How to Retake Your Market…A Follow-Up

If you were not able to join my workshop Retake Your Market at this year’s National Pavement Exposition in Memphis, then you missed a very enthusiastic and hungry group of contractors all looking for the “edge.” It is the final point of my workshop that I wanted to follow-up on and address as a critical business technique.

The fifth point that I presented was "Blitzing the Conference, Media, and Education Circuits." This effort scares most contractors to death yet I’ve known many contractors who have aggressively gone after such events and capitalized on them greatly. Let me remind you as to the importance of this point to retaking your market.

While I’m no business profit I am convinced that we will come out of this economic depression. Some economist are now projecting as early as late summer to fall of 2012 we may well see some signs of significant upward economic energy. Who knows for sure but one thing I do know is that we must be more outwardly assertive in our marketing efforts.

There are a host of conferences that need specialty speakers to address their area of expertise. There is a host of media outlets that look for something new to write about in their newspapers, magazines, or electronic media outlets. And finally, there are a host of education circuits now available to specialty contractors, more so than in years past.

Now, the problem is not that there is a lack of such marketing opportunities but rather, which ones bode well for the pavement maintenance contractor? Let’s take a brief look at a few possible opportunities that you can pursue and then I’ll throw a few tips to help sweeten your opportunities.

Canvas or Google the Opportunities

Spend some dedicated time contacting in person or by phone any organization that produces shows that attract customers who may be of your calling. If you focus on the residential market, reach out to all of the chains that boast of huge floor space and tools but run short of experts. Offer to do a 15-30 minute demonstration for the local store manager on Saturdays. You may just be surprised at the number of contacts you can build.

If you’re a commercial contractor then seek out those associations that would contain the type of folks you need to be calling on. Property management associations, Hospital Engineering groups, Building Owner’s and Management associations, to name a few group types. Hey, ask you current clients what organization they are a part of. Almost all commercial property owners or managers are a part of some association. Find out who these groups are and pester them with free talks and demonstrations.

Write Articles for Local Industry Publications or Newspaper

Trust me, many newspaper companies in the U.S. have either cut way back on their own staff or they have closed down altogether. Many of your local newspaper companies are always open to receive an article on vital information that can help “John Q. Public.” Now, while most pavement maintenance contractors are not English majors, list out important learning points and find someone who can write with more interest and ease. It really isn’t that hard but go for it!   You just may become known as the local expert.

Don’t fall into the trap of just getting up every morning and doing the same old thing. Contractors who are getting ahead are doing more with their God-given skills and talents. Often what media outlets are looking for is no some smooth writing or talking expert but someone who has “been there.”

Retake your market by being more active in your market. Let your future customers begin to see you as a different contractor. Let them see you for your creative traits and that you are working that creativity to be of benefit to them.

Brad Humphrey is President of Pinnacle Development Group, a management and consulting who works exclusively with the construction industry.Wwant a weekly "visit" from Brad? Sign up for his newsletter.



Tips for Writing & Presenting

Follow these tips to help you get your writing and speaking off to the right start.

Writing Tips

  • Keep your topic to one subject.
  • First write down the important learning points for the subject chosen.
  • Arrange the learning points into some kind of order.
  • Write 2-4 sentences to expand each learning point.
  • Summarize your points at the conclusion of your article.
  • Incorporate your own personal lessons learned.


Speaking/Demonstration Tips

  • Pick a topic that is in your “sweet spot.”
  • Actually write down everything that needs to be done when executing the topic.
  • For each individual effort write out how you advise people to complete the task.
  • Now, place your topic, each component, along with each component’s explanation on a series of 3”x5” blank or lined cards.
  • Rehearse you demonstration; first by yourself then by those who will be honest about your speech, body movement, and eye contact.
  • Stick to your written plan until you feel confident about doing the talk without notes.
  • Always memorize your opening comments and your conclusion.