I’m going to teach you how to start winning bigger.
My name is Paul Leary. I own a company called Are You On Page 1.
You may have been doing this for a while, and you need a little bit of guidance or a slight push on starting with more significant projects. Well, I promise you, I’ve been there before. We started in our first contract with a tiny residential roof for $6,000. Now, we don’t do any projects less than $250,000. So I’m going to show you how we started winning larger contracts and how you can do the same for your business.
So what we’re going to do is I’m going to show you four steps to I feel like you can start winning some of these larger projects. Well, rule number one is you have to start thinking big. Okay. If you always feel that you can only do small residential roofing jobs and guys, listen, there is nothing wrong with you being a residential roofing contractor. I know plenty of people who run residential roofing companies who do very well for themselves and enjoy themselves.
So don’t think that I’m one of these guys who think it’s terrible that you do residential. But if you are someone wanting to do larger jobs, you have to believe that you can do larger jobs. Now, part of that is you also have to start going after those jobs. And as you know, going after a more extensive project is just going to take more time than you do residential roofing. So that brings me to my point with inside this of thinking big is you also have to start thinking about low overhead, which includes cutting out some things in your business that you may not.
Now, you may drive an older truck and think you need a newer one. Well, if you want to start winning some of those bigger jobs, you may have to go with a bit longer runway for your business in terms of how much capital you have. So now, I’ll tell you the quick story with us. We were doing a bunch of residential roofing, and we were starting to do more apartment complex jobs. Well, I read the book called Good Degree by Jim Collins, and he talks a lot about the Hedgehog theory, and it completely opened my mind on what projects we really should be going after.
So I immediately called my business partner, and he and I completely changed our strategy within a month and quit doing residential roofing to chase after the commercial. Well, what that turned into is in less than a year, we tripled the amount of revenue that we had done because we started going after those more significant projects now. With that said, it took us a few months to start winning those projects. But when we started thinking big and cutting our overhead, we started winning those more extensive projects. So remember that this rule is to think big and cut your overhead.
So point number two is you have to set appointments with large property management companies and then the brokers who own these properties. Now, whether you’re going after apartment complexes, you’re wanting to do new roofs for Firestone tires, or you want to do new roofs for Walmart, the point is you have to meet the people who are in charge of these decisions or your decision-makers. And I was fortunate enough to have a business-to-business or a B-to-B sales background before I got into roofing and construction. So there’s a big difference between B to C or business to consumer, which is what residential sales are versus B to B. And that’s business-to-business sales.
And the number one thing that you have to do is set appointments and get in front of these people. Now, there are several ways of doing this, and we’re not necessarily going to talk about lead generation just because I hate the word leads. I think it’s one of the most overused words in all roofing and construction in general. But I want to talk about getting in front of those people. Now, believe it or not, cold calling works if you know how to do
You can cold-call these people is to tell them why you’re calling because they’re not receiving many calls from people like you. After all, many people in our industry don’t have the background to land these appointments. But some know why you’re there. Secondly, you can do drop-in. If you find a large property management company and get in front of them, most of them will have gatekeepers that will keep you from getting to those people. But I promise you that you can start meeting these people if you’re persistent.
But no matter how you do it, whether you call, drop-in, or start building relationships. LinkedIn is another great way you can begin to meet these people. The point is that you need to get appointments and get in front of these people and show them why they need to give you a chance to do projects on their properties. All right, so since we’ve already started doing this and now I don’t feel like many people are competition anymore, I’m going to reveal my secret to how to start winning more jobs and multifamily and other things commercial projects. And one of the keys is starting to go to conferences, guys going to meetings, and not just the trade shows you go to for roofing and construction. Still, the discussions for the people who own these large-scale commercial projects or commercial buildings and these large-scale apartment complexes are crucial to meeting those power brokers and decision-makers within those companies.
Now, we started going to many affordable housing multifamily conferences, and we were the only roofing contractor ever to go there. And when we’re the only roofing contractor, you have a chance to meet many people. Many of these different property management companies and owners may not know anything about public adjuster’s storm damage restoration. You may be able to come in and show them how to save a ton of money on their insurance claims if that’s the type of work you do. Also, be prepared to be competitive with your bidding on projects. If you only do storm restoration work, that’s total.
But I think you are missing out on a chance to win a lot of projects if you learn how to bid competitively. But again, your third point is you need to go to conferences outside of just doing the roofing and construction conferences. Okay, so my last point is that you need to start doing negotiated work. Now, bid work and dealt work kind of work hand in hand. Now, if you’ve done storm damage in the past, you’ve done negotiated work, and you didn’t know it.
And what I mean by negotiated work is to build up to this point, you need to learn how to build relationships with people because once you build those relationships, you can start getting clients to come to you for projects. And when they do, instead of you just making an open bid and having to compete against other people that may have a competitive advantage or not. They’re just going to start calling you directly and expecting you to come to their projects at a fair price. So, for instance, we have a client that’s our number one client for multifamily. And whenever they have a project that comes up, they call us directly. Now, if it’s storm damage-related, we’ll go out there and inspect the property just like we would if it was any other storm.
Often, they need a new roof on a project. And what we do is we provide a fair price. And if they feel that our price is competitive with what they would typically pay, we get the word. And obviously, your profit margins can be a little bit better with that because they’re willing to pay a little bit more for your services because they know that you’re going to do a good job. Now, if they just bid it out, they could go with the lowest bidder, and they may or may not get the same quality they get from you.
So the advantage of having negotiated work is you can bid some of your projects like you usually would at 30, 40% and still be able to maintain our long-standing relationship with your client. You have to do great work with that, but the whole point of doing negotiated work is building long-term relationships with people who own or manage these properties. All right, so I tried not to take up too much of your time. Those are my four major points on how to start winning bigger jobs. You have to think big with low.
You have to start making appointments with the people in charge of these projects. Three is you have to start going to these conferences to meet people. And lastly, you have to learn how to do negotiated work if you want to continue to win these jobs over time. This isn’t the end all be all and the only way to win projects. But, that’s what’s been successful for our company. Now we went from again doing these little jobs for residential roofing just three and a half years ago to now we only do a project over $250,000, and trust me, guys, that’s not me, bragging.
I don’t have all the answers. I’m just telling you what we’ve learned, and trust me, we’ve done plenty of things wrong in the process, but these are the things we’ve done right to be able to start winning some of these jobs. Now, if you enjoy our content, We have a lot of stuff coming out, particularly for your roofing guys out there.