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Where Will This Economy ‘Lead’ Us?

These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they’re gold, and you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you would be throwing them away. They’re for closers.” Blake – Glengarry Glen Ross

Boy do I love that movie! If you have never seen Glengarry Glen Ross and have anything to do with trying to bring in new business for your company, watch this movie. It should make you feel a little better about your current situation. For there to be zero violence, it is the most difficult movie for me to watch because the performances are so powerful. [Warning: It is definitely a ‘grown up’ movie…keep the kids far away as the language can curdle milk.]

I was having a conversation with a prospect who is concerned about being able to build new business during this downturn. The conversation turned, as one might expect, to discussing how he feeds his pipeline and how he leverages the information that not only makes into the pipe, but is not considered ‘pipe worthy’.

I believe there is no such thing as a ‘bad lead’ for people selling products or services in the construction arena.

The one thing I tell anyone I speak with about building new business in this economy is that the greatest sales people in the world are not going to be able to convince any owner or developer into constructing a new building that they cannot afford.

So, what do we do?

If you subscribe to F.W. Dodge, Reed Construction Data, DEC International, CDC News or any of the other construction lead services you need to make sure you milk each lead for useful information. Remember, you are not the only company purchasing those leads so you have to know how to leverage each one beyond its primary purpose.

One of the profound incidences that led to me this business is when I was working at Construction Market Data (Now called Reed Construction Data) and would see companies paying up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for leads and using the information to just a small degree of their worth. My analogy is they were purchasing a new set of woods and irons (golf clubs for the non-golfers out there) and when it was time to play; they would grab just three clubs and leave the rest in the bag.

This is the time to review your sales and marketing strategies. How do you feed your pipeline? How do you process your contacts? How do you measure your results? How do you leverage each lead? What are you doing that your competitor is not?

With the days growing shorter, construction slowing down because of the season, now is the best time to review your sales processes and sharpen your ax.

A lead is not a contract or purchase order but merely the first step in that direction. What will you do differently that will give you the edge over the other hundreds of companies who have the same information?

There is no better time than now to refine the processes that fill your pipeline. I do not believe the economy will stay down but who knows when it will turn? In the mean time, use any time you have not fulfilling business to do all you can to build new business.

If you have any questions, let me know.

About the Author

Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc., An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in CRM, Business Development, Sales, Marketing as well as Executive Placement and Recruiting for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

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