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How to Sell Sealcoating Services to Property Managers

April 15, 2014

How to Sell Sealcoating Services to Property Managers

While listening to a group of property managers recently at a GemSeal seminar, I heard some good strategies for sealcoating contractors to consider when selling their services. Property managers are responsible for the completed job—they’re focused on selecting the contractor they feel will make them look good, by doing a professional job that fits their budget. Most property managers don't understand everything that’s involved in sealcoating, but they do understand it's one of the most disruptive operations they will have to deal with. Your job is to make them feel more comfortable with you and your plan, than with your competitors. Notice I didn't say you needed to be the cheapest—if you’re convincing, they will overlook the cheapest price and select the contractor they feel most comfortable with. Your price may be a little higher, but the prospect of fewer headaches down the line is very appealing to managers. 

Now the hard part—getting the call in the first place. Property managers are very busy and they are not looking to go into a big contractor search. They’ll call contractors they have used in the past, do a quick Google search or ask friends or colleagues for referrals. The key is to be as visible as possible—whether it’s online or in the field. You have to have an online presence if you want to show up on your desired customers radar; a website, updated free internet listings, Google + page are good places to start. In the field, signage is a great way to show off completed and in-progress projects. All of your jobs large or small should have a company sign (nice logo, phone number, website), staked across an entrance, yard signs or on barricades. Barricades are a nice way to block off parking lots—they look professional and have a nice area to attach a sign to. 

Once you get the call, it’s time to impress the property manager with your professionalism. Set up a meeting as soon as possible to view the property. During this meeting, make sure you know exactly what the customer is looking for. If they’re not sure, offer to give them a full evaluation of all paved areas, including possible crack filling, striping, signage, parking bumpers, curbs—whatever services you can help them with. Explain the processes, how they will come together, the products you will use and what to expect from your crew. Also, let them know you will be personally involved throughout the project—they want one contact and want to know the plan will be executed as you say it will. Leave them with a 

business card, an information packet and an expectation as to when they’ll receive a proposal. The information packet could include any information that will convince the customer that you know what you’re doing—certificate of insurance, product data sheets, brochures (GemSeal offers a lot of different support materials), associations you belong to, references, emergency contact info for weekend work, etc.. Make sure you have a bid in their hands by the date promised and trust that you have put your best foot forward. If you don't hear from the property manager after one week, call them to see if they have made a decision. If they chose another contractor, ask what you could have done differently. If you were professional, they will certainly call you on the next project. 

If you’re awarded the job, make sure you reward the property manager by following through on your promises. Request a meeting or a call to work out the details of the project—dates, closed areas for sealing, deliveries, sprinklers and drying time. When it comes time to do the job, make sure you keep your schedule (weather permitting) and fully communicate the plan to your crew. 

After you’ve successfully completed the job, contact the manager to make sure they’re pleased with the outcome. Follow that up with an email requesting referrals for anyone they know that may be contemplating sealcoating. Keep in contact with property managers—send them emails on holidays, keep your name imprinted on their mind. 

Stay organized, be professional and follow through on your promises. Patience is important in this process, you won’t win every project—you must build on every opportunity and the successes will come.

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