testimonial is a great reflection of the quality of your work - make sure you publish them on your Web site as well as social networks.
Consistent marketing and promotion can build a healthy pipeline of potential customers for your business. Quality, useful information on your Web site about your business and its capabilities can help convince them to use you as a supplier. These techniques - combined with Cordell Connect - can help set your business on a growth trajectory. To find out more about Cordell Connect get in touch with our team.
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