How to Investigate the Industrial General Contractor Market

This is part of a comprehensive report seeking to help industrial construction marketers create a much-needed new playbook to do just that with their brands in an ever-increasing competitive landscape. For more information, including the complete report, contact:  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are the two charts similar to the other categories we just discussed, but for general contractors to begin lead investigations.

They call them a “general” for a reason – he or she is the “boss” of the project. There is also a category called “design build,” but for this study, we focused on the General Contractor.

General contractors (GCs) coordinate and manage all aspects of a project, including subcontractors, materials and logistics. Marketing to general contractors is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, but if you do it right, it will pay dividends with your brand

For example, if your brand is already in the specification, creating a relationship with the GC enhances your brand’s position. In meetings, you emphasize why the brand is right for the particular projects.

If your brand is not in the specification, your relationship with the GC allows you to cultivate doubt in the GC’s mind about what is in the spec – and have it changed in your favor. The GC has this power because of HIS or HER relationship with the architect or designer who wrote the specification. Sometimes, the GC works directly with the owner in a design-build capacity. Do you see how relationships work and how, in turn, you can work the relationships to your advantage?

The rules for creating relationships are the same for General Contractors as other categories. The process starts with contact and then moves on to nurturing that relationship. And the best way to do this with a contractor is to help solve problems they have, or give them information they don’t already have that will help them solve their problems.

The GM is always seeking VALUE! He or she is accountable to both the architect and the owner for bringing the project within budget and with no compromises in performance. These are difficult problems which, once you have the relationship, you can help solve.

The three biggest problems all GCs face are pricing, building trust with customers, and having the right people to get the job done. Callbacks are an anathema. But each of these problems present an additional opportunity to begin and sustain your relationship with the GCs, starting with the lists we just provided. As famed musician Duke Ellington once said, “A problem is a chance to do your best.” Please read, “Working with General Contractors in this series for more information.