By Lauren White.
Ryan Groth, founder of Sales Transformation Group and David Fox, a marketing strategist and fractional director of marketing at Fox Marketing Advisors, conversed about the need for strong marketing and sales in contracting businesses. In his words, Ryan Groth helps contractors shift from having unpredictable cash flow to earning predictable revenue by, “moving into private and higher ticket clients with precision and predictability through proven sales strategies.” Meanwhile, David Fox is focused on helping contractors grow fast, assisting them to remove “roadblocks and optimize their marketing vendors and lead generation so their marketing is helping them grow instead of just being a big headache that keeps them stuck where they are.” These two gurus discussed what it takes for a business’ marketing to succeed or fail and how that impacts sales processes.
The world is moving more and more towards digital, and marketing is moving right with it. There are pros and cons to using digital marketing. According to David, digital can be great because you can see your insights and track what is effective or ineffective. Additionally, customers can reach out to you. A digital agency can help a contracting business get on the first page of Google to ensure more clicks, views, and engagement. However, if there’s a problem in the conversion funnel, many times the marketing agency doesn’t know what it is or how to fix it.
The conversion funnel outlines the steps a customer goes through before finalizing a purchase starting with awareness and proceeding to interest, consideration, and then ending with conversion or purchase. David explains that, “maybe the messaging is wrong, maybe they don’t really know their buyer, maybe they have a website or a landing page that just isn’t getting the job done with the prospect.” David shares an example about a client he had that spent $5,000 a month on Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing and didn’t receive any leads. “It was really a matter of going in and figuring out what was broken and as soon as that was fixed, these guys started getting not only leads, but the right kind of leads really really quickly.”
In their conversation, Ryan and David agree there are about, “three to five commercial contractors in each market who are legit.” They are disciplined in both marketing and sales and focus on both in order to differentiate from the other companies. A problem they see is that other contractors are either not strong in both marketing and sales or they do one marginally and neglect the other.
David enjoys working with contractors because, “they are great at what they do and typically they’re people that can learn marketing and sales processes, and that’s not true in every industry.” According to David, contractors could benefit from changing their way of thinking, especially when it comes to marketing. “A lot of contractors think that they can just go out and buy a bunch of tactical solutions from vendors that knock on their door. A lot of them wind up getting ‘burned’ because they don’t get the leads and the qualified prospects that they need to grow their business,” David reveals.
It’s easy to place the blame elsewhere to explain unsuccessful marketing and static sales: the leads are weak, we’re getting the wrong people, this isn’t working, we’ve tried SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC, we’ve used social media, TV, and radio and we’re still not getting the right jobs. However, even if the marketing is fixed, that sometimes doesn’t solve all of the problems. That’s where having a plan on how to grow your business is important.
Ryan shares the approach he uses in his company to help his clients think about leads in a fresh way, “I teach my people to be very skeptical because that positions them to ask more questions versus solve the problem too fast. When you solve the problem really fast, and you don’t get to emotions, you stay in the intellect. I like to tell my clients the intellect shops, but the emotions buy.”
Part of the plan should also be to differentiate. Instead of looking at what competitors are doing and using the same approach, find ways to be unique. David emphasizes the importance of knowing, “who your buyer is, what their pain is, what their hot buttons are, where they look for credible information, and then figure out how you’re going to make that person’s life easier because just like sales...marketing is about capturing the attention of a person. It’s about solving that person’s problem, it’s about giving that person what they want.”
When people research a new company, they’re checking out all of their options and have multiple browser tabs open comparing and contrasting the different businesses. David points out that if all the pages look alike, “then a really great company that is outstanding in ways that matter to customers just winds up fading into the background.” Instead, the reaction should be, “‘Oh my gosh, where have these guys been my entire life? This is exactly what I’m looking for, this is exactly the contractor that we want to build a long-term relationship with,’” David explains.
Another key strategy is to alter how you view jobs. “Did you get the job that you want or the accounts that you wanted?” David asks. Reframing your thinking allows you to understand that “One is transactional with the project, the other one’s relational with an ongoing account. If you land me one $3,300 repair, I just got an account.” From there, continue to add value by being proactive, sending emails as touchpoints, and continue to build a relationship with the client. David further explains that, “...What happens from there is now you have someone who trusts you more, they like you more, they spend a little bit more with you and you get the job done when you deliver...That $3,300 job is going to turn into a $40,000 a year account which is going to end up giving you a $200,000 replacement job in three years.” Ryan shares, “Many don’t enjoy the sales process. Instead, they want to go from, marketing prospect to estimate to check.” This process takes time and patience, which is hard to have when you just want to make money.
Forgoing the difficult tasks and not putting in the time has significant repercussions though. Ryan expounds that those who put in the hours and work through the challenges benefit because they’re found by the people who “want to buy based on value and they pay quickly, and give you predictability and working capital to grow your business, because everyone wants to build their business...You’ve got to go deeper and you’ve got to go strategic and you’ve got to take the time and do the work, but when the work is done, you’ve earned the right to play at another level and get the results.”
David shares, “To me, it’s just not that much tougher to do it right than to do it wrong and I’ve watched contractor after contractor after contractor in my career get rich by doing it right and I’ve also watched people who really refuse to adopt these plans and these processes that we’re talking about and as a result, they wind up working really, really hard for a pretty crummy paycheck.”
Two important aspects of a successful business are effective marketing and a sales process. Powerful marketing piques the interest of the public and drives them towards your product, service, or company, while an established sales process ensures stable revenue and a strong business. Using the aforementioned strategies will help your business get the right leads, increase your presence, and help your company succeed.
Understanding the emotional needs of your customers is crucial to successful client connection. David explains that, “I look at it as turning marketing and sales into an investment instead of a gamble.” And with the right application of differentiation, patience, hours, and addressing challenges, your contracting company will be at the next level attracting customers who are looking to build a relationship with your company long term.
Watch the full interview.
Don't miss the weekly videos, join Ryan's YouTube Channel for notifications.
You Can Build an All-Star Sales Organization that can actually forecast and smash targets! Find out How.