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How to Market and Sell to Pros and Contractors

In order to win in your industry, you need to be able to sell to builders and contractors effectively, in a way that resonates with them. This week, we talk to a builder about how to get pros to switch to a new product or try a new one.

Photo of Zach Williams
Photo of Beth PopNikolov
by Zach Williams and Beth PopNikolov

Justin Holmberg joins the show to give his insights on what motivates pros to switch products or try new ones.

More About This Show

The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insight on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.

In this episode, Zach and Beth talk to Justin Holmberg, founder of Five Forty Build, about how to convince contractors and builders to switch products.


The Easy Button

Most people, from contractors to builders to manufacturers, want to be comfortable. They like routine and consistency in their life, and this affects their business too. Once a pro or tradesman learns a tool or a product, they don’t want to change.

Most building materials manufacturers have a misconception that pros don’t want to learn a new product out of obstinance or because they are scared to try something new. Especially for younger tradesmen, they want to try something new. And when salespeople treat this younger pro audience as if they are stuck in their ways, it can be frustrating.

Tell a Story

When builders and contractors choose to use your product, they know they are putting their name on it. After all, the building owner or homeowner doesn’t see the brand name: They see the builder. And when they don’t know the why behind the product, if they don’t know the story, it can be difficult for them to put their name and their business behind it.

038 Marketing To Contractors Quote

By explaining the story behind the product, you’ll gain the pro’s confidence and trust. Without that trust, you won’t be able to get them to switch to your product over the product they already know and trust.

You can’t just rely on your brand name to convince people. Your marketing has to speak to your audience. Don’t let your marketing go stale. If you aren’t being forward thinking about pros’ future needs and future improvements to your product, you’ll get complacent and start to have issues down the road. Builders don’t want to use a product from a company that may not be around to answer questions to uphold the warranty years down the line.

Utilize Social Media to Tell Your Why

If you want to sell your product, you need to be on social media. Share pictures and videos of your product in use. Builders and tradesmen who are interested in your product will go to your social media, and hashtags of your product, to see other professionals who are using it. If they can’t find information about your product on social media, you’re going to have a difficult time selling it.

Professional builders, contractors and tradesmen are visual people. They love to create, they love to build, they love to use their hands. So to market to them effectively, you need to show the product in action. It creates confidence in your brand and your product and helps convert them into customers. Social media is a great way to really showcase the benefits of your product, in a way that a brochure can’t do.

Use social media to prove that your product works and use hashtags and reshares to show that other professionals know it works too.

Social Media Sells

Justin shared with us how he recently spent $80,000 on a product that he found on social media.

He was browsing and saw a post by a fellow builder who was raving about a new system that they had started using. It sparked some interest in Justin, who started checking back on that builder’s Instagram to see if he was still loving the product a few weeks later.

After several weeks of seeing this builder consistently praise this product, and seeing how user-friendly and cost-effective it was, he reached out to the builder with a DM, asking to chat. They got on a call, talked about the product and how the builder had come to the decision of choosing this product.

After a bit more research, Justin agreed that this was the best product and the best decision and bought it. In the end, the ROI on social media for this company was $80,000. One DM from one builder to another resulted in an $80,000 sale.

Your audience is on social media. Just like the rest of the world, they scroll through Facebook and Instagram and other social media sites to unwind at the end of the day. By being progressive and reaching out to your audience where they are, you’ll gain their trust and confidence, and their sale.

If you want to learn more about social media marketing for building materials, check out our episode on influencer marketing or our episode on how to use social media to grow sales. Or if you have any questions or thoughts about this week’s episode, we’d love to hear from you. Just send us an email at [email protected].