Building long term relationships that will bring you a continuing stream of tenders and profitable contracts.
When thinking about marketing, it’s easy to think about websites, glossy brochures and advertising. But these are just some of the tools in a broader discipline. In the construction industry at least, marketing is about strategic thinking, highly targeted sales, and building long term relationships that will bring you a continuing stream of tenders and profitable contracts.
There are things you can do to introduce yourself or get a foot in the door. But you need to see sales and marketing as a dedicated, permanent discipline. You never stop marketing.
You will find that some success comes quickly and relatively easily, but that’s not necessarily the norm. Some of the most productive relationships are slow to develop. They may take two years, four years even. Some projects, as we all know, just seem to drag on for months or years before getting off the ground. You have to be patient and committed. The best marketers are almost ruthlessly clear-minded in their persistence. If you know a potential new project or client is going to lead to long-term potential, then commit and stick to it.
It’s vital that construction management recognises the long-term nature of marketing. Instead of wasting time chasing less effective leads and secondary contacts, you need to identify key contacts, chosen because of their strategic potential for new business. Then devote serious, patient, long-term investment in developing those relationships. That’s good marketing, and good business.
They say that a large sale requires an average of seven different types of contact. And productive, settled relationships take at least 12 hours of face-to-face time before you have a solid working partnership.
It sounds like hard work, and it is. But ultimately that investment of time will pay dividends in repeat custom and a long term business partnership.
So resist the quick-fix approach to marketing. Be patient. Be committed. You are in it for the long haul.