It's tough out there. It's evident in conversations I have with contractors, stories I hear from friends in other industries and even in the thickness of this magazine. But there are bright spots in the economy and contractors who remain successful despite the economic climate. (For example, see Cover Story)
A few moths ago I had an article run through my e-mail from 20-year veteran of the equipment financing industry Edward A. Testa. The article, entitled "Ten Ways to Make More Sales in 2009," was a read I thought anyone in sales would find helpful and inspirational. The article begins:
"No one in sales can escape the hurricane force of the current business environment. It reminds me of some of the old war movies we see on cable with gritty looking GIs sloshing through the snow and mud lugging 80-pound backpacks. That's just about how almost everyone in sales feels every day, but particularly now.
"Just as life has changed on Wall Street, as well as your street and mine, selling has changed, not a little, but a lot. Those who will be the most successful in this new, different - and very challenging - environment will be those who are focused on the basics."
From there Testa outlines 10 basic guidelines to sales success and offers salespeople tips like "stop looking back," "let customers know you're working for them," and "lead with your best price."
The article got me thinking about concrete contractors and how they're getting along in the sales arena in today's market. Since a lot of contractors learned their sales and marketing skills on the job, I thought it would be interesting to ask a few contractors about the unique marketing strategies they've put to use in recent months and their successes.
One company hosted an open house and pig roast, inviting past clients to introduce them to the company's full line of services. Another contractor found local home and garden shows to be an effective way of reaching potential decorative concrete clients. Yet another contractor created a DVD of about 100 project photos, set it to music and sent it out to past clients. This effort worked so well in garnering business he's in the process of sending it out to prospects and local architects.
Check out the article "Ten Ways to Make More Sales in 2009" by Edward A. Testa and my sidebar text on "Unique Marketing Strategies." Hopefully they will help you get back to your marketing basics and trigger a few unique marketing strategies you can implement in your business.
You can find "Ten Ways to Make More Sales in 2009" by going to ConcreteContractorMag.com and scrolling down to the Concrete Contractor Online Features.