You’re no stranger to the dog-eat-dog arena of construction lead generation. Competition keeps growing, and as a result, so must time spent developing new business. Here are three ways to step outside the traditional methods of prospecting construction leads.

Equip your website to show up in Google searches

Nobody likes to talk to a salesman until they’re ready or almost ready to buy something – especially when it’s a big purchase. Think about how you buy things in your personal life. Before you shell out a large sum of cash on anything – whether it be for a house, a car or a refrigerator – you’re going to conduct some research. Sometimes that means physically seeing or touching something. Other times it means digging around online. Usually, it’s both.

As of 2012, 61% of global Internet users research products online. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance,). And I’m confident that percentage is NOT trending down, especially for big purchases.

Remember that your prospects are human beings. Just as they search for products and services online in their personal lives, they’ll go online to research you, your stiffest competitor, and at least a handful of your other 10,000 competitors. Information is so easy to find today, and it’s your job to be sure the information your prospects find happens to be YOUR company’s information. Fill your website with helpful info related to the keywords your prospects are searching for. Strong SEO is an essential part of your industrial marketing.

Help construction leads address their challenges before you even meet them

Let’s talk about buying refrigerators again for a second. When you’re shopping for a refrigerator, what information matters to you? You’re probably interested in what it looks like, the dimensions and specific features like storage capacity and the ice maker. You’ll compare the reputation of brands and might even read reviews of specific models. And you’ll do all this before you commit to spending over $1000 because you want to make the right decision.

Now let’s talk about your construction business. What are the equivalents? Think about common topics of conversation when you’re fortunate enough to land a new business meeting. What do construction leads care about? What areas of your expertise help them understand what they should be considering during this long buying process?

Remember, nobody likes to talk with a salesman until they’re ready. Your leads aren’t buying refrigerators or building hospitals before they put in the due diligence.

So just as you’d answer customer FAQs in a one-on-one meeting, fill your website with rich content that will help educate your construction leads just the same – before they ever meet you. Stand out from your competitors by establishing your expertise before they do.

Keep leads engaged with simple marketing emails

How often do you sell a construction project within a week of your first meeting? If that were common practice for you, you’d probably be sitting on a beach in Jamaica rather than reading this article! I’m stating the obvious, but the sales cycle is long in this business. Lots of people, lots of information gathering and lots of politics play a role.

Email marketing is a highly-effective way to keep all the decision makers in a project involved through that one (or five) year sales cycle.

If you’re already producing great content like we talked about earlier in this article, you should absolutely put that content in front of your open leads. Send them links to your content via email and drive them back to your website so they can read more and re-engage.

Ultimately, online lead generation is about being helpful to your potential construction leads. Just as this article is helping you learn about online lead generation, help your customers learn how to solve their construction challenges. That’s your wheelhouse after all.