How to Succeed in Construction Sales, Even if You Hate Selling (Part 1 of 3) I Ep. 50

    

Every so often I run webinars for my clients and associates. I try to make them as impactful and concise as possible. 

But when you’re drawing from 30+ years of business experience and 15+ years of experience working with construction companies, there’s just so much to say and not enough time to fit it all in.

That’s where my Construction Genius podcast comes in handy. I can curate the best bits from my webinar material into something that’s shorter, and focused. And folks seem to prefer digesting information that way. 

So, here’s a segment from a webinar I did called “How to Succeed In Construction Sales. Even If You Hate Selling.” 

This is part one. And there’s two more to follow in the coming weeks.

In this episode I talk about the mindset you need in order to perform at the highest levels in construction sales. It comes down to these two things:

  • You’re there to solve a problem, you’re there to add value and you’re there to outwork everyone
  • People will purchase from people they know, trust and like

Your Next Step

If you or the people who report to you are responsible for sales, you might find the Construction Sales Assessment that I’ve put together extremely useful. 

It describes the five traits that successful salespeople in any field consistently display and you can rate yourself on those traits and then complete a short, simple exercise to help you strengthen any of the traits you need to work on. 

If you’d like to get the assessment click this linkwww.ericanderton.com/constructionsales

Transcript

ERIC:

[00:02] Welcome to Construction Genius. This is Eric Anderton and today is episode one of a three-part mini series I’ve put together on how to succeed in construction sales. Even if you hate selling.
The episodes are very short and punchy and they’re going to provide you with a ton of value. I took the content from a webinar that I recently conducted. And in the three episodes we’ll cover the psychology of high performing construction sales pros, sales strategy when pursuing new projects, and then a questioning framework that you can use when negotiating opportunities. 

So in episode one we’ll look at the psychology of high performers. And if you or the people who report to you are responsible for sales, you might find the construction sales assessment that I’ve put together extremely useful . It describes the five traits that successful salespeople in any field consistently display and you can rate yourself on those traits and then complete a short, simple exercise to help you strengthen any of the traits you need to work on. If you’d like to get the assessment just go to my website www.ericanderton.com/constructionsales. I’ll put a link in the show notes and you can download the assessment. It takes a few minutes to complete. I think you’ll find it deeply helpful. Hope you enjoy the show today and this little three-part mini series I put together. If you have any feedback feel free to give it to me and enjoy the show.

ERIC:

[01:41] So first let’s dive into the psychology of high performing construction sales pros. And really what we’re looking at here is the mindset that you need if you’re going to be successful in sales. So let me get some more feedback from you guys. What would you say is your one word that would describe the right kind of mindset for a successful salesperson in construction? Give me one word to describe the right mindset for a successful construction salesperson. What do you guys think as far as that’s concerned? Confidence has come up here a couple of times. Very interesting. It’s really tough to sell something if you are not confident. That’s interesting. Three… wow. Resilient. Thank you Eric. Confidence is… I’ll tell you, I have a firm conviction here that if I am competent, if I have competence, then that’s going to lead to confidence.

ERIC:

[02:39] And if my company is competent, I’ll be able to go out into any sales situation and really deliver the goods in terms of my presentation. So we’ve got knowledgeable, positive attitude – these are really excellent, I appreciate the feedback you guys. Now let’s dive into this a little bit. There’s some key ways of thinking about selling and and one of them is there are no secrets to success. Okay? So I’m not going to share with you anything here today that you probably haven’t already thought about in one way or another. And in construction, I believe this is particularly true, you are there to solve problems. You’re a service provider and you’re there to add value. 

ERIC:

[03:26] And if you can keep focused on three things every day as you get up and go out to the projects or you’re working with your clients – I’m here to solve a problem, I’m here to add value, and I’ll tell you one thing, I’m here to outwork everyone. I’m here to outwork everyone. That’s a very important mindset in terms of success. Now here’s another one. This is very important. You cannot control productivity. In other words, you cannot control your outcomes, but you can control your activity. You can control the things that you do that lead to the outcomes that you wish to achieve. If you focus on the quality of your activity, productivity will follow. This is fundamental. You must get better and better at what you do in terms of your activity in order to control your productivity. So that’s important. And here’s another one and this is what we’re going to dive into in terms of mindset. People purchase from people that they know, trust and like. Now when it comes to construction projects and when it comes to building a construction business, of those three words, which one do you think is the most important?

ERIC:

[04:33] Know, trust or like? Which is the most important? Just type it into the box there. Which one do you think is the most… trust, thank you Eric. Let’s see. Dave says trust. Excellent. Roland. Let’s see. Dave says, trust there, you have two Daves. Yup. Roland says, trust. Sean says, trust. Grant says trust. Neil says, trust. Trust. Okay, excellent. Okay. Now let me ask you this then guys. When you think of the word trust, what do you think of? What pops into your mind when you think of the word trust? Interesting… ethics. Okay. Roland, thank you that’s excellent. Ethics. Honesty… yep. That’s excellent. Do what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it. Yeah, that’s excellent. That’s really great Dave, thank you. So let’s dive into each one of these. Let’s think about knowing here for a moment. Okay. How do people get to know you?

ERIC:

[05:28] And it’s very, very important here. And by the way, you know what I’ll do is I’m going to send each one of you here who are on the call today. I’ll send you a PDF ebook. It’s a very short report about know, trust and like afterwards. Just as a gift for coming on the webinar here with me today. So I think you’ll find it very, very useful. So let’s talk about knowing here for a moment. In terms of knowing, how do you get to know people? One thing I’ve found is you’ve got to get your face in the place. You know, I think about relationships that I’ve built with people. I can even think of people who are on the call here today. One of the reasons why I have relationships with them is because I got my face in their office.

ERIC:

[06:06] In other words, I showed up at their office and I made a sales call. And if you want to get to know someone you need to show up where they are, whether it’s socially, whether it’s at their place of business. You have to find out where they are, whether it’s involved in the associations that they’re involved in. You need to get your face in the place. That’s one way to get to know people. Another way is you’ve got to drop the ego. Now, I know many of you guys, you’re on this call and we all have egos. I know I have an ego. But I just want to encourage you, and you know this is true, if you’re going to be successful in construction sales it’s not all about you. You’ve got to be able to drop the ego and make it about them because you’re there to solve problems and you’re there to add value.

ERIC:

[06:46] So as you get to know people and they understand that it’s not just about how awesome you are or all the things that you can do, but you’re genuinely interested in their problems and in their needs and what you can do to build a profitable project for them, that’s going to really help you to get to know them. And then the last thing is persist. I’ll tell you if there’s one thing I’ve learned in over 30 years in sales it’s not giving up. Okay? You want to get smarter and smarter as to the type of sales activity you’re doing. But the one thing you cannot do is to give up. And if you simply persist, if you simply show up every day, day after day, whether it’s in the selling aspect of your business or in the service aspect of your business, if you keep persisting, that’s going to have a massive impact on people being able to get to know you over time.

ERIC:

[07:41] People are wondering, are you in it for the long haul? Think about all the contractors that are kind of fly by night, particularly in this economy where things are, you know, so booming that anyone can pick up work. Well, you know, I’ll tell you, if you’re going to be someone who can build a long term legacy in construction, persistence and showing up through the ups and the downs is absolutely essential. So that’s one way that you can develop a mindset of making sure that people know you. Now let’s talk about trust. And every one of us here we know the importance of trust. Let me just say this, one of the great things about construction is, depending on the market that you’re in, many of us , we don’t need you know, a multimillion dollar project to get started with someone. At times it’s better just to start small because as you know construction’s a two way street and you don’t really know if this person is a good client until you actually spend some time with them.

ERIC:

[08:36] You know, you can land a sweet project that’s right in your wheelhouse technically, but if the client doesn’t pay, if they’re a pain in the neck, if they don’t communicate, all those issues will cause you not to want to do work for them or charge them more for the work even if they’re a good fit for you in terms of the project type. So starting small is a great way just to build a little bit of trust. Now also, showing up helps to build trust. Are you Johnny on the spot when it comes to showing up? And that’s very, very important. What you want to be able to do is whenever you get emails, whenever you get phone calls, you need to be responsive. If your responsive, it’s going to help to build trust. And this is one thing I always want to encourage you.

ERIC:

[09:24] In the front of your mind make the client your number one priority and do whatever you need to do to show them that your responsive, that you communicate well and that you’re to be relied on. And then the third thing is to solve a problem for them. Think about that. And again, if you’re starting small, you may just identify a particular problem on a project that you can solve for them. You can bring a unique perspective. Perhaps you can be available to pick up some slack when another contractor has failed. But always be ready to have that problem solving mindset. Because I’ll tell you one thing, if you can solve problems for people, it rapidly develops trust with each one of them. Okay? Now in terms of like this is very important as well and I just want to encourage this here. I’ll tell you, this is really important. If you want people to like you, don’t be like the donkey in Shrek right?

ERIC:

[10:24] At the beginning of that movie the donkey wanted the ogre to really, really like him and he tried too hard. Listen, you are the prize. Your company is the prize. If your company is any good, it’s a privilege for people to do business with you. And you need to show up with that power and that confidence when you walk into the general contractor’s office or you walk into the owner’s office or the developer’s office. Kings talk to Kings, so show up as an equal. Don’t show up begging for work. Don’t show up desperate, show up as an equal. Nobody likes a desperate salesperson. And then show up and be helpful. Look for things that you can do immediately to help someone. Look to solve problems if you can in a way that benefits them without necessarily them having to give you something first. If there’s a way for you to do that.

ERIC:

[11:19] If there’s a low cost way for you to help them, then go ahead and do that as a way of building up that knowing, that trusting and that liking. And then the last thing, and this is important as well in sales, is be yourself. One of the things I like about the construction companies I work with is I don’t work with fake people. It’s awesome. I don’t work with, you know, these people who are trying to, you know, do whatever. You know what I’m saying? I work with people who are just straight up. They are who they are. And I want to say this, not everyone is going to like you. And that’s okay. If you’re the type of person who can build a successful construction company, you’re going to attract the right types of people and you’re going to repel the wrong types of people.

ERIC:

[12:05] So just be yourself. So show up as an equal, be there to help, be yourself. Those are ways that you can build that knowing, that trusting and that liking with each one of the clients that you work with. So as we’ve gone through this mindset piece, what’s one thing that has struck you as important? Just chat that into the box. What is one thing from this know, trust and like mindset that has been helpful to you? Let me know. Just chat that in here real quick. Yep, showing up as an equal. That’s really important. Being yourself. Yup. Going back over here, starting small. Starting small is a great, it’s excellent. Starting small is wonderful. Adding value is excellent as well. Thank you. This is great. Okay, so I want to say this. Every day is a good day and so if you’re going to be successful in construction sales, this is what you have to think.

ERIC:

[12:59] High performers in construction, they choose this. They choose to get something out of all situations rather than complain about them okay? They choose to hustle rather than to dog it. They choose to be prepared rather than just show up. They choose to be consistent rather than occasional. They choose to be early rather than just on time or late. They choose to want to learn rather than want to explain or excuse. They choose to do more rather than just enough or less. They are mentally tough instead of being mentally lazy or intimidated. Very important in construction sales. They concentrate on what to do rather than on what may occur. They choose to be aggressive rather than passive or submissive.

ERIC:

[13:54] And they choose to know their limitations rather than trying to do more than they’re capable of. And finally, they always think about solutions rather than worry about problems. Oh, and a couple more here. They accept adversity as part of the game and as a part of life rather than magnify the adverse conditions and seek sympathy. And they choose to share with and help others rather than be selfish. So this is the mindset of high performing construction salespeople. They are willing to build relationships based on know, trust and like. And they choose to perform at a high level every single day.

ERIC:

[14:37] Thanks again for listening to the episode. I hope you enjoyed it. If you’d like to gain insight into how you can improve your sales success, don’t forget to take the assessment I mentioned at the beginning of the episode. Go to www.ericanderton.com/constructionsales. Download it for yourself. Take the assessment, do the exercise. It’ll help you to focus in on the things that you need to do in order to be successful in construction selling. Thanks again for listening. Feel free to give us a review on iTunes or Google or wherever you get your podcasts and I appreciate your support of this show.

Podcast Reviews

Why the Construction Industry is Foundational to the Success of California | Ep 12

Malard

How to Win the Battle Against Silos | Ep 19

Pat, Glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate the feedback. I'll have some more episodes in the same vein, coming soon. Eric

How to Win the Battle Against Silos | Ep 19

Eric, really enjoyed this podcast. Extreme Leadership is one of my favorite business books. Nice to see that you are incorporating some of their leadership strategies into your podcasts.

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