Before you call
It’s time to get practical. You’ve done the groundwork. You’ve filtered your data and sourced your first sales leads. They’re sorted and graded, and you have a shortlist of A* leads. Let’s get down to brass tacks – what are you going to do with them?
This is where the old-fashioned telephone becomes your most powerful tool.
For some people this is difficult and intimidating. Others find it easy. However you feel about the prospect, the first thing you want to do is take two or three minutes to prepare. If you’re nervous about calling, this will give you confidence. If you’re already confident, it’ll make sure you don’t rush things and miss something important. And most of all, it will make your call more efficient.
Look up the architect’s website. Study the type of work they do. Scroll through project photos on the gallery page. Architects are often pleased that you have taken the trouble to look at some of their jobs, and that you have something to say about their work.
Check to see if their team details are on the website (and if so, check their names and titles). The call will go more easily when you have an idea of who you’re speaking to. Your preparation will show, and that demonstrates professionalism and makes you easier to trust.
Don’t forget to visit the online planning portal. Look at the details of the project you’re chasing. Planning Pipe leads always have the planning reference number and name of the relevant council. It’s helpful to look at the submitted planning drawings – the elevations, floorplans, the design and access statement. Double check this is a job you really are suited to. You don’t want to find out late in the day that there are extra challenges that you’re not prepared for.
When you speak with the architect, weave your research into the conversation. Show you’re a serious builder who has taken the trouble to be informed.
One last tip: don’t put off your calls, but don’t rush them either. When a new project lead appears in the late planning stage, there’s always a wave of interest. A lot of builders will get in touch at once. Hold off a week or two to make your call stand out!