Selling for Specialist Sub-Contractors
If you are suffering from a downturn in your workload and you need urgent help with your sales and marketing please call us now on 01773 715062.
At Streetwise we are always looking to solve Specialist Sub-Contractor's problems. That includes subcontractors sales and marketing problems.
Specialist Sub-Contracting can be a tough business and it's no surprise that at some point you are going to suffer from a downturn in your workload.
Does Your Order Book Need A Boost?
It’s perhaps no surprise that the No1 problem my clients and contacts are having at the moment is a shortage of work.
Everyone knows about the problem but what about a solution?
Obviously there is no easy solution but here's something you can do to improve the situation.
Recession Busting Enquiry Generator Package©
Are you struggling to find enough profitable work?
Have enquiries dried up?
This package will directly and immediately benefit your business.
How Does it Work?The Recession Busting Enquiry Package© works by ensuring that you are maximising the use of your existing contacts and our expertise to get your name in front of key decision makers.
Here Are The Benefits You Will Enjoy
(Streetwise Gold Buddies use monthly consultancy to have the text drafted for free)
Availability of this winning package is strictly limited on a first come first served basis.
To book your package simply email email@example.com or for more information call us on 01773 715062.
£100 a month for full status Platinum Buddies
£125 a month for full status Gold Buddies
£150 a month for full status Silver and Buddies
and £175 a month for Non Buddies.
*larger databases P.O.A.
Remember you need to book your package now, as availability s is strictly limited on a first come first served basis.
Simply email at firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information call us on 01773 715062.
Here are a few more tips that you may find useful:
1 Don’t Be A Pricing Service
If you have read my Little Book of Crap Advice for Specialist Sub-Contractors, you will have seen the warning about becoming a free pricing service for clients and contractors who have no intention of ever giving you the job! So first things first, stop and think who you are pricing jobs for and whether or not you have a realistic chance of getting the job.
Maybe you can follow the lead of one of my clients who had this to say:
"... after reading in your little book of crap advice your paragraph on providing a free pricing service for contractors who have no intention of ever using anyone but their favourite subbie (which would not be us by the way) I had my FD produce an in depth analysis of two year’s tenders and the latest one year’s orders and quickly worked out who was wasting my time and money (and lots of it by the way)
I immediately changed our policy on who we tender for and I expect to see a 10 - 20% reduction in workload for my estimators with the extra time being spent on tenders we have a chance of winning."
Kevin Duffy Managing Director Grimwood and Dix Ltd
Networking is perhaps one of the most commonly used approaches by business owners. However, the construction and engineering industries are such a niche market that it can be difficult (if not impossible) to find the kind of events where large numbers of potential buyers are present. Trade shows abound but they don’t present many out and out networking opportunities.
If you want to find out more about networking opportunities just drop me a line or give me a call.
The key here is to ensure that you take a proactive approach rather than a passive one. Instead of assuming that a satisfied client/contact will refer someone to you, ask for that referral. Make it clear to all your contacts that you really appreciate and welcome referrals.
A great book where you can read further information about referrals is Rapid Result Referrals by Roy Sheppard and you can find more on the books for Specialist Sub-Contractors page.
This often under-utilized marketing strategy is an excellent way to become recognised as an industry expert. The construction and engineering industry has lots of trade magazines and most are hungry for good content. The Internet is also filled with websites and e-zines looking for material to send to their subscribers and customers. It can be challenging to come up with ideas and to write an 800 word article but the investment of time and effort is definitely worth it.
If you would like an informal chat about ways to get started just give me a call.
This is another powerful marketing strategy to keep your name in front of your customers and prospects. But you should aim to provide key insights and offer solutions to help your prospects and customers solve problems. Although it is less expensive to send a newsletter electronically, the received wisdom on this is that you should issue it in paper format.
If you don’t currently have a newsletter and would like some help implementing this strategy then please let me know.
6 Cold calling
Without a doubt, this is usually the most challenging way to market any business. I know very few people who actually enjoy cold calling and I certainly don’t! But do I do it from time to time? Absolutely yes!
Why? Because; - it can be a good way to uncover qualified prospects in a relatively short period of time. But be sure to start your conversation with a good opening to capture your prospect's attention.
7 Give free information
You do not need to give away all the information relevant to your product or service. Instead, offer information that will help your target market with their problems. For example, if you have found a way to reduce time on site by using a particular product or technique you can outline the advantages without giving away the specific details. Once you have your prospects undivided attention you can then go into more detail.
If you don’t currently have a system for making regular contacts and would like some help implementing this strategy then please let me know.
8 Offer a “guarantee”
A concern many construction and engineering buyers have is the risk associated with placing an order with a new an untried specialist sub-contractor. They may not be completely satisfied with their existing sub-contractor but the risk of choosing a new one may actually prevent them from changing. Eliminate this concern and offer a “guarantee”.
For instance, if you are a member of a Trade Association they may have a guarantee scheme as part of your membership. Don’t assume that your prospects know about it, so be sure and point it out to them.
This can be a great marketing strategy if you know how to create a good ad. The best marketers know that great sales copy is what makes the difference. Glance through the ads in your trade magazine and you will quickly notice that most ads focus on the company's product features instead of on the customer's problem. Create a great ad by concentrating on the problem you can solve.
A great book and a very interesting read about advertising and other issues is “Confessions of an Advertising Man” by the legendary David Ogilvy, and you can find more details on my books for Specialist Sub-Contractors page.
There are many other ways to market your business and generate new business leads.
I know that my regular clients and VIP contacts will be more familiar with me offering them great commercial and contractual advice, and that is very much still the case. However, as part of the development of Streetwisesubbie.com, we are providing 2 complimentary core strategies to support your business. These are
- Commercial and contractual advice and support and
- Sales and marketing advice and support
Although I like to think I have a pretty good knowledge of sales and marketing, I have teamed up with some real experts in this field, to ensure we offer first class service.
So if your sales and marketing needs a boost or you have a commercial or contractual problem to solve, just pick up the phone and give us a call, or use the Streetwise Confidential feature.
You will be pleased to know that you can find a wealth of other information on Streetwisesubbie.com to help solve subcontractors sales and marketing problems.
If you simply haven't got time to look or have any sales and marketing problem whatsoever and you can't find what you are looking for, then why not use the Ask Streetwise or Streetwise Confidential feature on this site to ask our virtual team of experts for help?
7 Tips For Effective Business Presentations
Unless someone sells something to someone else then there is no business!
Business is all about selling – your design, your product, your service, or your concept.
The most important thing is to be confident about whatever it is that you are presenting. You must know your material and there is no substitute for practice.
Practice in front of your colleagues, or your spouse, or to post it notes stuck on the walls (you make “eye” contact with the post it notes) – but you must practice. Don’t be embarrassed about practising. Just think how embarrassed you will be if you make a pig’s ear of the real thing!
Keep your audience focused and interested. If you are not confident about what you are selling, it is unlikely that your audience will be confident about buying.
Making effective business presentations takes practice, but here are 7 tips to help you to succeed.
1. Select Only Key Phrases About Your Topic
Choose your key phrases carefully
Include only essential information
Select the top three or four points about your topic and make them consistently
Simplify and limit the number of words on each screen
2. Make Your Sure Your Slide Layout is Clear
Make your slides easy to follow
Put the title at the top of the slide where your audience expects to find it
Try not to use more than three bullets per slide the space will make it easier to read
Phrases should read left to right and top to bottom
Keep important information near the top of the slide. The bottom portions of slides may be difficult to see from the back rows
3. Avoid Fancy Fonts and Punctuation
Choose a font that is simple and easy to read such as Arial, Times New Roman or Verdana
Keep all fonts large enough (at least 24 pt and preferably 30 pt) so that people at the back of the room will be able to easily read what is on the screen.
Punctuation can needlessly clutter the slide
Don’t use all capitals it is difficult to read and is like SHOUTING at your audience.
Don’t use more than two different fonts – perhaps one for headings and another for content.
4. Choose Your Slide Designs Carefully
Dark text on a light background is best, but avoid white backgrounds - tone it down by using another light colour that will be easy on the eyes
Patterned or textured backgrounds make text difficult to read
Keep your colour scheme consistent throughout your presentation
When using a design theme or design template choose one that is appropriate for the audience
A clean, straightforward layout is best for business presentations
5. Limit the Number Of Your Slides
Keep the number of slides to a minimum
Don’t make your presentation too long and drawn out
Continually changing slides during the presentation can be a distraction
One slide per minute is about right
6. Use Photos, Charts and Graphs
Combining photos, charts and graphs, will add variety
Embedding videos can keep your audience interested but don’t overdo it
Avoid having text only slides
7. Avoid Excessive Use of Slide Transitions and Animations
Transitions and animations can add interest but don’t allow them to become a distraction.
The slide show is meant to be an aid not the focus of your presentation.
Keep animations consistent
Apply the same transition throughout the presentation
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