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GGP December 2013

Insight Data General builders: the new wave of installers In the second of a series of articles for GGP, Insight Data a new sales opportunity for 46 December 2013 window, door and conservatory suppliers. For more information, call: 01934 808293 or email: hello@insightdata.co.uk Anyone running a trade counter business knows that general builders represent a significant slice of the window, door and conservatory business. Historically, few wanted to deal with them – the ‘back of a cigarette pack brigade’ were time consuming, high maintenance and low volume. How times have changed. A difficult housing market has played in the favour of general builders. Instead of moving, homeowners improved their homes and often in stages; last year an extension, this year a new kitchen, next year new windows and doors. For homeowners it can be a tough call. On the one hand, there’s the shady reputation of ‘cowboy builders’, on the other, the double glazing salesmen and their reputation for high pressure selling. By forging relationships with the homeowner over a period of time, general builders have gained a valuable advantage – trust. Today, many homeowners are entrusting their regular builder (or one recommended to them) without even getting a quote from a traditional window company. What’s more, general builders are replacing windows and doors when they’re fitting a new kitchen, remodelling a bathroom or building that extension. The new opportunity There are currently 20,651 general builders involved in home improvements, extensions, renovation and small new build projects; all of which are likely to include windows, doors, conservatories or roofline products. Targeting those builders opens up new opportunities with potentially thousands of profitable new customers. They have, however, always been notoriously difficult to track down, which is where Insight Data comes in. In 2010, Insight began developing a specialist database of builders, compiling an initial list of over 75,000 raw contacts and painstakingly turning this information into a comprehensive database of general builders with detailed market intelligence. The information is available on Salestracker, Insight Data’s online database software, and data can be filtered by sector (such as home improvements, roofing or new-build) and by geography, down to postcode level. According to Insight Data’s commercial director, Helen Costeloe-Hughes, the database is ideal for suppliers in the fenestration and building plastics industry: “The database is already used by a wide range of fabricators to drive additional sales but it is also ideal for independent depots and local suppliers to target builders within a 10 or 20 mile radius, while regional and national trade depots and merchants will find the database invaluable to drive new customers through the network.” Sales and marketing strategy General builders tend to be hands-on. Most of them will be out on site during the day and as a result they are often difficult to contact during office hours. Direct mail, particularly product offers or promotions, are a great way of tempting builders into a local depot, especially when accompanied by a bacon roll and hot drink early in the morning. Product catalogues and technical information are also useful for builders. Chances are, builders will look at your marketing material in the evening, so be sure your website is up to date, can handle any enquiries/quotes and has all the relevant information. In the last two years, the number of builders using email has more than doubled, from 5,000 email contacts in 2011, to over 11,000 today. What’s more, as most builders are out on site, many use smartphones and pick up their emails on their mobile device. Whatever strategy you take, you can be sure builders now represent a great opportunity to increase sales. Many are now installing more windows, doors and conservatories than some double glazing companies.


GGP December 2013
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