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How to Convert Building Materials Contractors

  |  Posted in Contractors

How to Convert Building Materials Contractors

Contractors are one of the key decision-makers on a building project. Luckily, there are several ways you can convert them to your product.


The most obvious way to convert a contractor is to offer them a lower price.

That is usually a bad idea, though, because price-focused contractors are not the best customers. If you convert them based on price, they’ll leave as soon as they find an even lower one.

Lowering your price also takes away the additional profit you need to fuel your sales, marketing, and product innovation.


You could also convert them by focusing on the benefits of your products.

That’s a better strategy, as long as you focus on the way your product benefits the contractor and not the building owners.

It’s better but still not great. In my experience, the contractor will agree that your product is better – but not so much better that it warrants the time, hassle and risk involved in switching to it.

Better Customer Service

If the contractor is having a problem with their current supplier, you can convert them by doing better.

It could be a product with a long lead time, a price increase, or an unsatisfactory outcome when settling a dispute. Whatever it is, you just have to make working with you easier than working with their current supplier.

That strategy works best when you’re in regular contact with the contractor.

Selling a Better Future

There’s a fourth way to convert contractors that is usually overlooked: get them to take a step back and look at their business in the longer term.

What are their goals? Where is their business headed? Do they like what they see?

Do they see an ongoing struggle for projects, profits and labor? Are they running their business the same way their competitors are?

This is where your product comes in. Show them how your product will help them work smarter, not harder. Show them how it offers them a better way – a better future.

This approach works best on up-and-coming contractors who want to grow their business. They have the interest and energy to find a better way to do things. It doesn’t work as well on the largest contractors. They tend to stick to the status quo, since it happens to be working very well for them.

Here is a great example of this approach in action. It’s a blog post by Viega. The headline is powerful (“Presser Gives Plumber Edge Over Biggest Competitors”) and the copy tells a story plumbers can relate to.

Viega Contractor Sales

If you want to convert more contractors, this is the approach you should take.

Don’t lower your prices.

Don’t lean too heavily on benefits that don’t move the needle.

Instead, have the contractor look at the big picture and think of their long-term success. Show them why a future with your product is better than one without it.

When you make yourself part of their success story, you become indispensable.

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What Others Are Saying

When you are promoting the benefits of your product, don’t forget the importance of time and labor savings to the contractor, builder, GC, and owner/developer.” Steve Long, President, ER Long Associates

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.