get clients as a contractor

If you’re a contractor needing more work, you’re in the right place.

 

I work with hundreds of construction companies around the country every day and I consult with them about how they can grow their businesses and lose their stress.

 

After doing this for years, I have a good idea on what works and what doesn’t work for construction companies.

 

So I packaged it up into a list of the 12 most incomparable, champion strategies that will get any contractor more clients.

 

Let’s dive in.

 

 

 

 1. Visit Potential Clients

 

Construction is a relationship-based industry. It’s all about who you know and how well you know them.

 

Going out and talking to clients is the #1 most foolproof way of getting leads. That’s why it’s at the top of this list.

 

A good number to shoot for is 5-10 potential clients a week. Going and introducing yourself and giving a short sales pitch to construction companies in your area can give your business a big boost.

 

Doing it consistently can explode your business and give you a juicy list of prospects you can potentially work with.

 

Want detailed instructions on how to do this? Check out our 27 Ways You Can Get More Construction Jobs article and scroll down to the “Visiting Method”.

 

 

 

  2. Title Page Method

 

Go to any set of plans and in the cover sheet, you will see a list of people like this.

 

title page method

 

Then, call the architect or the owner and find out who else is bidding the job.  This not only gives you a potential architect or owner that can give you more work, but a list of General Contractors that you can send your bid to.

 

Then, call each GC and see if you can send them your bid and also get on their bid list.

 

So, now instead of depending on 1 GC, you suddenly have 3+ that have your bid and your chances of winning the project go up by more than 300%.

 

This is a very simple method that you can start doing within the next hour, as it only requires you to make a couple more phone calls than you normally would.  It’s perfect for contractors early in their business and for people needing a quick and reliable way to get more work.

 

 

 

  3. Hire an Estimating Company

 

To get more clients, you need to sell to more people, and you can never do that when you’re bogged down by working in the business so much as the all-in-one bookkeeper, project manager, salesperson, etc.

 

So to solve this problem I’d recommend hiring an estimating company to handle your estimating so you can spend more time doing things that make you more money.

 

Plus, having detailed estimates given to you for you to tweak and plug in as your bid helps improve your closing rates as well, so it’s a win-win.

 

If you’re interested in something like this, feel free to call us at (866) 367-4939.

 

 

Most people assume that the lowest bidder of jobs always wins, but the truth is that that is completely false.

 

The one who builds up the most perceived value always wins.  If the client only has the price to go by, which is only the case on government jobs, then of course they would go with the cheapest option every time.

 

But if you position yourself to be the most trustworthy and valuable contractor in the mix, you’ll be unstoppable.

 

The next 4 strategies are meant to build up your perceived value as a contractor, so read closely and implement them if you’re serious about getting more clients.

 

4. Audition Method

 

When actors try to get parts for movies, they need to audition to see if the casting director likes what they bring to the table.

 

I’ve found that construction bidding can surprisingly be very similar.  You need to wow the GC or owner with the best sales pitch and the best estimate to stand out and get the job.

 

But how do you even get the chance to audition?  Most clients don’t usually take new bidders they’ve never met before seriously, so this can be a challenge.

 

To fix this, stand out by giving longer bids or ones with unusual items.  Including unusual things in your pricing for the sole purpose of getting your potential client to ring you up and ask about it is a great and easy way to start getting more phone calls from potential clients.

 

This gets your foot in the door and paves the way for you to have a killer audition.

 

 

 

  5. Interview Method

 

So now we’re at the audition, and you need to show that you’re the real deal.

 

The initial bid you sent will make them need to call you to verify the scope, and from there you can offer suggestions and value engineering on the project.

 

When they call you, you can position yourself as the authority and start building your reputation with them.

 

Remember, the goal here is to give value in person with the prospect, so when they ask for more details over the phone, say you’re going to get them from a supplier and get back to them.

 

And from that point, you visit them with the documents and make your best sales pitch.

 

For more info on this strategy, including a script with what to say on the call, check out our Ultimate Guide to Grow your Construction Business.

 

 

 

  6. Exposure Method

 

The exposure method is simply getting in front of a potential client over and over until they recognize you and subconsciously start to like you.

 

This is actually based on real psychology; I’m not inventing anything new here. If you call, email, visit, consistently (but not annoyingly) they will grow more familiar with you and are more likely to do business with you.

 

 

 

  7. Always Demonstrate Expertise

 

Most contractors don’t provide value to the job other than their labor. To get more clients as a contractor, you have to stand out and prove that you’re an expert in your field.

 

You do this by helping the general contractor or other trades coordinate the job.

 

If you’re just there to do your work like everyone else, you become just some guy they contracted on the job. But if you’re going above and beyond to solve problems on the job site that may not even have anything to do with you, your clients see you as an expert and are much more likely to hire such a reliable company for other projects.

 

“The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.” – Napoleon Hill

 

always demonstrate expertise

 

 

 

  8. Commercial Lead Generation Services

 

I’ve consulted many clients with their construction companies and how to properly scale their business, and I almost always recommend them to sign up for lead generation services like Bluebook, or iSqft if they’re not already on them.

 

These sites will bring you a steady stream of projects ready for you to bid on, and it gives you a head start to find projects for your company.

 

In the commercial sector, this would be the best source of potential clients to give sales pitches to and bid projects.

 

It’s great for that boost to your clientele and it’s also relatively cheap, most of these commercial lead gen services are only $75 – $150 a month.

 

 

 

  9. Residential Lead Generation Services

 

This is the same concept as the commercial lead generation service, but with a different website. Here, you’ll be using HomeAdvisor.

 

They only charge per lead, after you pay the annual membership, here is their pricing plan.

 

Once you get the leads and start bidding jobs, it’s up to you to follow up and really build a reputation where you’re the authority in the project.

 

Follow the strategies above, read our other articles in depth and implement them to the tee, and you will find success.

 

 

 

  10. Add the Government as a Client

 

Why not add Uncle Sam as one of your clients?

 

Signing up to be a government contractor is pretty simple, you just need to register to these sites and then you’re ready to get bid invites.

 

 

Remember that in these jobs, the bids are picked on price, so don’t worry about building your perceived value. Go the cheapest and you win, but don’t worry because you can still make up for it in change orders while on the job.

 

 

 

  11. Ask for Referrals

 

Just asking for referrals while on the project or after can go a long way.  While your team is working very fast and things on the project are going smoothly, a simple “Do you have any projects we can work on?” can easily land you some new projects and clients.

 

You have to be worthy of a referral though, so even if it may seem obvious, prioritizing efficiency on the job in order to impress your client will help you in the future when the client is thinking of contractors to hire for another project.

 

 

 

  12. Ask Subcontractors Who They’re Working For

 

If you already know some subs through experience working on projects together, why not give them a call to see if they can connect you to GCs actively building projects?

 

This is a strategy I’ve seen work very well for construction companies in my time as a consultant. It’s a super simple strategy that can open the door to a whole other network of potential clients for you to work with.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Implementing these strategies into your construction company will get you more clients to possibly work with, but just remember that the real money is made in the estimating and management of projects.

 

That’s where we can help you with detailed, thorough estimating services and consulting so that you have all you need to go out and dominate in your construction business.

 

Good luck with your lead generation.  Feel free to leave a comment below if these strategies helped you scale your construction company, because that’s our goal.

 

 

Daniel Quindemil

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Founder and Senior Estimator at I AM Builders