Start to finish, building a sales system that works in the commercial construction industry.  Winning jobs with a general contractor

  1. Create an address book of companies and contacts to communicate with

    • Where to find active general contractors who buy a vendor’s service / product in your working region?
      1. Buy General Contractor list – roughly $6,000.  Are emails updated? Direct phones?  Example. or
      2. LDI, IsQft.  These free sources list bidding jobs along with company name and 1 or 2 contacts per job invite, so this can take years to build a healthy base of data.
      3. – rent a database of active contacts, download data to your own crm.
    • Types of systems to store accounts and contacts
      1. Write by hand in notepad and store in paper files
      2. Excel sheet or microsoft word and store in computer folders
      3. Buy a customer relationship management software -Contact manager, zoho, Insightly,
    • Clean bad contacts, phones, and emails
      1. Data accuracy saves time, emailing about a job lead to wrong email will keep you waiting for a response if email is wrong
      2. When a phone does not work or email bounces, remove and replace
      3. cleans contact phone and emails once they fail
    • Segment companies by working region, types of jobs company builds, plan room location,
      1. How does this company operate, how can you sell easier to them
      2. If you purchased a regional list, you may already have all contractors in your working region
      3. If you can view company past bidding or built projects, you can know if they build retail stores, or McDonalds or only Government facilities
      4. Plan room will let you pick projects to ask about at anytime instead of waiting to retrieve an itb.  You may get skipped on ITB, go get their projects
    • Get on bid list
      1. Have a goal of being on all companies invitation to bid list to receive invitation to bids emails
      2. Maintaining a vendor list is difficult for General Contractors. (who is still in business, where do you work, what trades can you complete, will you answer emails) Half of the General Contractors can keep a bid list in house and the others use another company such as planhub,, newforma,Procore, Isqft.
  2. Create a pipeline of job opportunities

    • If you have a list of contacts, you can email or call asking for opportunities without an invitation to bid
    • Use email templates – introductory with job name preferred.  DoConstructionBusiness has pre made templates to gather information for you.
    • Contact and job history logging
      1. Organization, transfer notes and gmail to your address book, CRM, notepad
      2. You must stay relevant, contacts can not go untouched, you must be remembered and easy to locate (email inbox)
      3. Mark the date you last made contact with a job or a contact, following up consistently but not too much/often is the key
    • Add job opportunities from other sources. Facebook, LDI, Isqft, itb emails- not your direct inbound pipeline
      1. Free invitation to bid websites.  Bluebook, isqft, Ldi-line, Gradebeam
      2. Facebook are the closest to completion with all others in bidding phase
      3. CleanSnap jobs have job decision maker contacts, request for final clean price, and are all in progress
      4. Pay 3rd party source- highlight prices and who opps are designed for
      5. Wait for companies to call you
      6. Cold call companies
  • 3.  Manage the job lead to get to proposal submittal-  

  • after the estimator sends an invitation to bid or the project manager has asked for a price
  1. If ITB is sent from estimator, must confirm 1 month later, is GC awarded? or bid before bid due date
  2. Contact and job history logging
  3. Gather plans for pricing estimate
  4. Talk with superintendent site contact
  5. When is site visit required, understand project phasing schedule
  6. Submit proposal to project manager
  7. Follow up 5 time with each contact related to job

     4. Post contract award

    • Payment requirements/ Accounts receivable
      1. Use Job Name on Invoice, include po number, email to project manager
      2. Follow up fast and often
      3. Use a software to track number of days since invoice date.  
      4. Davis bacon weekly payroll.  See a calculation worksheet here
  1. Customer and lead retention

    • Contact and job communication dates
      1. Reuse contact information from awarded and lost jobs, call, email and reference past experience with contact and company