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We are a new Electrical company in a small rural area. I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion of the best way to introduce ourselves to the local general contractors.

With the telemarketing laws, I'm unsure of cold calling. Suggestions?

I've considered direct mail but can not find just the right introductory letter wording since you only get one opportunity to make a good impression. I need something that is memorable, factual not hype, that sets us apart from the rest if I decide to go with direct mailing.

In this area, going directly to their office for a face to face introduction to drop off business cards and brochures really isn't an option since most do not have physical offices but more home based businesses.

I've read and learned a great deal from this forum so now I'm putting it up for suggestions. Any help is appreciated!
 

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This is a sure fire way to bid work. Either buy or compile a list of General contractors in your area. Now buy winfax pro and setup a fax spam list. Make the spam look like a letter adresses directly to them. GC's have ego's I have found... I used this one:

"Hello Mr. GC. I want to work for you! I am a state licensed roofer with full insurance. I can bid of print or do take offs in the field. Call me!"

BTW this is illegal (because it's fax spam) but it gets great results. If you make it look like a letter and not a flyer, they might not know it's spam. Ahh yes, guerilla marketing at it's finest. It costs very little and when using winfax pro it takes almost zero time.

Another way is to join www.thebluebook.com and they send you FREE leads for new construction and major remodels. They also list you in their book and you get direct calls from GC's from time to time.

Ask your non competing buddies for referrals.
 

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My way is in the archives a few times and guaranteed to be opened. It would be expensive in a mass mailing.

Every small, rural area that I've ever been exposed to, everybody knows or is related to everybody else. A tough market to break into. For the brief period that I was in NC, hanging out at the local store by the potbellied stove chewin', dippin' and spittin' got me more contacts than any other method. It was disgusting but got me in with the local crowd. It was really easy to quit too.
 

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I built my business in a rural area without the potbellied stove, chewin, dippin and spittin, well maybe a little chewin.
Word of mouth is the ticket. Introduce yourself by showing up on there door step, they may be working out of their homes so I wouldn't consider it an intrusion. How about showing up briefly on the job site? Follow up with phone calls.
Good luck.
Brenda
 

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Brenda, Whe're you at? I have a little place (17+ acres) in Vale, that's about 14 mi. from Hickory, Newton and Lincolnton. I have one friend here that knows where Probst Crossroads is. Anywhere nearby?
 

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Teetorbilt said:
For the brief period that I was in NC, hanging out at the local store by the potbellied stove chewin', dippin' and spittin' got me more contacts than any other method.
And probably stained teeth and bad breath too. :cheesygri
 

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Greg's Lust

The key point here is to get your name out there. It's all a numbers game.

I had a friend named Greg, big 'ole native American, about 6'5" and about 250lbs, not the best looking guy. he's a mason with a OLD ford flat bed pick up, and anytime we'd go somewhere in his truck he'd honk, wave and yell at any woman passing within 50yrds of him. he had this stupid wave where you just twiddle your fingers forward individually.

Most if not nearly all the ladies would roll their eyes, ignore or even tell him to F-OFF, but this guy never let it bother him, he'd do this EVERY day. I was even embarrassed to be near him sometimes. well one day at lunch a cub we had working with us starts ragging on him about his style, tells Greg he has no game and that he's too old to be picking up on women. tells him that his little finger wave is gay and stupid. Now, we all thought it was but never told Greg that, so I broke it up and told the kid to get to work, Greg just sat there and didn't defend himself he just laughed it off.

The next day Greg comes to work with a shoe box FULL of Polaroids and photos of naked women, about 300 all spread out, butt naked and even performing 'acts' on him. (the backgrounds checked out, all real pictures, back then there was no Internet to download from, heck he was IN most! :notworthy) we took a long lunch that day! and the kid asks Greg if he can take the box home for a day, LOL!!

I will never forget the day I learned how important MATH was!

So whether it's Business cards, emails, phone calls heck even showing up at job sites! Just keep your chin up and develop allot of stick-to-it-ivness, and one day you could have a shoe box full of...Money.
 

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I noticed your avatar lists construction and electric. GCs usually want their subs to be subs and not competition. If your business card lists both, you may want to have others made before handing them out.
I too am in a small town and agree that word of mouth is my best advertisment. Run ads in the local high school sports programs, it's inexpensive and while people don't look there for an electrician, they do look in there to see their kids pic and see your ad. They begin to recognize your name as someone they have something in common with. Offer your services grattis or discounted to the VFD. Help out for community events. The more people that know you, the more that can advertise for you. And know if you do a good job they will tell a friend, do a bad job, they will tell 10.
 

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Looking from within

I dug out realpurty's question from page 51, cause I'm getting a re start myself and I was remembering what helped me in that situation. I went from $700 bucks in my pocket (and 10,000 in debt) to running a $480,000 dollar job. I built the local teamsters hall, and a whole floor (19,000 s.f.) for yellow book as some of my last jobs.

And I let it all go... (I was burnt out)

Now I'm trying to get back on (19 months later), and the market takes a huge dump! I sometimes lose sleep over it (just look at the time I post) but I just keep at it. I'm in a much better position now than when I started on my own years ago, but some how it seems to make it harder...so much to lose now. It's allot harder to light a fire under my ass cause, there's a lot of 'pride' in me, I'm not willing to get down and dirty anymore.

I know what I have to do...get back into the jeans and T-shirt, get rid of my Rolex and back into some tools. I'm a general but when I was on the job starting out I was right in there with the boys, no laborer just me and my subs, then toward the end I was on the phone and in the truck all day from job to job making delivery's and never really "getting off" work, shushing my kids anytime I'd get a phone call, running out of restaurants in the middle of dinner to take a call. my wife hated what I did, and who I had become.

One time I got away, got the kids out of school early and took both to the ZOO, I had workers on the job and everything was being handled, but I remember not being able to relax. I had lots of stress, over just regular stuff, deadlines and cash flow, nothing unusual. and half way into our visit I get a call from a building owner, so I look at my kids (they know the drill..Quiet!) and I run over to a more quiet place, I was on the phone for 15 min when I look over and my 7 year old girl was climbing the 4 foot tall fence to get a better view of an alligator. Instead of telling the owner of the building to hold on a second and yell at my kid I just ran up to her and kicked her right in the butt, and gave her 'the look' and then shook my fist at her older brother.

I spent the day apologizing to her, and even trying to rationalize what I did by telling her she could have gotten hurt or killed. well she was a little trooper, never argued and never said a word. months later her mom told me what happened after we got home that day (I dropped them off and went back to work) in an argument, she said how my little girl was crying and about how it was her fault, and how bad I sucked at being a father.

I had hit rock bottom, here I was 31 years old, with a business, a house and lots of money, I didn't smoke, drink, fool around with women, never out with the guys. All I had was WORK and KIDS, In that order, and my life fell apart, she and the kids went to live with her aunt for a full year, and I just went to work...

After, I wrapped up all the loose ends and refused any and all new jobs (very painful by the way) I invested in a new venture, that was supposed to be easier on us, well, I wasn't as good with that as I am with Construction...and I went belly up in 18 short months. we got back together somewhere in between all this and things with me and the kids have never been better...

I just want to go back to the good old days of working 8-9 hours a day, and being able to plan a vacation a few months out. I'm Not looking forward to running around all ways on a tight schedule, and on someone else's clock, 14-18 hour days and never knowing what I'll be doing 3 months out.

The money was great, but money can't be every thing...
 

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Gosh, Grumpy, you know that a smart-ass lawyer can set things up so you will pay $500 per fax -- or more -- if you try spam faxing!

The OPs website indicates a sophisticated, well-established and smart business, not a seat-of-your-pants start-up.

The anti-telemarketing legislation is for business-to-residential relationships; not business-to-business, so you can phone. (Imagine the chaos that would result if you stopped legitimate b to b marketing communications.)

I'm sure a better way to go, however, will be to build on relationships and community involvement. Look at relevant associations and community groups; ideally from the framework of your clients. Look as well at your prior client list and of course consider the inexpensive leads services -- not for the leads themselves, but for the contact information for future projects and relationship development. Your quickest and best business will come from your former clients; blasting around with cold calls and so on will keep you busy and may give you some leads, but it is frustrating stuff, indeed.

If you are in the retail instead of b to b space, some smart advertising may work well for you -- you can 'borrow' ideas from other contractors in non-competitive markets.

Simplejack, your story touches a nerve about the complex elements of business; the balance between your priorities, delegation, family, and external economic circumstances.
 

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I would try emailing them first and then cold calling them a few days later.

Not sure how others feel, but I don't get particularly annoyed when subs call to solicit business from me. I understand it's just hardworking tradesman looking for work to pay the bills.
 

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....& look at his post count, he isn't new now
Good info though :thumbsup:

realpurty2 is real pretty too....
she's a gurl! :laughing:

The OPs website indicates a sophisticated, well-established and smart business, not a seat-of-your-pants start-up.
Her logo and website
didn't look like that
when she posted this. :whistling
 

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Go Get Them Sparky!

You say your from a small rural town? How large of area do you want to cover?

I would join the local builders assoc. first. Do a post card on the cheap.

Knock on some doors in the am even if they work out of there homes.

I would do retail work or commercial. Home builders are a little slow right now.

Good Luck
 
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