Generating leads is crucial to any business’s health. In a crowded marketplace such as construction, finding information and finding high-quality leads that can convert to sales is a priority.
Too often, leads are lost to competitors, meaning money left on the table when a business doesn’t position itself as an expert in the field. The higher priced the item or service, the more detailed and authoritative your business must appear.
Think about it this way; if you needed surgery for something, you want to be assured that you have the best surgeon and medical care available, not someone who is practicing veterinary science. Establishing your business as the authority in construction is the one strategy to focus on.
Before we dive into establishing your business as an expert in the field, there are three things to consider. What type of construction lead are you focused on, and what kind of service do you provide for those types of information?
As with the surgeon example, your business should be easily identifiable for its services. A surgeon doesn’t moonlight as a golf instructor; instead, they focus on one area of expertise and are known for their work. Your business should do the same, focus on one place to establish yourself as an expert.
Below you’ll find there are six lead generation strategies for commercial construction and six more strategies that are for residential construction with additional suggestions as well. Any combination of the six can work for your lead generation strategy. Remember, the goal is to establish authority and trust in your business, and by doing so, you’ll improve your sales.
Commercial Construction Leads
When you begin to think about your lead generation strategy, your first order of business is to organize a plan of what type of lead you wish to make, how close they are in their purchasing decision, and how quickly you hope to close the sale.
- Focus: If your focus is on generating commercial construction leads, the first thing you need to do is define your business as a commercial construction company.
- Identify Your Potential Customer: Who is your potential client, where can you find where they may be located, and understand what they may be interested in. By identifying your potential customer and where you may find them, you’ll be a step ahead of your competitors.
- Content is King: Crafting detailed, engaging content will go a long way toward establishing your business as an authority in the field. A beautiful website that offers a blog to detail market trends, your services, and solutions, as well as project updates, is an important and easy way to market your business.
You can publish before and after pictures of work sites, videos that explain your services and how they benefit your potential customer. To consider is to post on your site a case study that focuses on the type of development and projects your business can offer and how it can set your potential customer up for success will go a long way in getting the client’s attention.
- Mind your FAQ’s. Knowing the most asked questions and the types of solutions your business may offer is an essential step toward establishing your business as an authority.
- Pitch Sheet: Have a detailed offer sheet to pitch with potential clients. Know your price point and your offer for referrals. For example, reach out to your potential customers with a proposal for a lead such as $1000 for any information that you land as a client.
Stay relevant and be at the forefront of your customers’ minds. Even if your potential customer isn’t ready for your services yet, by staying relevant in their minds, your business is one that will be on their mind when it is time to move forward.
- Online Customer Reviews: Online customer reviews are a great source of proof of your business’s ability. Remember, the process is about establishing your business as the trusted option and one that the potential customer is familiar with and knows. The best customer reviews source is past customers, former employers, and anyone who has utilized your skills in the past. These need to be posted on your website, review sites, and business pages such as Yelp.
- Be Available: So much of the way our world works right now is with instantaneous gratification. So your response time to leads is crucial. Most contacts that are successful have a lead response time of 5 minutes or less. Setting an educated staff member dedicated to being immediately responsive to a lead is a must.
Lead Generation For Construction Companies
Establishing your business as a trusted expert is the first step toward lead generation. Keep in mind that your goal shouldn’t be on lead generation alone. Instead, your energies should be focused on generating the best type of lead for your business.
The difference between the two types of leads is that a general lead generation strategy is suitable for a long-term marketing strategy, while focusing on a high-quality lead will get your business faster.
Concentrating on your efforts is useful because the customer may be indifferent to shopping stages for construction services. Knowing the type of lead you are trying to gain essential when you begin your lead generation strategy.
There are several opportunities to generate leads for your construction business, some are paid, and other chances are free, and we’ll discuss those options below.
6 Commercial Lead Generating Ideas and Resources
- Google My Business is a free service that Google offers. After a general information set-up and a verification process by google (it may take about a week), the benefit of this service is that Google will place your business as an option for the services you offer on their search results page.
- Facebook Business Page: Another free and quick-to-setup tool for your business is a Facebook Business Page. Here you can upload a lot of your content, create and promote posts that can attract customers, and create highly targeted advertising if you wish.
- Houzz: This is a business referral site that attracts millions of visitors a month. A quick set-up of your business is all it takes for customers to find you. Think of it much like an online version of the yellow pages with a place for previous customer reviews and more.
- Angie’s List: Another customer review site that you can position yourself as an industry expert.
- Home Advisor: This site is a growing leader where customers can seek out the highest-rated contractors and builders for all their needs. Customers can search for a contractor or other service by zipcode, placing local businesses a priority over national companies in their search parameters.
- Yelp for Business: There are two plans with Yelp, one free and the other paid for, or “promoted” as they claim. Both services require the same easy set-up for your business page. Yelp operates from a customer review perspective to add social proof for your business’s capabilities, and expertise can go a long way. With the paid version, Yelp will promote your business placement on its results page over those of your competitors.
Residential Construction Leads
Much like finding commercial business leads, it’s essential to understand who your potential customer is and where you may best find them. There are two main ways to generate leads, free sources, and paid resources.
Inbound vs. Outbound: Two Main Lead Types
There are two forms of getting leads, inbound and outbound type leads.
Inbound leads are those potential customers who may find you on your website, some other form of lead generation service like we discussed early such as Houzz, Home Advisor, Angie’s List, and more. Inbound leads are usually more qualified, meaning they’re already familiar with you and your services, are seeking more information, and are closer to a purchasing decision.
Outbound leads require more work on your end. They are the type of leads that your company is reaching out to and are generally considered “cold” leads.
A cold-type lead is a prospect that may not be familiar with your services, and your contact may be their first thought about those purchasing decisions. Outbound leads are more of a general, long-term strategy, which often won’t lead to an immediate closing sale.
Once you decide on your lead generation strategy, the next step is to make a detailed plan to execute before you dedicate any time and resources to implementation.
Planning will cut the risk of costly mistakes and overruns in your marketing outreach goals. Famously President Abraham Lincoln said, “It’s better to measure twice and cut once.”
The steps needed to get from prospecting for a potential customer to close a sale is a dual strategy of short-term deals and long-term business awareness.
The goal is to establish yourself as an expert for a specific type of construction, a specialist versus a generalist or “jack-of-all-trades.” While there is some value in the generalist approach, all too often, expertise is seen as being highly focused on one particular skill or service.
Focus on where your customers may be and market to them where they already are. Understanding your customer, whether it is residential or commercial construction, is essential in your marketing strategy. They each have different outcome objectives, and targeting each will make your lead generation strategy more efficient.
As you have a better grasp of where your potential client is located, your strategy’s next phase is to begin building and publishing content.
Whether you plan on posting to a company website or blog, on a social media page, or paid advertising, getting your content in line with your outcome goals is an essential next step.
Types of Content To Produce
- Blog Post: A regularly maintained blog highlighting recent and past client work, from overall construction, remodels, and other work types highlighting your services should be routinely published. The use of photos, especially a “before/after” series, goes a long way toward establishing your work expertise.
- Video: Video is the most consumed type of content out there. Over 80% of all content consumed is video. From YouTube to your website, publishing a video that shows a home make-over, an easy DIY project, or a video FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions, are great ways to offer some “proof” of your business’s expertise.
- White Paper or Case-Study: Crafting a case-study of a project that shows the problem your client had and how your business solved that particular issue is another great way to establish your authority.
- Targeted Marketing: Once you’ve built your initial content, you want to promote it to a specific targeted market. Your efforts should focus on the type of customer you wish to attract and how your content is appropriate for them.
Please don’t use a broad-brush approach; think about who would specifically benefit from your content and promote it to them. Always have a call to action, even if it’s a simple “contact us for more information.” Remember, inbound leads are closer to making a purchasing decision than outbound, so a call to action turns your outbound lead into a warm one.
- Promoted Content: Your content is only as good as it is consumed. You could have the best DIY video on counter-top replacement, but if it’s left unseen, it’s nearly worthless. Understand that promoted content doesn’t always mean paid promotion.
The use of social media is incredibly prevalent for your potential client meaning your business needs to be on social media. One thing to consider on your social media is to utilize previous client testimonials or reviews. Users have over 80% trust in online reviews, and so online reviews should be a priority to your social media efforts.
- Networking: Another excellent lead generation source is to have you and your business networking where leads and referrals may be. Local community programs and clubs are a great way to network, from the local chamber of commerce to Rotary Club, International, and more. Getting involved in clubs that bring together people is an excellent way for your business to be relevant in mind.
A paid form of networking is with paid ads placed in areas potential customers may be found. An excellent example of this is for a residential builder to pay for a banner with your business displayed at a local youth sports event. Think about a youth baseball team or league that you can “sponsor.”
The small amount of overhead in ad placement, especially if your business is listed on a shirt or some other passive marketing way, can improve your business’s recognition and familiarity.
Unique Ways To Generate Leads
Another way to improve your lead generation strategy is to find a way to “stand-out” from your competition. Think about ways to offer something to your potential customer that enhances their perception of your business at little or no cost.
- Partnerships: Creating a business partnership with others in the business allows both you and the partner to offer some unique service that a competitor may not. Looking to partner your construction business with an architect enables both businesses to provide an “in-house” service for a home-remodel that your competitor may not. Partnering your use with another allows you to tap into each business’s reach and exposure to generate more leads.
- Outstanding Customer Service: Provide exceptional customer service for your potential customer that is friendly, helpful, and courteous.
- Educated Staff and Responsiveness: Your lead generation strategy is worthless without your staff’s ability to be educated about your services, the types of problems your business is capable of solving, and being quick to respond to any lead.
Whether you are looking to generate leads for commercial or residential construction, your focus should be on establishing your business as a trusted, respected source. By positioning your business as an expert in your field, you’ll have better familiarity in your market, and understanding is the first barrier to a sale.
In short, establishing your business as a trusted leader in the field of construction, from commercial to residential, should have dual planning. On the one hand, you should strive for the immediate sale, while on the other hand, your marketing strategy should lead to improved awareness of your services and lead to future sales growth. It’s best to tackle both methods simultaneously.