We’re about to cover one of the most overlooked contractor sales opportunities in the industry today: Harnessing the power that networking with local business owners can have on your bottom line. They might not be hiring you directly, but other business owners can help you find new work and new customers.
Building your business network is a great way to get your business in front of more potential customers. Business owners are often very involved in their communities. By sharing your profession and building relationships, you’ll give them the information they need to make more introductions for you.
It Starts with Good Old-Fashioned Introductions
An easy way to get to know other entrepreneurs is by stopping in to say hello. Call ahead to schedule a time that they’re available, or if they have a retail location then a quick visit is usually welcome. You can even take this a step further by staying in the loop on new businesses that open. When a new business opens in town, take a few minutes to welcome them. You can often get the latest opening details from your local chambers of commerce.
This method is tried and true, and it’s one of the oldest ways of generating contractor leads around. It’s easy to get wrapped up in busy days and forget about doing simple things like this. Even the most experienced contractors are guilty of it. However, it’s one thing that you always need to embrace as it puts you right in front of those within your community.
Make Your Abilities Known
When you meet other people, make sure they know what you do. You don’t have to give them a sales pitch, but don’t hesitate to share about your business. And why not carry a few photos of your latest work on your phone? You’re a professional and your work is the brightest spotlight you could ever have shining on your business. Nothing speaks louder than results.
There are many benefits to doing this, but let’s highlight the two best ones. You’ll establish yourself as an expert contractor which uniquely positions you in the market. And you’ll also be the one that the community remembers call when they have a project that needs a professional touch to it.
Keep Other Contractors in Mind
Contractors all share the same industry, and there’s always a time when some extra hands are needed to get jobs done in a timely manner. Don’t think of your competition as enemies, but rather as an opportunity to get even more business.
Anytime you come across a contractor or construction site, take full advantage of the opportunity that’s right in front of you. If you get in the mindset of networking at every opportunity, you’ll be amazed at the growth it can drive over time.
Attend Local Meetups
We’ve talked about using modern tech to your advantage quite a bit here at the FieldPulse Academy already. This is another marketing tactic that benefits from the World Wide Web. There are many websites such as MeetUp.com that lists local gatherings.
These local gatherings are a great way to generate more leads to keep busy with new work. By meeting with like-minded people that can benefit from your services, you’re continuing to stay on top of your networking game while putting yourself in front of yet another great audience.
You Get What You Give
While it’s easy to think about how others can help your business, don’t overlook the power you have to do the same. You talk to a lot of people in your business. Making introductions for others is a great way to build relationships and strengthen your network.
But don’t give with the expectation of what you’ll get back. Being known as a “connector,” someone who makes introductions for others, can have value on its own. Some people aren’t in a position to make introductions for you. The trouble is that you’ll never know who that is. So offer them introductions, and if they can, they’ll likely return the favor. But if they don’t, it’s not a reason to stop giving. It will only strengthen your network.
Consider Offering Incentives for Referrals
Other local business owners can easily become a lead generation machine that can boost contractor sales significantly. One way to build this is to offer a small commission on projects they send your way. This is kind of like having a marketing expert on your side.
While you may be thinking you need deep cash reserves to accomplish this, you really don’t. Just promise them the commission when you complete the jobs they send your way. You can easily cover this expense by factoring it into your bids. Nothing inspires someone to send people your way more than knowing there’s something in it for them.
It’s Time to Reap the Benefits of Networking
It doesn’t stop here at the tactics mentioned in this post. Always be on the lookout for new opportunities to network with business owners. You’ll be amazed at the opportunities that appear when you have a network of likeminded entrepreneurs.