Don’t Fly Off The Track At The Top Of The Hill!
I was out traveling last week and had the opportunity to meet with some great customers as well as with some of our great competitors. A common point of discussion was that everyone is busy, busy, busy!
That is great news, of course, but something I kept hearing was that contractors are finding it difficult to keep up with leads during this busy time. In fact, I even heard about some folks who aren’t even trying to pursue new business! While on the one hand it is great to have lots of business, I want to caution that not continuing to work toward the future can put you in a very precarious position going forward!
Here are three dangerous risks of not always pushing ahead for new business.
- A lack of responsiveness now will travel quickly to your prospects of tomorrow, tarnishing your reputation.
- Virtually everyone who is considering a future remodeling or construction project has heard of the labor shortage. So, many folks are making contacts now for projects in 2020 and even beyond – ignoring these folks now will blow big holes in your pipeline of future sales. You will find yourself in 2020 and all of the contracts are already held by your most forward-thinking competitors.
- If your team members do not clearly see a future of continued growth and prosperity with your company and they hear things like “Well, I called your company but they never called me back,” they will be very quick to switch to other companies who appear to be “movers and shakers,” worsening your own labor situation.
The risks of “letting up” on sales efforts and not being 100% responsive to past, present, and prospective customers are huge. Do not let the current good times lull you into a false sense of security that this is the “new normal” because it isn’t! There always have been and always will be ups and downs in business. If you think of business cycles as a roller coaster, do not let yourself fly off the track at the top of the hill!
Here are three ways to make sure that your momentum is maintained for the future.
- Continue to watch your numbers and to track your responsiveness to every lead that comes in. Assure prospects that your company is busy, and so is every other contractor who is worth their salt! Search for ways to arrive at mutually agreeable time tables, including perhaps quick interim repairs for prospects until your company has time for the full project.
- Stay on top of your sales system! Busy times are easy times to step away from your sales system. Everyone begins to assume that leads and customers will always be plentiful. Not so! Before you know it, demos are down and, worse yet, close ratios are declining. Sales people start to see their commissions decline and they are quick to look for other pastures. Make sure that your sales team is always following your system – and, above all, do not start to “pass” on holding weekly sales meetings!
- Expand your team. Team expansions are always costly in terms of money and time / effort. However, team expansions can be virtually impossible or even a death knell during slow times. Use the profitable times to build an even stronger team for the future.
Thanks so much for being a regular reader of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. We are always here to bring you information, ideas, and encouragement that bolster your business. Please drop me a note if there are any topics you’d like to see us cover in the future.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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