Commercial roof lead generation


#1

New to the forum and it looks like there is a wealth of good information and insight here.

We only do commercial/flat roof installations and generally keep busy and booked a good couple months out throughout the year on repeat and word of mouth referrals. However, I’m curious on your thoughts of cold calling or door knocking to businesses looking for jobs.

I’d like to get our name out there to more and more people. We do not do much in terms of advertising and am concerned that cold calling may look like we are desperate for work, or will make the business owner wonder why if we are such a good contractor that I’m knocking at his door for a job?

Any other ideas on the best way to make these commercial/business contacts?


#2

have you tried the Blue Book ? some advertising is good but you don’t want to go crazy with it. I would be very hesitant to cold call.


#3

Thanks RooferJ. What is the Blue Book? Is it like the Dodge Report?

Most of the jobs we quote are not out for public bid and I like that vs. entering into a bid war with 8-10 other contractors. Likewise, we don’t bid new construction.


#4

thebluebook.com/

Its another thing to waste money on, but you do get commercial leads.


#5

How about trade shows geared towards buyers?

It sorta goes with the territory that if you are the facilities manager of a hospital, shopping center or Wal Mart that you’re going to get people bugging you to buy their products & services. If you don’t expect it & don’t want this kind of solicitation, then you’re in the wrong bidnezz.

Granted, there are ways of insulating yourself & preventing them from talking directly with you (receptionists, lower level managers, etc) but the ‘real’ decision maker (or who / what the collective group of maker***S*** would be) is often the hardest part of the process. It’s not as simple as what your message is but WHO to deliver it to.

That said, it sounds like you are nervous about the process & if you had the opportunity to talk directly with one of these people, you might end up opening with “I am sorry to sound like a loser who is in danger of going out of business, but…”

People who have this sort of need & make this kind of decision are the same people who get asked to buy a newspaper subscription when they walk into a grocery store & I’m sure are able to make a quick or slow call on whether they want to talk to you or your organization.

Obviously, you need to refine your message to the point where you have confidence in the information you’re going to discuss or literature you’ll hand out. That said, don’t get hung up on the idea that you need gold plated trim on your brochures or handouts before you can present them to customers.

It’s like a 15 year old kid eyeballing a girl in school: “If I don’t have the right ‘line’ then she won’t talk to me. I need a cool into line, yeah, that’s it!” Hopefully as you got older, you weren’t so shy to not walk right up & strike a conversation if you saw something you could pull into an opener.

Here’s a suggestion for you to get prepared for your cold calling - take @ least 1 day to get prepared by making calls to all these co’s & use this to help you:

(on the phone:) "Yes, I’m updating our records & wanted to verify your address as XXX Jones Street, zip 12345?

–I was also wondering who your Facilities Manager or whoever handles purchases for structural building maintenance issues might be? (something other than clean up’s on aisle 3)
–Is he / she normally on a '9-5, Monday through Friday 'kind of schedule?
–Uh, huh… & Does your office make their own buying decisions or do you have to go up a level to corporate offfices?
–Thank you…"

That should get you started.


#6

Thanks RanchHand!

We do have a booth two trade shows a year geared toward commercial property managers/investors/agents/etc. and that goes over real well.

Definitely not shy talking to anyone…certainly not about roofing, or girls when I was single for that matter!

Also, I’m not nervous about going in to do a cold call. Since I’ve never really done any focused door knocking, I was just looking for some insight on the effectiveness of it. Is it worth taking a day every week or two to go out cold calling businesses like that.

Regarding your suggestion for pre-calling in advanced, is that something you definitely recommend doing? Or was it just for someone who may have been nervous or apprehensive going in totally cold?

You mentioned literature to hand out. What is your opinion on how much to leave. I’ve heard some people put together a complete package of product and company information, while others say that’s a waste of money as they’ll keep your card and toss the folder.

Thanks again RanchHand for you thoughts. In the other posts I’ve read it sounds like you have some good info to share.


#7

I am not into commercial roofing but I have noticed that the local newspapers list large jobs to bid on.
A lot of government work usually but a lot of commercial also.


#8

I’d say do the advance work for a few reasons:

–If it comes up, it shows the customer you’re interested in the details. & We all know it’s the small details that make up the big picture.
–You might save yourself a lot of work. Why chase after the location manager when you know this person has to get approval from someone else?
–It looks a bit better when you walk into an office & ask for “John Smith” vs. “Hi, who handles the building maintenance for construction issues?”
–You can do an advance call the day before & make sure that person will be in vs. a blind drop & they are out.
–It will add just that little bit of an edge in confidence, even if you already have plenty to spare, more can’t hurt (just don’t come off like an arrogant prick).

As for brochures, again - don’t get wrapped up in having the most polished brochures out there if that’s going to hold you up from making the calls or visits.

You can work on getting all that ramped up as you go along & you may even try to ask the contact “Do you really do care to have the packet or is it’s just the biz card you’re interested in?”

I’d also try to constantly rework your website with fresh info or project photos; that is, if you have a site. You have to think of a website as more like your electronic business card & while I don’t have one, I am somewhat in the process of building one with some traded out work I did a few months ago.


#9

Good points RanchHand. I do have some pretty good marketing pieces that we use for the trade shows. Last winter I did develop a website for us - www.otterskin.com - and try to keep it up to date as much as possible.

It sounds like you are a proponent of cold calling. What has been your experience with them? Do you find that you get X number of jobs from every X doors you knock on? I’ve also read several posts here from people that are adamantly against cold calling. If you’re reading this (and your name isn’t RanchHand) and are against the cold calling, I’d be interested in hearing why.

Thanks.


#10

I think cold calling on franchises and large companies such as walmarts is a good idea.There are several others but I used walmarts as an example because I havent ever been in one when it was raining “that wasn’t leaking”.


#11

I looked @ your site & it’s just about right… no real complaints.

I would suggest you take your reference page (not the testimonials page, but the one with links to photos) & somehow group together all of the Red Lobster’s in an added area by listing something like

14 different Red Lobster stores
8 different Olive Garden stores
7 different xyz businesses

etc.

I would also try to go back to each of these shops for outside photos so you have a photo link for EACH one & one thing I’ve found works well for me is to have a handshake photo with each customer - it looks good to have a pic of the project, but even better to have one with the customer essentially saying “Yup, my project & I approve.”