I think some times you have to sell to get a builder to go with you especially if your trying to do work for a builder who is willing to pay for quality.
Take for example a guy I know who less than 10 years ago was a salesman/estimator at my lumber yard for one of my builders. One day he decided to start a insulation business targeted mostly at builders. Last time we spoke he had around 250 builders he did insulation for (he’s under 30). One would guess he had to do some sales to land that many builders in less than five years. One thing I know is that he’s connected to a huge network of people which helps to secure jobs. His father and Uncles all are business owners so who knows maybe it’s in his blood.
Doing sales for me is pretty easy as most leads are from refferals. Almost every jobs I do the home owner knows a person I did a roof for in the past. Very rarely do I see signed contracts, helps to stay away from the storm chasers tactics.
This year I’m only in one phone book which most of the leads are sent to either my Uncles or brother. I may go to 1 in 10 calls from the phone book if I feel like it’s a strong enough lead.
The other day I was talking to an adjuster who was in Michigan last year working the huge hail storm. He said State Farm looked at a map and said everybody on this side of the road gets a new roof and everybody on this side of the road won’t get a roof! He made mention to a large contractor in MN who I subbed from last Summer who bought a large construction company in Michigan and was wondering if anybody knew which company that could be. In MN the company is Superior Construction Services and the owner and his wifes also own 20-30 Service Master cleaning businesses nation wide.
Right now I’m booked with tear offs until the snow flies and my brother looks to be booked that long too. My two Uncles are starting to pick up work but their network is tiny compared to my brothers and mine.
It’s amazing to me that I’ve got past customers and friends who go around bragging up my name to their friends, family, and co-workers and don’t ask for a penny in return. You could say there my salesman who aren’t paid!!! My mechanic who’s roof I just did due to hail has gotten everybody on his block to go with me and now he’s sending me to other towns to take care of his friends and family’s roofs, which of course are all insurance jobs.
How many of you have gotten reffered to a place or business who was said to do excellent work but you found the customers service to be lousy? I have many times and it makes me think that you don’t have to be great at sales to be great at running a business that in fact requires sales to make work.
I’ve met business owners that are great at what they do but aren’t people persons. The people keep going back because they know they’ll get what they want and it will be right.
I think I’d rather be an insurance adjuster than a roofing salesman.