Have you noticed whenever you buy a burger, the sales people always try to persuade you to ‘Go Large’, or have ‘extra fries’ etc. Have you also noticed at the checkout of every superstore are racks of things you would not have thought of buying, but as you stand there waiting at the checkout, you suddenly realise all the things you ‘need’! Scary stuff! Real profits come when you get the client to buy a larger, more expensive, or more comprehensive product or service.
This is how it works in the construction industry:
EXAMPLE A: The Remodeler, Home Refurbishment: in the business of building extensions, bathrooms, sun rooms, loft conversions etc. How about suggesting certain enhancements at the point of survey. Or ask them if they had considered extending the work to include a the latest whiz bang disposal unit, designed to be 150% more efficient and thus delivering significant cost savings to your client.
EXAMPLE B: The Commercial Contractor: how about offering a Repairs and Maintenance service after the initial defects period following contract completion. This can deliver great benefits for your client because you already know the premises and can operate much more efficiently with the prior knowledge base you already have.
EXAMPLE C: The House Builder: If you are building housing schemes where a number of homes will be rented/leased you could offer and Liaison Officer based on site for the first 6 months after completion, to make sure people are secure in their homes, know where to find everything and are happy. You could offer this service as a free added benefit – this may be the deciding factor that will win you the contract over your competition! Alternatively, if the client/housing association/ local housing authority are intending to employ someone for this job, you could easily extend your business reach by supplying the right person for the job – someone who already knows the property and has proven qualifications to do the job.
EXAMPLE D: The Sub-Contractor: if you work for a number of larger contractors, the way you source the products you use is crucial. It may be that the main contractor already has an approved list of suppliers, but often good relationships can be established with individual Buyers to enable the Subbie to recommend where to source materials at competitive prices. A whole range of complex partnerships can be made to enable commissions to be paid and everyone benefits! Of course, it goes without saying that any deal agreed should be completely transparent and should ultimately benefit the client in terms of cost savings and quality products and services. One wrong move or ‘under the table’ deal can result in lost credibility and trust. So keep everything above board.
EXAMPLE E: The Architect: Design & Build contracts are one obvious root to establish good working relationships with construction professionals on a project team and can be one way architects can ‘up-sell’ their professional skills by working on a partnering basis. Partnered Contracts can be lucrative for all involved, including the client, but they have to be set up correctly to work efficiently. Architects who are willing to get involved at the Pre-Construction phase of a project on a ‘No Pass No Fee’ basis are more likely to keep busy down the line. (‘No Pass’ meaning not getting Planning Approval for a project).
EXAMPLE F: Whatever area of construction you are in, you will have a network of approved professionals you work with. So you will have a lot of bargaining power when soliciting goods and services for your project. Sub-contractors, agents, architects, quantity surveyors, building consultants and merchants will all be part of the mix. This can be an area of healthy growth for your business when approved list suppliers, partners and subsidiaries reciprocate with their own recommendations for your company.
Steve Flashman is a Marketing & Business Development Consultant in the Construction Industry. He is a writer and broadcaster and has produced a groundbreaking Masterclass Video Course for personal and staff training