In the construction industry, you must see sales and marketing as a dedicated, permanent discipline. You never stop marketing.
Some success comes quickly, and relatively easily. But 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.
Be patient. Be committed. You are in it for the long haul.
Sales and Marketing
You’ll notice that I talk about both sales and marketing, sometimes interchangeably. What’s the difference, you may be wondering.
In simple terms, marketing is the major discipline covering all aspects of product, pricing, people and profit maximisation. Sales is the pro-active ‘get out there and sell’ element of the wider marketing discipline.