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Construction Genius

Feb 25, 2020

Rainmaker! Business Development Strategies from a Construction CEO

In the construction business, people often think that cranking numbers, building projects, or estimating are the only things that matter. However, it is also important to build relationships with your clients. It is often overlooked by many, but its impact can take your business to another level. Some people are born with great salesmanship and are comfortable talking with others, but some aren't. It doesn't mean, however, that you can't learn!


In today's episode, Roger Leasure joins us to tell stories on how building relationships with his clients and other colleagues helped his career and business. He will also discuss how listening to other people's interests and changing your paradigm can take your business to a new height. Roger also advises companies that solely focus on crunching numbers while neglecting to create valuable relationships with their clients.

Roger has a lot of exciting things to share with us, and you’ll surely learn a lot. Check out the highlights and make sure you tune in to the show!

About Our Guest:

Roger Leasure is the president of Northern California Tiles & Stone. In his early 20s, he started in the tile and real estate business. He ended up running one of the most extensive tiles and stone companies, owning over 200 housing units and several commercial buildings when the recession hit in late 2008. Roger triumphed over debts and now installs over a million in tile and stone monthly. He also owns Capitol City Stucco.

How to Build Relationships With Your Clients in Construction Business Development

Take Interest In Other People

  • A personal encounter with a project manager allowed Roger to work his way in the construction business. He turned a $15 investment into a $12.8 million construction project.
  • Both of them were interested in running, and on Christmas, Roger gave him the book "Once A Runner" as a gift. Compared to other presents, his gift was more personal, building a relationship between them.
  • Always keep your ears open when you're doing business. Be interested in the people you meet, and take notes all the time.
  • The client will then feel that you are paying attention. For example, you may ask them about their children or their interests.

Change Your Paradigm

  • Get out of your head and put yourself in the shoes of other people to understand their perspectives, interests, or situations.
  • When you take an interest in other people, you establish a level of trust and relationship with them.
  • People struggle with building a personal relationship in business because people are always thinking about their tasks and workload.

How to Get This Business Development Mindset

  • To help people get to this business development mindset, Roger's organization implemented a core client list. They also have annual strategic planning.
  • A core client list sorts out clients that are safe, organized, fair, and have their act together.
  • They developed a business development strategy where project managers and estimators have to report to the general manager weekly.
  • They also invested in spending time with clients by watching games together. The estimators are required to go out. In this way, they will start to get to know and understand each other.
  • Work with people who are not just takers. It's essential to have a symbiotic relationship with your clients.

Advantage of Building Long-Term Relationships With Clients

  • No matter where they go, you know the clients on a personal basis. You will know and be able to talk with them should there be changes in the business.
  • To promote communication, Roger also helps his colleagues who are technically strong but struggling with relationships. He encourages them by attending games, planning, and setting up a meet and greet in the office.

Shifting to Being a Contractor to a Salesman

  • Sell every day.
  • Hire people to do the things you don't want to do, and focus on spending time with clients.
  • Potential clients might still reject you, and it's okay because rejection is part of the process.
  • Train your estimators.
  • Construction business is not just about cranking numbers. You have to understand the act of persistence and following up pleasantly.
  • Put the clients' interest in the center of your perspective.

On Networking

  • Figure out where your clients are. Don't waste your time hanging out in networking groups where you do not have clients.
  • Make sure you understand where they are and then spend time in those places.
  • Go to conferences and the target environment of your business.

Advice on Being Successful In Business Development And Sales

  • The person in charge needs to free up their time so that they can focus on business development and sales.
  • Make sure to have written goals and team written goals. You also need a measurable metric system.
  • Target the right clients, analyze your data, and make time for strategic planning.

Check out Northern California Tiles & Stone's website.

Connect with me on LinkedIn. For more podcast episodes, visit my website, and you can also check out Construction Genius Podcast on LinkedIn. Tune in to the Construction Genius: A Leadership Master-Class Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.