Selling construction services can be difficult when you don’t have a clear blueprint to follow. This guide outlines the main stages of a construction sales process with expert recommendations.
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In the competitive world of construction, the quality of your craftsmanship won’t matter if you can’t sell your services. Being unable to convert leads and ensure a consistent flow of clients can cause uncertainty. This can endanger your bottom line and even force staff to look for work elsewhere.
On the flipside, knowing how to sell construction services confidently and effectively enables your construction business to thrive, leading to happier employees, higher profitability, and sustained growth.
We’re here to help. In this article, we list expert-backed construction sales tips that help you increase your chances of closing client projects.
- Effectively selling your construction business services doesn’t just deliver extra revenue. It helps you win clients’ trust, secure repeat business and referrals, and make your sales operations more efficient.
- Construction sales tips include trying new sales channels, leveraging customer relationship management (CRM) and sales acceleration software, and coordinating your wider team in the process.
- Personalize your brochures and bidding documents according to your leads’ market and specific requirements.
- Continue building trust after you close deals. Demonstrating flexibility during projects and offering great customer service during warranty follow-ups are key.
How To Sell Construction Services
Understanding how to sell construction services effectively doesn’t just boost your profitability. It can also help create repeat business, make your sales processes more cost-effective, and build long-term trust in your market.
Overall, it grows your construction business.
Here are our top construction sales tips.
Target multiple sales channels
First, you can’t sell a construction project without a diverse pool of leads—that is, potential customers who’ve shown some interest in your services. Generating leads from various sources ensures you have a steady flow of prospective construction clients while decreasing the risk of over-relying on one main income source (like repeat business from long-term clients).
Try multiple sales channels to check which ones bring the most qualified leads for your construction business. Then, focus your resources on the top 2 or 3. Here are some excellent channels to consider:
- Cold communication: Get in contact with new property owners or businesses that have recently acquired commercial properties, land, or industrial spaces through calls, emails, or messages.
- Direct sales: Meet prospective residential, commercial, or government clients in person (for instance, at their home/office or at industry events).
- Referrals: Encourage and financially incentivize referrals from past clients, suppliers, subcontractors, and business associates, such as accounting firms.
- Repeat business: Deliver excellent outcomes and customer experience for your clients so you’re their top choice in future projects.
- Word of mouth: Give clients reasons to talk about your services. For instance, encourage your construction workers to build rapport with clients, and ensure cleanliness and low noise levels on site.
- Public bids: Rigorously track public bids held in your niche.
- Strategic partnerships: Strike agreements with architecture, design, surveying, and engineering firms so you can collaborate on projects that require both your services. You can also partner with construction companies offering complementary services—for instance, if you offer renovation services, partner with a roofing firm.
💡 Pro Tip:
Make it easy for potential customers to contact you. For instance, make your firm’s phone number and sales email address readily visible on your homepage, flyers, or business cards—or even on your company vehicles and job sites. Also, creatively incentivize cold prospects to contact you—for example, have them drop their name and phone number into a contact form and promise a callback within 10 minutes.
Build trust with future clients
Ensure you build client trust at every stage of the customer journey—not just sales. Whether you’re sending sales emails, negotiating pricing, or delivering a project, gaining client trust increases your chances of winning your first construction contract. It also helps with repeat business, referrals, and word-of-mouth promotion.
Matt Stigliano, real estate broker for McNair Custom Homes, said that “successful selling in the construction industry […] speaks directly to the builder-client relationship.” Matt sees “fostering trust and positive engagement” as being “crucial in a high-stakes industry like construction.”
Our tips for building leads’ trust are:
- Be honest when you can’t meet a requirement. Then, recommend an alternative outcome or a trusted construction business that can meet the lead’s needs.
- Dare to disagree with your lead if you believe there’s a better outcome or method. For example, you might suggest a more appropriate material at the same cost.
- Propose lower-cost or higher-value construction alternatives where relevant. This broadens your potential client’s options so they can make more informed decisions.
- Respond quickly and effectively to lead communications, especially to concerns and questions.
💡 Pro Tip:
Heri Siswanto, Country Manager at Doka—a company that specializes in construction formwork solutions—said that if his construction company doesn’t have the best solution for a client, he’s honest about it. He says, “The risk is you will lose the order, but you gain their trust, which is more important than a short-term order.”
Track and automate your pipeline activity
In construction, 2 pitches are rarely ever the same. Clients require custom services, and deal value (the total value of the contract) varies according to material, labor, and other costs. Plus, you may be selling to multiple markets—say, commercial and government.
Tracking your pipeline activity means you’re recording every lead interaction against a specific stage in the sales “pipeline” (for example—the negotiation stage). Then, you’re using data—such as deal value—to make sales decisions.
For instance, you should store lead characteristics (like budget size, decision-making timeline, or specific construction needs) and project requirements (such as the type of construction, sustainability goals, or regulatory compliance needs). Also, assign the right team members to each pitch and automate basic tasks like sending emails so no deal falls through the cracks.
Let’s discuss 2 key ways to achieve this.
Use CRM and sales acceleration software
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps you manage interactions with current and potential customers. It lets you store and update customer data, track and customize pipelines, analyze deal data, forecast revenues, and more. Meanwhile, sales acceleration software aims to speed up the sales process. It provides tools to analyze sales activities, improve sales techniques, and enhance engagement with potential leads.
Some providers offer a mix of both CRM and sales acceleration features. You should research multiple solutions and find one that’s right for your needs.
Once you do, follow these best practices:
- Add custom record data fields (categories) for contacts and deals to your chosen CRM software. These will help you categorize and prioritize deals. For instance, create a “Service type” field that includes all your capabilities (say, renovation, flooring, tiling, etc.), and use it to label new deals based on your lead’s project needs.
- Use your chosen sales acceleration software to personalize deal stages to your niche and sales strategy. Here’s an example of construction sales stages: Prospecting (engaging your target audience) > Lead qualification (identifying potential buyers) > General pitch > Research > Bidding > Final negotiation > Close.
- Automate manual tasks to save time and focus on building lead trust instead. For example, automate email follow-ups and calendar invites for customer calls. You can also automate lead scoring—a calculation based on lead characteristics that helps you prioritize deals. For example, your sales acceleration software could track customer interactions like website visits, brochure downloads, or quote requests, assigning points to each activity. This scoring helps you prioritize leads based on their engagement level.
- Get the right storage capacity for your filing needs. Construction firms handle many document types, including sales pitches, permits, schedules, bidding documents, bills of quantities, insurance policies, and more. Ensure your team can easily access the relevant docs for each account you’re selling to.
🧠 Did You Know?
Connecteam is a construction employee management app with document storage features. You can upload unlimited documents and quickly organize and locate them. Plus, your team has reliable access to them wherever they are.
Enable cross-team collaboration
Managing pipelines efficiently is a team effort. Due to construction projects’ complexity, closing deals successfully requires quick access to information—whether it’s knowledge about materials and timelines or lessons learned from similar deals.
So, coordinate all team members involved in your projects, such as project managers, general contractors and subcontractors, and sales and marketing freelancers. If you’re using a CRM or sales acceleration solution, create user accounts and provide software training to all your internal stakeholders.
🧠 Did You Know?
Connecteam’s team communication app connects your sales, marketing, and other team members instantly and on the go. You can easily access tasks, schedules, and documents from the chat, too.
Personalize your brochures
Brochures are multi-page documents (created in Powerpoint or other visual editing software) that broadly outline your construction services to leads. In longer sales processes requiring formal bidding, you must submit a brochure to be considered for a bid.
📚 This Might Interest You:
Learn more about the formal bidding process in our guide on how to get construction contracts.
For smaller or more informal projects, such as single-home building, clients may not request a formal bid. In these cases, include more project-specific details in your brochure before creating a project and cost breakdown for your leads.
Personalized brochures help each lead understand why your business is a good match for their requirements, increasing your chances of closing deals. Prepare a different brochure template for each market you target—say, commercial and residential. Then, personalize it to each lead by adding or deleting information from the template.
Here’s how to personalize each brochure section.
Your unique value proposition (UVP)
Matt Stigliano believes “emphasizing your unique value proposition” is key to securing a sale. Adapt your UVP—that is, why the value of your service is unique in the market—to the lead’s pain points (specific problems or challenges they’re facing). For instance, if your general UVP is prioritizing sustainable construction methods, you could add the benefit of long-term cost savings to a commercial construction brochure.
Your company capabilities
Offer a broad overview of your construction services, then provide further details on capabilities matching your lead’s market and requirements. For instance, for residential family home leads, describe capabilities like insulation, roofing, flooring, and fixtures.
Approach and methods
Here, break down your approach and methods for each capability matching your lead’s needs. This could include how you source materials, secure permits, design and deliver plans, collaborate with clients, and more.
Include details your lead is likely to prioritize in a construction supplier. For example, a brochure for a local government client might describe your approach to sustainability and community engagement, plus methods related to safe building materials and minimizing on-site noise pollution.
Summarize your understanding of the lead’s needs in broad terms—for instance, “building a 12-unit apartment complex.” Add any details you already know about the project, including the location and budget.
Then, help them visualize the outcome you’ll deliver for them. Follow tile store TileCloud director Drew Mansur’s advice by “not just selling a product, but selling an experience.” For instance, TileCloud “didn’t just present tile samples” to its luxury hotel client. It “crafted a story showing how each choice would enhance the [hotel] guest experience and the comfort of the bathrooms.“
Add past projects to your brochure that mirror your lead’s requirements. For instance, showcasing a single-family home renovation can be compelling for newlywed couples moving into their first home.
Also, include client testimonials as direct quotes in your case studies. These act as validation from an objective third-party, helping build your lead’s trust.
💡 Pro Tip:
Wherever possible, offer prospective clients an in-person (or video) tour of an already-completed piece of work such as a family home or office space. This helps them envision what their own projects could look like using your services.
Craft a well-informed bidding document
Treat the bidding (or proposal) stage as a collaboration with your potential client. Maintain regular communication with your lead—say, once a week before submitting your bid—and take detailed notes of your conversations. Even when you don’t have a formal bidding process, you should still carefully break down your project phases and costs to win client trust—and the project.
Here’s how to craft a well-informed bidding document to increase your chances of a sale.
Heri Siswanto shared that “finding out customer problems by asking questions” is a significant part of the bidding process. “Each customer has their own problems,” such as “tight schedules, limited budget, and quality” requirements. Your job is to identify the crucial construction goals, obstacles, and concerns that will make your bid comprehensive and competitive.
Here are some examples:
- Project scope: Can you define the project scope and break down the project deliverables?
- Timeline: What is your deadline for each project phase?
- Budget: What is your budget range for this project, including contingency?
- Planning and permitting: Are there specific planning and permitting concerns we should plan for?
- Materials: What are your material preferences for each project deliverable?
- Methods: Do you have any preferences for construction methods used during the project?
- Quality: Please define the quality standards you expect in this project.
- Risks: Can you highlight any major risks we should be aware of that could impact scope, cost, quality, or other areas?
The questions you ask will depend on the lead and project. For example, a lead who wants to build a custom home might not be familiar with permitting concerns, while a seasoned real estate developer would require a more detailed discussion about permits, risk management, and more.
Address client priorities
Next, address your lead’s top construction priorities using the information gathered.
Here’s an example from Drew Mansur’s experience winning a luxury hotel contract:
“Our proposal went beyond aesthetics. We included data on durability and maintenance, showcasing how our tiles would offer long-term value. In a high-traffic environment like a luxury hotel, these factors are just as crucial as the visual appeal.”
Another tip from Drew is to explain how your approach helps clients “adapt to future renovations or brand updates.” This shows leads you’re prioritizing their long-term needs, which could set you apart from other bidders.
Choose and communicate your pricing carefully
Finding the right price point for construction projects is no easy feat. Too low, and clients could doubt your service quality. Too high—you could be out-bid by a competitor.
A common pricing strategy is calculating your break-even point (equivalent to your total cost, including overheads, labor, subcontracting, and materials), then adding a contingency margin in case costs unexpectedly increase. This is the minimum price that meets your costs.
Finally, add a profit margin on top that helps your firm meet its profitability targets. Construction gross profit margins vary by location and specialization between 2-20%.
📚 This Might Interest You:
Find out more by reading our step-by-step guide on how to price a construction job.
You should also communicate your pricing to leads so they feel it’s fair value. Here are some tips.
- Be transparent and clear. In your pricing breakdown, include the estimated cost of materials, equipment, permits, and labor, plus any other charges leading to your final quote—like the service fee that constitutes your firm’s profit margin.
- Break down the assumptions behind your quoted costs. For example, describe the weather concerns, supply chain agreements, and customer inputs you factored into your estimates. Also define the opposite—what kind of changes would force you to resort to the contingency costs?
- Inform your future client about any cost changes as soon as they happen during the project. This prevents them from facing bill shock at the end of the project.
- Discuss the cost breakdown face to face or in a video call. This offers leads the chance to ask questions and express concerns. Plus, you can make an otherwise transactional discussion more personal, building trust.
Deliver Great Customer Experience To Win New Sales
Finally, remember that a current or past client is a cost-effective source of new sales. They could re-engage your business or refer you to their networks. That’s why you should continually earn their trust by ensuring your business operates smoothly and delivering excellent customer experience during and after projects.
Here are 2 expert-vetted ways to win clients’ loyalty after closing a deal.
Stay flexible during your project
For Drew Mansur, “flexibility was a […] critical aspect” in exceeding customer expectations. In large-scale projects, “timelines and scopes can shift,” and TileCloud has demonstrated an “ability to adapt to changes without compromising on quality or deadlines.”
So, stay flexible to adapt your clients’ shifting needs and external changes beyond your control. Prioritize the client experience, including their pricing and timeline expectations. For example, hire more construction workers rather than paying current ones overtime to save costs while meeting tight deadlines.
🧠 Did You Know?
Hitting tight construction deadlines is much easier with an all-in-one employee scheduling app like Connecteam. Quickly personalize shift templates, assign workers, include tasks and documents, let employees swap shifts, and auto-schedule for optimal efficiency. Plus, your team can tap in and out of shifts with our employee time clock, and you always see who’s working.
Provide excellent warranty follow-ups
Matt Stigliano said that “a strong emphasis on after-sales service” is especially evident in warranty follow-ups. These are check-ins with clients during the warranty period to address potential issues.
For McNair Custom Homes, it’s important to “address post-story customer concerns promptly and professionally” because it “turns a potentially negative experience into a positive one, winning the customer’s long-term loyalty.”
Consider the warranty follow-up a customer touchpoint, not unlike the stages in your sales pipeline.
🧠 Did You Know?
With Connecteam, you can create digital forms—including checklists—from scratch or with premade templates. For instance, you might create a warranty follow-up checklist that enables you to document any identified defects or maintenance needs so you can determine repairs and improvements.
When delivering your repairs and improvements, prioritize customer value and experience. For example, send experienced construction workers or subcontractors with great communication skills, pick high-quality materials, and explain the cause and process of the repairs to customers.
Selling Your Construction Services: Parting Words
Understanding how to sell construction services helps you win new deals, get repeat business, and build a positive reputation in your market. Use tested methods such as targeting multiple sales channels, being honest when you can’t meet a requirement, saving time with software automations, and personalizing brochures and bids to leads’ needs.
In addition, deliver outstanding customer experience during and after your construction project to win clients’ trust. Platforms like Connecteam help you build complex schedules with ease, manage contractors’ tasks, and much more.
How do you sell a construction business?
To sell a construction business, the business owner must first gather financial statements—such as tax returns—and perform a business valuation. This process helps determine the economic value of your construction company. For example, popular valuation methods include asset-based valuation, which uses assets like equipment or investments to determine your business’s worth.
You must then find companies or individuals willing to buy your business for the valuation price. A business broker can help find suitable prospective buyers and facilitate a negotiation and sale.
How do you market your construction business?
How you market your construction business depends on factors including your geographical location, service capabilities, and target audience. For instance, a small residential construction business in an urban area could gather positive online reviews, incentivize customer referrals, and partner with more established businesses. Meanwhile, one in a suburban or rural area might go door-to-door to advertise their services, relying on word-of-mouth and local networking.
How do you cold call in construction?
Using real estate websites, local government property transaction records, or specialized commercial property databases, identify properties that have recently sold. Try to gather contact information for the new owners, which may be available in the public records. These new owners might be interested in construction services.
Call the owners, introducing your construction services and tailoring your pitch to the potential needs and opportunities presented by their recent property acquisition. Don’t be pushy—if the owner clearly isn’t interested, then respectfully acknowledge their position, offer to leave your contact information for future consideration, and thank them for their time.