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June 18, 2019

3 Sales Mistakes You May be Making with Construction Customers

3 Sales Mistakes You May be Making with Construction Customers

By Kit Dickinson on June 18, 2019

construction industry sales mistakes

There may be no industry that needs to outsource payroll more than construction. But there's no industry that's more difficult for a sales rep to close. That's because construction companies have to deal with unique complexities that most people don't understand.

As a result, sales reps newer to construction tend to make key mistakes that can doom the sale. But IDI has been immersed in the construction industry for several years to learn the pitfalls. We understand their needs, we get their frustrations and we know the language. We can help you understand the challenges and avoid the stumbles that other sales reps are making.

Here are three sales mistakes you might be making with construction prospects—and one example of a sale done right.

Handpicked related content: Keys to Winning Construction Clients When You're New to the Industry

Are You Treating Construction Like Any Other Industry?

Construction payroll has a complexity that you won't find in other industries. They're longing for streamlined solutions, but they don't believe an effective solution exists.

Every payday, contractors have to deal with multiple layers of payroll complexity, such as:

Construction companies have heard the line that payroll software can handle these issues, and they've been let down. They've dealt with sales reps who have treated the industry just like any other vertical. 

If you give a stock answer or an auto-pilot response to a construction prospect, it won't work. They're going to sniff that out. A one-size-fits-all approach equals zero sales.

Instead, take time to ask questions. Find out what makes their business unique, and what's most important to them. Ask about their greatest frustrations with payroll outsourcing. When you get to know each contractor as an individual, you'll earn their trust, because they'll know you won't sell them a stock solution that doesn't work.

Related: IDI Takes the Confusion out of Construction Accounts

Are you Afraid to Acknowledge Past Mistakes?

Your prospect has been disappointed by ambitious sales reps in the past. That means you're entering the conversation with a mark against you. Too many payroll reps don't recognize this, and they work hard to impress. Instead, they unknowingly confirm the stereotype that they're up against.

Smart payroll companies go in with a different posture. They recognize the damage that has been done by previous reps, and they ask forgiveness for past promises that failed. This approach is incredibly powerful—especially when the previous sales rep was a different company. Taking ownership for your industry can't be underestimated.

Acknowledge that in the past, a workable solution couldn't be done. Apologize for predecessors' promises that it could be done, and explain why there was no solution. That gives you the open door to talk about what has changed and why your partnership with IDI provides a complete payroll solution for construction. 

Are You Rushing the Timeline?

Construction contracts aren't quick closes, and it takes more than a snap of the fingers to integrate payroll and ERPs. Treat them as such and you'll lose a customer quickly.

You know your implementation process, but it's important not to give false expectations about the overall project by forgetting to account for your partners' processes. Be sure to know how long the entire implementation is likely to take, and be honest with your customer about it. 

Don't be afraid to slow down the process. Integrating payroll and ERP isn't simple and easy, and it will take several weeks. We can ensure the process is smooth and the end result is robust, but it's not a snap. Construction clients don't expect it to be a quick and easy setup, and you'll win their respect by taking time to do it right.

Check Out This Success Story

Vermont Mechanical, Inc. was skeptical that payroll and ERP integration software could solve their payroll pains. But when they met IDI at a Sage TUG (Timberline User Group) Conference, they were hopeful that they could finally outsource payroll while keeping their job costing and financials in Sage300CRE.

IDI's Contractor Central extracts Vermont Mechanical’s post-payroll information from payroll and provides the necessary details, including wages and labor burdens, to each job/project necessary for job costing and GL entries to be sent to Sage.

Contractor Central’s suite of solutions also allows them to:

  • Accommodate the complexities of government and union contracts
  • Eliminate the need to enter new project information two to three times in different systems

Vermont Mechanical appreciated that we took the time to truly understand their needs, and didn't try to wedge them into the same solution that would be sold to any other industry. By treating them as an individual, recognizing their history and giving the project the time it needed, we were able to help our payroll partner land a very happy customer. 

Win More Construction Contracts

The construction industry can be intimidating to payroll sales reps, but you can win big contracts if you take the right approach. Treat each company individually, acknowledge past mistakes and take the time to do things right.

Most of all, rely on partners who understand construction. IDI has been steeped in the industry for over 30 years, and we have the expertise to help you navigate all the tricky spots—from qualification to implementation. Reach out to us today.

Need a crash course in construction? Check out the IDI Resource Center.

IDI Resource Center