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Getting A Date With The Decision Maker!

Aug 5, 2008
Getting our marketing strategy right for our construction business is more crucial than ever in this time of economic uncertainty. The impact of the housing crisis in the UK and the USA is affecting not just the construction industry but home-owners and first time buyers, struggling to find the right mortgage.

Effective marketing for construction is based on our ability to build genuine relationships with our current clients and future prospects and this will involve face to face meetings.

Your aims at the first appointment are:

Firstly, to complete any knowledge gaps you have about your prospect and recording this in your customer relations database - if you haven't got a database system, you are missing out on a vital tool in business development. There are a lot of CRM (Customer Relations Management) systems on the market which are specifically designed for the construction industry.

Secondly, to establish personal rapport and trust, your credibility along with your company credentials is something that your prospective new client will need to be comfortable with.

Thirdly, to learn about the prospect's business, priorities, problems, trends and issues, and especially the corporate aims and objectives of the main decision-maker(s)

Fourthly, to understand the trading preferences of the prospect, Partnerships, Joint Ventures, Traditional Tenders, Negotiated Contracts, long term Frameworks etc

Fifthly, to find out more specific information about the project you are chasing and present the unique strategy your company would employ to win the contract and complete the work on time and on budget of course!

Sixthly, to agree a way forward that progresses the opportunity in a way that suits and helps the prospect, in whatever areas of support you can offer them.

The marketing person's aim at this stage is absolutely not to launch into a full-blown presentation of the product/service features, advantages and benefits. Marketing people who do this will be listened to politely, ushered out and forgotten. (They'll then wonder why the once attentive, interested prospect won't return the marketing person's phone calls, let alone agree to another meeting.)

It may be that the purpose of the meeting is to qualify your company in the eyes of the prospect for the job in hand, in which case you will need to have a full blown presentation to hand outlining the benefits of using your company.

MAKE SURE IT IS SPECIFIC TO THE JOB YOU ARE CHASING.

Your marketing person must be prepared to talk about the relevant technical aspects and benefits if asked, but typically this will not happen in major account situations, because the prospect will know that the marketing person is in no position yet to present a relevant solution or proposition of any kind.

Remember to give examples of other completed jobs of a similar nature and recount the benefits received by the client, obtain endorsements and references. It may be also that the marketing person is able to convey and interpret issues of legislation, health and safety, or technology that have potential implications for the prospect's organisation.

Sustainability issues are HUGE in the construction industry at the moment and will continue to be so as government, both local and national, set out more and more stringent targets for the industry to reach on CO2 emissions, Green Construction and Modern Methods of Construction. If you can demonstrate low carbon emission projects which have been completed, you are on to a winner! If you can demonstrate zero carbon emission projects, you will rise to the top of the pack!

Onward and upward!
About the Author
Steve Flashman is a Marketing Consultant with a unique edge! He is a public speaker published author, recording artist, media broadcaster and communications expert.
Marketing For Construction
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