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Do Contractors Need a Social Media Presence to Increase Sales?

Do Contractors Need a Social Media Presence to Increase Sales?

Regardless of whether you live in a thriving metropolis or a sleepy small town, or whether your clients are traditionally millennials or baby boomers, a social media presence is now critically tied to the success of your business. Contractors haven’t always been on the cutting edge of this marketing strategy, but many now understand its impact. Here are three reasons we at Home Improvement Leads know that all contractors need a social media presence in order to increase sales.

Strong Competition for Smaller Businesses

The Construction Marketing Association has found that a whopping 97 percent of surveyed individuals are using social media platforms to engage their clientele and expand their brand recognition. Though many of these professionals work for larger construction firms, the same holds true for independent, smaller businesses as well. In many ways, a well-designed and innovative social media presence can become the great equalizer between the two. When you are able to reach thousands more potential clients, it’s only natural that your sales increase.

Engages Your Clientele

When it comes to social media, an account will get a potential customer in the door. Content is what will make them actually sign on the dotted line. By creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ that engage your audience—through questions and well-placed links that call them to act—you are allowing them the chance to begin a relationship on their terms. Plus, once you have won them over with your professionalism and technical excellence, they can then become your greatest brand advocates, further expanding your consumer pool along the way.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

At the end of the day, a contractor is only as good as their completed projects, and nothing will show that better than a picture. With over 176 million users (that’s 25 percent of the adult population!), Pinterest has the ability to draw in untapped clients like few other sites. In fact, their home decor and design categories are the most searched areas of the site, and with their average user’s household income being over $100,000, you have a new network of individuals who can afford to do more than just browse.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to build your social media presence as a contractor is because these sites are adding new members daily at an impressive rate. Research has shown that the number of people accessing social media via their smartphones increased by 60.3 percent between 2012 to 2014. Best of all, the fastest-growing demographic is also a contractor’s ideal pool of potential clients: baby boomers. With people staying in the workforce longer and choosing to remain in their home through their senior years, many are opting to remodel their homes later in life—and with 55 to 64 year olds joining Twitter 79 percent faster than in the past, it’s safe to say that social media is here to stay. So grow your business and get engaged!

CRM is Key Finding in LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2016

CRM is Key Finding in LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2016

LinkedIn recently released its State of Sales in 2016 report—which found that Salespeople rely on a variety of sales technologies, but spend the most time using CRM solutions and social selling tools, and believe both deliver the highest value.

Through our blogs, ebooks and even through our recent product releases, we at Pipeliner have been, for the last few months, pointing out the crucial need for CRM in addressing the frantic pace and level of confusion in today’s business world. Our most recent release, Automata, actually employs the science of cybernetics to assist salespeople and sales managers in navigating the incredible complexity of today’s sales landscape. Our next release, scheduled for July of this year, brings even more simplifying tools and benefits to salespeople everywhere.

It is evident that LinkedIn, through this report, has come to similar conclusions with regard to the need for CRM.


When it came to highlighting the amount of time spent with CRM, the report found that one-third (33 percent) of CRM users spend 3-5 hours per week using CRM tools. Almost one quarter (24 percent) spend more than 10 hours per week using CRM tools.

Sizes of businesses also played a role in CRM usage, at least according to this report. 44 percent of employees at medium-sized companies (100-999 employees) use CRM tools in comparison to only 23 percent of employees of small companies (under 100 employees) and 27 percent at large companies.

The report was based on a survey commissioned by LinkedIn, and conducted on 1,017 sales or business development professionals in the United States in December 2015/January 2016 by Market Cube, a research panel company.

Pipeliner is the best possible CRM solution for navigating today’s sales complexity. It is Instant Intelligence, Visualized! 

LinkedIn InMail: A Salesperson’s Secret Weapon for Engaging Prospects

LinkedIn InMail: A Salesperson’s Secret Weapon for Engaging Prospects

Many salespeople complain about having to make cold calls, especially because they are increasingly ineffective. Social selling evangelists, myself included, suggest that social selling can help diminish the need to make cold calls and potentially avoid them altogether. Connections are made with prospects in social channels rather than over the phone.

If you have to reach out cold to a prospect, then there is a way to increase your likelihood of success. We’ve already mentioned that cold calling is getting tougher and tougher, and email can feel a bit like its part of a spray and  pray strategy. However, if you use LinkedIn InMail or Messenger, you have a greater likelihood of getting through to your prospect and here are a few reasons why.

Spam Filters

With the rise of spam filters, getting an email through to a prospect has gotten tougher. If they have never received an email from you before, then there is a risk that you could run afoul of their spam filters and never reach them. Sadly, you might never know that that was the fate of your email. You are left to speculate based on no response.

However, LinkedIn is a recognized and credible domain. Most people, if need be, configure their spam filters to allow messages from LinkedIn. Leveraging this trusted domain increases the chances of your InMails reaching the right people.

Your Profile Is Your Resume

Please understand that I am not suggesting that you are looking for a job when reaching out to a prospect when I refer to your profile as a resume. Hopefully, the following will give you a better sense of what I mean.

If I sent you an email with my resume attached and assuming it made it through your spam filters, you would be asking yourself “Who is this person and why did they send me their resume?” My email would tell you why I am getting in touch, and my resume would give you a bit of back story and work history, but that is it for context.

If I send you a message through LinkedIn, then my name is a hyperlink to my profile which is essentially my resume. It gives you my back story and work history, but it also picks up where my resume left off regarding context which is our next key point.


When you click my name to visit my profile, you get to see who we share as mutual connections which my resume does not provide. As the sender, I gain some subtle validation and additional credibility based on those mutual connections. The recipient starts to think that “Mary Smith would not be connected to me if I was a jerk”. Mary does not have to say anything. Her connection to me is all the extra help and context I need, but she is there if the recipient wants to check with her about me before responding.

It used to be that you had to ask people who they knew, but now LinkedIn makes networks transparent. We now know who you know which allows people to be very specific about asking for introductions, referrals, and background checks. We take this attribute for granted too often, having forgotten how much more effort was required to make such connections before LinkedIn and social media.

The Need for Brevity

While LinkedIn gives you 2000 characters for messages, it does not mean you should take it. Best practices suggest being clear, brief, and to the point with your messages while still personalizing it and establishing common ground. Think WIIFM – “What’s in it for me!” – where “me” is the recipient of your message.

Tell them why you are contacting them. Draw from your knowledge about them and mutual connections to illustrate that you have taken the time to learn more about them and that your message isn’t spam. Explain what they have to gain by responding and wrap it up succinctly and professionally.

People are time-starved and increasingly reliant on their mobile phones so be cognizant that the first, and possibly only, place the recipients will read your message is on their phone. How much text can convey what you want to say and still fit on the screen of a smartphone? Writing a message as long as a book just won’t do it.


Recently a client of mine, who provides communications services, found himself losing a client who had elected to take the service in-house and have it delivered by a staff member. Not one to sit idle, my client went to LinkedIn and, after a bit of research, targeted his former client’s three top competitors.

Now before people accuse him of traitorous behavior or breaching confidentiality, let me add that he did not do anything of the sort. He simply approached the competitors via LinkedIn InMail with a very succinct message about who he was, the services his firm provided and for whom (e.g. their competitor), and indicators of his knowledge of the marketplace and what they would face if they were new entrants.

Two of the three competitors responded and InMail exchanges ensued. Within a couple of weeks, one of them signed a six month contract for communication services. How is that for a payoff from three InMails sent as part of a cold outreach?

Consider adding this to your existing prospecting efforts and see what happens over time. Maybe this will become one of your primary prospecting strategies. You won’t close a deal via LinkedIn, or Twitter for that matter, but you will be able to spark a conversation that, if nurtured further, could lead to one. Furthermore, not every InMail will be a home run but if you do proper research in advance, target your recipients and tailor the right message, LinkedIn’s messaging just may be the secret weapon your sales arsenal is missing.

Investigative Social Selling

Investigative Social Selling


Many of today’s buyers like to do their own research and undertake a self-discovery process during the early stages of their buying journey. As a salesperson, you can utilize social selling to improve the customers’ purchase and research experience. Global research, conducted by IDC in February 2014, finds that online social networks play a vital role in the purchase process of 84% of the most senior B2B buyers. In the final stage of the purchasing process, when stakes are highest, online professional networks (e.g., LinkedIn) are the number one information preference of buyers.

The key tools in a successful sales person’s toolbox, relationship building, referrals, and recommendations are also shifting online. Instead of ‘dialing for dollars’ like the older days, sales professionals can reach hundreds of prospects at once using social media. When you interact via social media, it’s better if you approach prospects through a mutual connection. If a connection isn’t possible, it’s important for sales reps to be visibly present online in an authentic, transparent, and complete way. For example, discussing relevant industry news in a related LinkedIn group is an excellent way for sales reps to engage with a new audience. When people comment on your group posts and show interest in topics that you are posting, send them a LinkedIn connection request. However, since generic LinkedIn connection requests are frequently ignored, it is important to include a personal message and mention the topic that you both were discussing in the group into start a quality professional relationship via LinkedIn.

Buyers are generally either in the stage where they recognize they have a problem, where they acknowledge it and where they’re committed to doing something about it. The buyers can benefit from social media activity at all three stages of the purchasing process. However, buyers use social media differently in each stage, which is why there is a need for consistent social media use by all sales reps.

For example, to engage with buyers during the earliest stage, sales reps can monitor prospects for trends that can be converted into relevant conversations. Subscribe to industry magazines, LinkedIn Groups, and Google Alerts in order to be well informed daily. Tweeting and retweeting relevant news, including the important hashtags, is also a great way to aid potential customers in the discovery process. When encountering buyers in the middle stage, sales reps who are better able to track and manage engagement via social media such as LinkedIn, may have an advantage when it comes to keeping deals on track. And when a buyer is finally committed to doing something about their problem, a solid and transparent social media presence will add credibility and confidence to the buyer’s purchase.

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