Are you struggling to progress your sales opportunities right now?
At the back end of 2008 there was a custom home builder on the Gold Coast in Australia that had a queue of clients at the prelim stage who were ready to build in 2009.
Even though the news at the time was looking pretty grim regarding the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), they felt good that they had enough work to see them through until mid 2010 when everything would be fine again.
I asked the owners how many of their prelims they expected to go to contract.
“All of them,” they told me. Once they are at prelim, we never lose them.
At the time they were turning away enquiries.
It made no sense for them to waste time on people that they would not be able to build for in the next 12 months.
The problem with this strategy is that there is ‘no such thing as a dead certainty’.
Not even at the prelim stage where $15k-$20k has been handed over by the client.
There Is No Such Thing As A 'Dead Certainty'
Things change, and on the Gold Coast in January 2009 the lights went out for the residential construction industry.
Six out of the eight of those prelim agreements were put on hold for a year, another one needed changes to hit a reduced budget and only one was ready to get started.
With nothing in the sales funnel to fall back on, revenue dropped dramatically. They were scrambling, trying to get new leads and then progressing those leads through the design process.
The problem was, the whole sales cycle from lead to contract extended for over 400 days.
There was no way they could progress these new leads into contracts in time to prop up the falling revenue.
But instead of reacting to the situation and restructuring their business, they continued on the same path in the belief the sales would come through in time and everything would be fine.
By Easter, work onsite was slowing down as subcontractors got wind that people were not being paid.
By June it was all over, and the company was placed into liquidation.
The sales cycle for a building company is extraordinarily long.
The leads that come in today are the contracts you will sign in 2021.
Of course, the sales cycle is a lot shorter if you are quoting plans rather than managing the design process. However that only leads to a situation where you are pricing against five other builders and the losing hand wins.
To win jobs at decent margins that allow you to grow your building company safely and securely, you need to be managing the design process.
Use Your Time Wisely
Which means you have to be utilising your time right now to attract the clients that want to build in 2021.
So consider changing your marketing message.
Everyone in the marketplace is focused on the short term consequences right now.
Your job, when you market your building company is to lift their vision, to look through the corner beyond the apex and visualise the time when their dream home will be constructed.
Over the next few months your target market will become very bored and will be looking for entertainment.
The opportunity for your business is to utilise a content marketing strategy so that you can get in front of more of your ideal clients online.
Remember, the people that build new homes are not stupid.
They are successful people, smart people, they know this situation is short term, they know we will come out of this at some point, and they know the smart move is to get ahead of the curve.
And right now they need someone that is speaking their language and answering the questions that are going on inside their heads.
Now is the time to get started on that content marketing strategy that you never had time for before.
Now is the time for you and your team to be creating marketing assets for your company and working on your sales skills.
This truly is a golden opportunity to follow Isaac Newton's example to go deep, and create something amazing in your building company.
Stop Selling And Start Helping
And remember, stop selling and start helping. That is going to be harder now than ever before as pressure mounts to close deals...which is going to make it easier than ever to stand out from the crowd when you follow the APB system.
And to help you get started, we’ve put together a comprehensive step-by-step training program for custom home builders that enables you to put together your very own plan B.