Responding to COVID-19
How to Navigate Construction and Service Sales Calls in the Time of COVID-19
As a sales consultant, coach, trainer and leader in the trade construction industry, it is my obligation to share my thoughts on the pandemic that we are seeing rapidly unfold in March 2020. I’m writing this so that my clients and our industry will come together to take the necessary actions to navigate what is certainly uncharted territory. There’s a clear medical affect that we are seeing impact our communities and small businesses, but what will impact our lives and businesses even more is the economic ripple effect. Who knows how long this will last? We don’t know the answers, there are too many unknowns. However, we have seen economic depressions before, and we can take the right actions
My construction business mentor Gregg Wallick told me once that the economy is cyclical. We struggled in 2008-2009 and changed our business radically to avoid suffering the next time there is one, and there will be another. I believe that the Coronavirus pandemic will force this next depression into reality, and we need to be ready and make sure we survive it.
Wallick began moving out of the bid-world and focused on building a service and sales organization, which is much more of a recession-proof business model than new construction. He started Sales Training in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since. He’s seen this movie before. I learned why and how he did this, which birthed my desire to start Sales Transformation Group – so the construction industry can have the skills, the focus and strategies to survive and thrive. I’m writing this so that your businesses won’t die, but you will make it. Don’t be afraid, we will make it!
Here’s what you can do:
- The Coronavirus will impact your customers’ confidence of having your team members step on property, so record your “COVID-19 Hands-free Process” from “contact to close-out”. People will always need to fix leaks.
- Record this “process” in a scrappy way – put in on your website, post on social and email broadcast. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
- Send an email to your staff and stakeholders. People need your leadership right now.
- Allow your staff to work remotely. Require an end of day scorecard and 7-minute morning huddle via Zoom.
- Take pre-cautions medically. Social distancing, gloves, protection, etc. I’m no expert here so please find a reliable resource.
- Keep Marketing. Keep Selling!
What’s the best way to sell now?
- Set up 15-minute discovery calls, 30-minute Project Consults via Zoom meeting (have prospects download the app). Zoom is free up to 40 minutes.
- Stick with the sales process! Don’t skip the steps because you’re anxious. This will allow you to differentiate.
- Use technology to perform a digital, virtual, hands-free inspection, take-off and estimate.
- Present via Zoom by appointment. Don’t email your quotes and don’t be a human panic button.
Who should you sell to?
- I’ve said this time and again because of my construction business mentor Gregg Wallick of Best Roofing…noninsurance and non-new construction work keeps you surviving through economic storms.
- Relationships with owners and managers of old commercial and residential buildings will help you survive.
- New builds will dry up. Focus on creating a great customer experience with repairs, restoration, replacement and retrofitting projects.
How do you find them?
- Scrub your outstanding pipeline. TODAY.
- Communicate and protect your existing clients. People will be trying to get them now…trust me the competition will be scrambling. Ask for introductions, “who do you know?”
- Certain buildings are vacant, leverage this time to complete jobs (restaurants, schools, sports facilities).
- Reonomy is a database you can subscribe to help locate contact information of building owners.
- Prospect – LinkedIn. Facebook Groups. Next-Door App. Advertise in your local market
What message should you send them?
- Use “Vidyard”, “Loom” or “Icecream” to capture short screen recordings. You can Google Earth a video of the building.
- Send Linkedin Messages of the screen recordings with an identified problem and demonstration of the problem. Video messages of your face is also different than the rest.
- Share that you have a “hands-free process to remedy the problem from contact to close-out”
- Don’t be afraid. This is an opportunity.
- Stick with servicing old, existing buildings.
- Share your mapped out “Virtual, digital, COVID-19 Safe, Contact-Free Process”
- Communicate. Market. Sell. Sell. Sell. Require all sales staff to prospect digitally in 1-2-hour blocks in the conference room or remotely.
- Get ready to endure a medical and economic storm, have courage.
- Stick with training and coaching. We are here for you; this is a time to get better and pivot.
If you’re not a member of the Sales Transformation Group community yet with access to my company Sales Accelerator Program and want to become a resilient sales organization to propel you into the private sector of your market, taking the right action and getting the right coaching so that you can weather this upcoming storm, visit: https://training.salestransformationgroup.com/quiz to apply.
Let’s band together and make it!
Ryan Groth is founder of Sales Transformation Group Inc.