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The 7 Deadly Sins of Construction Selling

According to a recent forum post in UK Business Labs, not showing up for quotes is one of the top 7 reasons people are put off by builders and those in the construction industry.

As a marketer, I understand this as I have helped many construction companies over the years, and bad communication was one of the biggest issues that had to be overcome.


This particular forum post inspired me to write a blog post to see if we can overcome some of these issues people have with tradesmen, and hopefully will mean you can get some more sales.

Even I have fallen victim to some of these myself over the years.

1.Not returning voicemails

According to insidersales.com, 35-50% of sales go to the construction company that replies first.

I cannot stress enough that you should be responding to every lead within 20 minutes. In fact recent harvard business review research found that businesses who responded within an hour see 7 times the customers.

I visited a roofing company’s website the other day, and on their contact page next to their form, it said that they would get back to me in two business days.

“Two days! This will be killing their business, as people just won’t fill in the form,” I thought to myself. They are busy and want their questions answered now.


I know you are busy – I get it – but these are your customers we’re talking about; don’t keep them waiting.

Even if you sent them an automatic email telling them that you have received their message and will get back to them as soon as you can, it would make all the difference.

If you don’t reach out to them quickly, you will lose the business.

2. Not providing quotes

This really is a bizarre one, but it is more common than you think. If a customer asks for a quote there is no excuse for not providing one. Unless, of course, you know you can’t help them.

And if that’s the case, you should still tell them why you are not going to provide them with a quote. In some cases, it can come down to admin issues as to why there hasn’t been a quote sent out.

3. Lack of Enthusiasm

I’m sure that as the business owner, you have no lack of enthusiasm – but some of your men might have.

Think about your company culture – what is it like? Are your men happy? Are they overworked? How do they deal with problems or issues with customers?

These things can all contribute to your overall culture, and if you’re struggling to find customers or close deals, you really need to look at the reasons why.

Perhaps they are not fully trained to deal with difficult customers or are feeling disengaged and demotivated when it comes to your company goals.

4. Not following up with prospects

Similar to point 1, and if truth be told I have been guilty of this one in the past. Avoid ignoring prospects whenever possible; after all, every customer was once a prospect and dismissing them could leave sales on the table.

Inbound marketing would be a good solution to this particular problem, as you can send personalised messages to people to help nurture them on autopilot. This frees up your time and the time of your men.

5. Don’t know how to sell

In today’s world it’s not about selling at all – it’s about being helpful. No one wants to be sold to, so don’t do it.

Aim to be helpful and the sales will come. Again, this is part of the overall inbound marketing methodology to selling.  

One of our partners who use inbound have found they have to do a lot less selling now, as when they go to visit customers in their home, they feel they already know him. This is because he’s given them timely content that helped answer their questions.

So all that is left to do is get their signature. This is how things work these days, and you need to adapt to this way of thinking and selling.


6. Cowboy approach

I’m not going to say much about this one as I think there is no excuses for it.

Why would a customer think you have a ‘cowboy approach’? It could just be how customers interpret your professionalism (or lack of).

So, perhaps if you are guilty of the 7 sins in this list, it may give your customers the wrong impression that you are a cowboy.

7. Turning up late for appointments

We can all run late, and if this is something that you cannot avoid, try offering the customers some kind of compensation for turning up late.

One of our heating engineering partners offers their customers £100 for these instances.

Fantastic idea! However, if you can’t afford to offer this much, a courtesy call announcing your delay is the least you can do.


Knowing what your customers hate can really help you improve your services and get more business. So, don’t do any of these 7 deadly sins of construction selling.

Pro tip: I spoke to our heating engineer partner and he wanted to pass on to you what I thought was good advice.

Always learn people’s names and address them by their names. Assess the situation and sympathise with them. All these things build trust, and make your customer feel valued.

Which ones are you guilty of,  and what have you done to change it?  Let us know in the comments below.

What’s your goal today?

1. Hire us to grow your store

We’ve generated millions in profits for our clients using our unique ATTRACT, CONVERT, RETAIN strategy, that’s proven to increase profits and customers.

2. Learn how to increase your profits and customers

What’s your goal today?

1.Hire us to grow your store

We’ve generated millions in profits for our clients using our unique ATTRACT, CONVERT, RETAIN strategy, that’s proven to increase profits and customers.

2. Learn how to increase your profits and customers