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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1. Wedding list - Make a list of all the people you would invite to your wedding if you were going to be married today and money was no object. Call all of these people by phone and let them know you have started a new business and it would be your honor to offer a free estimate and some professional feedback on their project ideas.

The results should be one or two promising opportunities. The benefit is you can practice your presentation on those that care enough about you to listen for a minute or two. Your intensity level needs to be very low key. Ask each of them this very specific question "What upcoming projects are you thinking about?" If any, take the conversation wherever it leads.

2. Call all established contractors in your area - Let them know you are starting out, respect their success and wanted to offer your services as a sub for any projects they use subs for. Ask them if they would be ok with you sending them your contact information and qualifications and if they would like to meet you for coffee or a quick subcontractor interview.

Set a goal to call at least 200 hundred contractors and respectfully introduce yourself to each of them. Be very organized with these calls with a separate sheet of notes for every conversation including contractors name, phone, trade, needs, if they use subs, areas they work in, how often they want you to follow up, advice they offered you and any other pertinent comments they made.

Ask each this specific question "Do they ever turn down projects that are too small or not right for their company?" Follow up with "What would you have to do for an opportunity to pursue the opportunities they turn down?" With 200 phone calls this should yield at least two opportunities. ALWAYS ask if they have any advice for you. Some will offer an earful of gems for you, especially the old timers that are winding down a bit. Some will definitely want to help get started and see you do well.

Follow up with every contractor you sent your information to see if they received it ok and if they have any projects that they think you might be suitable for. MANY established contractors enjoy helping a new guy get started and they have A LOT OF RESPECT for go getters. Follow up demonstrates your sincerity and determination to be successful. That will earn their respect and interest in helping you in many cases.

3. Volunteer your skilled labor in exchange for publicity - The school play needs set builders. Habitat for Humanity needs every trade to build homes for the needy. Little league teams need repairs to the food stand. Many organizations are looking for donations or things to raffle off for fund raising. Offer them a few hours of your trade labor as a donation or raffle item in exchange for publicity at a local football game. Set a goal to do this with at least 3 organizations in the next 3 months and see how it goes. Make sure to get a free ad out of them for any upcoming publications they have that has some type of special offer for a quick response.

4. Parades - Drive your 4 wheeler or professionally lettered work truck pulling a parade float with a clever display of your trade in action in local parades. Do something memorable like throwing candy while wearing your tool belt and building something while one of your crew or family hands out coupons, flyers or brochures of your services with parade special offers on it with an expiration date. Have some kind of fun cool mascot on the float.

5. Write an elevator speech and use it to bait the hook in every day conversation and greetings exchanges - An elevator speech is a very short 15 second description of what exactly what you want people to know about what you do. Whenever someone asks you how are you today. Set up an opportunity to present your elevator speech. For example, How are you today?"

"I'm looking forward to a busy day installing another new blankety blank. What's going on with you?"

"Glad to be alive. We are finishing up a bathroom remodel in Winchester. How is life treating you these days?"

"I'm stoked. My customer loves their new blah blah blah. That makes my day. You doing OK today?"

6. Make a list of every type of customer that could benefit from your services and write down the best strategy you can think of for contacting them. For example, new homeowners, expecting parents, newlyweds, small businesses. landlords, apartment complexes, house flippers, small commercial property owners, real estate agents, foreclosing banks, Different age groups, professions, etc. Brainstorm the best strategy of reaching each market and why they would need you then follow thru on the market strategy that gets you the most excited. In order to get started ask yourself "who will need my services eventually? and what is the key moment when that generates that need?"

7. Business alliance - Make a list of every type of business that you could align with strategically that has the same customer base. For example, Deck builders aligning with above ground pool companies, fence builders and awning companies. Drywall companies aligning with painting companies. Roofers aligning with gutter or siding companies. Basement remodelers aligning with waterproofing companies. Set out to set up the relationship and mutually beneficial relationship with as many as possible.

8. ALWAYS ask for leads/referrals from satisfied customers. "Do you know of anyone else considering a project that we can handle?" "Could we give them a quick call to see if they would be willing to meet with me this week to discuss their project?" "I'm sure it would be helpful if you would be willing to introduce me. Do you know if they are home now?" "Do you think they would be glad to see you hahaha?" "My new business success relies heavily on happy customers like you telling their friends and family. Can I count on you to introduce me to them?" "When would be the best time for us to go see them?"

Pin them down to a commitment to you to get you in front of their referral. It will be fun for all three of you to talk shop and about the project you just did together. These escapades are PURE GOLD for generating sales. The overwhelming majority of customers ENJOY bragging you up and will gladly call their friends and family right up while you are sitting their at their kitchen table or standing in their yard with a little prodding from you if they really like what you are about and what you did for them professionally. DO NOT BE SHY ABOUT ASKING FOR THEIR HELP. THEY LIKE IT IF IT IS DONE CORRECTLY.

9. NEVER EVER NEVER be caught without the weapons for sales war - Pen, notepad, business cards, measuring tape and calculator. If you are deadly serious about launching your business as fast as possible you must have all of these with you ALL THE TIME WITHOUT FAIL and have the intensity to generate opportunities several times a day to USE THEM.

10. Look and act the part of a professional - Logo t-shirt and/or uniform, truck lettering, yard signs, website, business cards, neat professional appearance, behavior and equipment at an absolute minimum. You are ALWAYS ON STAGE. People are watching you to see how you act and if you are worthy of their consideration, respect, confidence and investment.

Hope this helps. Have a ball with it, be assertive and go kick some newbie azz getting your new business off the ground. It's well worth the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
11. Write down every sales objection you get in a sales situation that you were unable to overcome. Write some more effective answers than you stumbled thru at your sales presentation so you don't get caught flat footed the next hundred times you hear the same objection. If you need help writing them, then go get it. Having effective scripts to overcome objections in your sales arsenal is money in the bank, Not having them is a big hole in your pocket. Time is money. Capitalize on the customer in front of you as often as you can.

12. Always suggest smart and popular optional upgrades and always provide pricing and a reason why and why not they should go for it to the scope of work described by your customers. In my experience I always sell a few upgrades the customer had not thought of. The creative process is very satisfying, the customers appreciate your professional opinion and creative ideas from your vast experience and you will earn much respect, admiration and trust from your customer for your smart/fun suggestions to make their project unique to them. The profits and stronger customer relationships are well worth the effort. Challenge yourself to offer at least 5 smart optional upgrades beyond the scope of work the customer has outlined to you WITH PRICING AND PROS AND CONS of those further investments.

13. Never under value your value to your customers. You are a professional expert advisor to your customers looking out for their best interests. Your assumed role of looking out for your customers should always be obvious and clearly conveyed to your customers by offering advice, finding out why a customer is going in a certain direction and if they are missing any knowledge needed to make an intelligent decision. All well qualified customers suitable for your business pursuit will appreciate your looking out for them and making sure they have the best information to make the best decision. Being the best, most thorough provider of that vital information will set you apart from your "competitors" and put you at the top the list for project award.

14. Keep positive. Contracting has a series of challenges. Don't let a negative attitude effect your creative abilities to overcome the challenges with solid solutions you can bank on. Some problems come up often and can be the source of frustration if you belly ache about it or they can be huge opportunities again to set yourself apart from negative competitors that want to ***** instead of solve problems. Be a cheerful problem solver not a whiner spinning wheels over the same boring ground.

15. Take time off to keep your head on straight. Vacations, personal time, family, friends and down time are important to keep you fresh and enthused to fight the good fight. Do not neglect the other areas of your life in the name of your business. Success is being able to live a balanced life without sacrificing other important areas of your life. Be sure and keep the balance in your life. It will make you a better contractor, husband/wife, friend, parent and human being and will keep you generous and thoughtful. If you need time off to keep your satisfaction high and you cant take it then you are failing and steps need to be taken to turn it around.

Good luck with all
 

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16. Implement strategies that help you stay connected to clients. Most people can't recall what they had for lunch yesterday let alone who remodeled their bathroom last Fall. It's your job to make sure you take steps so they remember you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
16. Implement strategies that help you stay connected to clients. Most people can't recall what they had for lunch yesterday let alone who remodeled their bathroom last Fall. It's your job to make sure you take steps so they remember you.
:thumbsup:

16A. Facebook page - Inviting them to your face book page and posting pictures of each project n that page is an effective, fun enjoyable way to do this.

16B. Newsletter - A quarterly email or paper copy newsletter with seasonal tips, humor, a few short relevant articles, a promotion or two, current activities, interesting company news, a thank you for prior business, a referral reward if you like that sort of thing and a link to your website and face book page is another way that works.

16C. Events - Christmas and other holiday cards and small gifts like a decorative can of cashews or cookies and birthday or anniversary cards (of their wedding or your project) is also very effective.

16D. Annual invite - Having a cookout, get together, season opener or invitation to a home show. You will benefit whether the customers come or not because your invitation has reminded them of you. A personal phone call is the best way to make the invitation but cards also work well.
 

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