What is better than cold-calling? Making the phone ring. A salesperson who pushes a client to buy at the wrong time is at a disadvantage and vulnerable to combative negotiations. But when a prospect calls you, the game changes instantly. It is a sign he is ready to buy.
One of the best ways to make the phone ring is with an e-newsletter that promotes your products and your capabilities. The key is to make sure your information carries a message which inspires clients to know that you are focused on the client’s favorite subject - the client!
Why take this strategy?
First, in commercial sales you may believe that price is the only factor that earns you the business. But studies have shown, including many articles over the years in Roofing Contractor, that price is not the ultimate consideration. General contractors do business with people they trust, and - even if price does become a primary issue - the general contractor will often give some special opportunity to the subcontractor they trust. A newsletter is a great way to keep a general contractor informed about products and market conditions so they think about you when bidding the next job.
When it comes to residential sales, too many roofing contractors are giving up too fast. We live in a new world and homeowners are often slow to make decisions. In my seminars that I conduct around the country, I have learned from you that only a handful of dealers are persistently following up on past quotes to homeowners. Thus, a newsletter is a great way to keep in the forefront of the consumer’s mind.
Your job is to position yourself as the first alternative of choice to the status quo. Thus a contractor will continue to do business with the roofing subcontractor they know until things go wrong. In business-to-business selling, contractors choose a new supplier when things go wrong with the previous one. The contractor they call is the one they know. For homeowners, the alternate of choice is often not between contractors, but instead the choice between proceeding and procrastinating. Your goal is to be the first contractor they think about when the procrastinating ends.
More importantly, you will create a powerful brand by offering market news, tips and product information on which prospects can rely. People do business with people they trust. Your challenge is to get to top-of-mind status for a particular product. An e-newsletter can help do that.
My hands-on studies have shown measureable ways to increase readership of your e-newsletters while crafting a message that sticks in the top of the reader’s mind. Here are three key points:
1. Write for your audience. I wrote in a past article that you must give all of your literature and marketing messages the “we-we” test. Prospects don’t care about the history of your fourth-generation roofing contractor. Instead, they want to know what they will “get” by doing business with you. Craft your e-newsletter message for the benefit of your clientele.
2. Offer sound advice. I have documented evidence that readership goes up with clever headlines and content that provides advice to the recipient. Don’t just say you’re a partner to the market - be a partner.
3. Be product specific. Each newsletter should feature an idea about a specific product that you can provide. This will position you as an expert at one thing rather than a generalist. The result is a rise in your credibility.
If you have heart problems, you don’t go to the internist - you go see a specialist. It is no different for your clients. To achieve status as a specialist in a unique product category, you must first start by promoting your expertise in that category. An e-newsletter is a great place to begin. For consultative support on ways to craft e-newsletters, e-mail me at email@example.com.
Rick Davis is president of Building Leaders Inc., a Chicago-based sales training company devoted exclusively to the construction industry.
For more information, call 773-769-4409, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.buildingleaders.com.