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All too often in construction sales, the focus is on selling a job. Let’s rethink that approach; instead of selling a job, sell the design agreement that’s necessary so you can do all the work that needs to be done before the job starts.

I am not talking about small jobs. I am talking about jobs that are going to require design work. Those jobs often require a great deal of time and effort to determine what the client wants done. They require plans drawn up and selections made before a detailed estimate can be put together. That takes time and costs money. You shouldn’t be doing it for free, especially since there isn’t any promise that you’ll get the work.

When you go on a sales call, the first think you’ll sell is yourself. That is what the client buys first. Then the client will buy your company so you need to be sure you have your best foot forward there as well. A solid website that your client can look over before the sales call will go a long way toward selling your company before you even meet. You’ll need professional business cards, you should be groomed and well dressed, driving a clean vehicle, and arriving on time.

Next you must be sure you’re communicating with your potential client, and that means asking questions. Keep your opinions and your advice in your pocket, ask questions and gain their trust. Once they know you understand what they want, the trust will be there and they’ll be ready to do business.

Once they trust you, it’s an easy step to setting the budget and putting together a design agreement. With a design agreement, they’ll get the job they want within their budget, and you’ll be paid for the work you do. Everyone wins.

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