Sales the lifeblood of any business, and selling becomes even more important in a tough economy. I recently spoke with Rick Davis, the president of Building Leaders Inc., a Chicago-based sales training company, who shared with me some tips for selling in a down market.
Sales the lifeblood of any business, and selling becomes
even more important in a tough economy. I recently spoke with Rick Davis, the
president of Building Leaders Inc., a Chicago-based sales training company, who
shared with me some tips for selling in a down market.
“This is a market that presents the perfect storm of
challenge, more than most businesspeople have ever faced - a banking crisis,
world economic recession, a housing drop-off as bad as the Great Depression,
political polarization,” Davis
said. “All these crises challenge the career and spirit of every salesperson in
The roofing market still holds opportunities, according to Davis. “I think the thing
that many people forget is that we have a very segmented market - i.e., lots of
small businesses in various markets with no one company holding more than a 10
percent share,” he said. “Thus there is an abundance of opportunity for those
that are willing to work at it and position themselves properly, even in these
tough economic times.”
urged contractors to do three things:
1. Focus on home improvements.“With the likelihood
that people will stay in their homes longer, expect people to reinvest in the
valuable asset in which they currently live,” he said.
2. Plant seeds of future growth. “While the new
construction market is down 60 percent over the past four years, there are
still hundreds of thousands of homes being built,” said Davis. “Rather than strive for instant
transactions, I teach contractors to make contacts and forge relationships with
builders in order to be the first choice of supplier when things go wrong with
their existing supplier.”
3. Change your mindset. “Increase you
intention to help other people and reduce your expectation of what is in it for
you,” he advised. “Remember that your customers are scared and do not want to
feel your pressure or fear. Try to be the level-headed hero that creates calm
in tough times and they will remember you as a valuable resource for the
also offered some advice on obtaining leads. “Besides the obvious answers such
as lead lists and referrals, I recommend that contractors proactively seek the
leads they can get from their vendors and, in particular, manufacturers,” he
said. “Those are the leads that rarely get distributed to the contractor. Even
when they do get distributed, they often are not properly utilized.
Manufacturers receive thousands of requests for information from magazine
inquiries that are hot leads which should be leveraged daily. Networking is
If you’re interested in more advice on this timely topic, Davis will present
seminar at the International Roofing Expo (IRE) titled “How to Sell in a Down
Market. ” The seminar is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Feb. 3, from 7:45
For more information about the seminar, visitwww.theroofingexpo.com.
For more information on Building Leaders Inc., call Rick
Davis at 773-769-4409, e-mail him atrickdavis@buildingleaders or visitwww.buildingleaders.com.