It started with a simple powerful idea
By Jeff Winke
Need answers right now…need help right now…need to reach someone right now…. the telephone is the best solution. Forget texting, online chat rooms, Facebook messaging, email, grab the phone and dial the number and talk. It’s that simple.
Back in 2005, Mike Musto, CEO of U.S. Pavement Services, Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts, had a hand slap to the forehead epiphany–get a catchy, memorable, toll-free 800 number and plaster it everywhere. He got the 1-800-PAVEMENT phone number and branded it by placing it on all the company’s trucks, job signs, equipment, and printed literature. The result was remarkable. Musto saw his business triple as a direct result of the 1-800-PAVEMENT phone number. The simplicity of an easy-to-remember telephone number proved powerful.
The success prompted Musto to acquire additional toll-free numbers and create a national network where member contractors could benefit from these great marketing tools. The process is simple: choose a toll-free number, identify the area codes in your local market to subscribe to, and finally brand the number throughout your business. It is extraordinary that someone in Kansas City, Seattle, San Antonio, Tampa, Charlotte, Newark, Toledo, Milwaukee, or ?? can call the number with a paving need and receive the attention of a nearby willing member.
As a result, U.S. Pavement Services became the founding member of the 800 PAVEMENT Network. The idea was fertile. More than 15 years later, the network has grown to more than 275 pavement professionals and generates more than $1.4 billion in total combined sales, while employing roughly 8,000 people.
For most in the network, the key to the group’s growth has been unleashing what has become for them a powerful and effective marketing tool: an easy-to-remember, toll-free phone number that is exclusive to the company’s area of service. For many, it is perhaps, the best way to grow business and generate more leads.
The question contractors ask themselves is: what is better, having prospects try and remember a random 10-digit phone number or a simple, toll-free number that resonates with the services the company provides?
Network member companies can choose from a variety of toll-free numbers which have been acquired, all related to asphalt, pavement, sealcoat, concrete, blacktop and striping.
Collectively these network numbers have generated over 50,000 calls in 2020 — which translates to 50,000 leads for member companies. The member contractor owns the exclusive rights to the toll-free number of their choosing. That means the contractor can put that number on their trucks, job signs, billboards, and any marketing material they want to use.
By joining the 800 PAVEMENT Network, the contractor receives a toll-free number that is designed to be easy for prospects and customers to remember. The thinking is that the number doesn’t need to be written down but simply remembered and, for example, a 1-800-ASPHALT or 1-800-BLACKTOP becomes the number to call every time they need work done.
Membership in the 800 PAVEMENT network provides more than the toll-free 800 number. Membership includes a business development relationship with a national sales team, nationwide support and access to equipment and goods through business partnerships that benefit from volume discounting. Partnerships with companies such as SealMaster, General Motors, Trux, Sunbelt Rentals, Sherwin Williams, Pavement Soft, and others that offer savings to all network members because of the buying power brought to the table. Consider that collectively the 800 PAVEMENT network installed more than 16 million gallons of sealcoat, 4 million gallons of traffic paint, and topped 20,000 pallets of crack sealer in 2019. That volume prompted SealMaster to offer up various rebates to network members on all purchases made through the SealMaster catalog.
Collectively the membership has more than 4,500 trucks, which guarantees significant member discounts from General Motors and TRUX. As the network grows each year, and more partners are brought on there will be additional savings anticipated for members.
As Musto pointed out: “These savings alone can not only help pay for the network membership, but also add to your bottom line.”
As part of the 800 PAVEMENT Network, members also get the opportunity to bid on projects with the National Accounts Team at U.S. Pavement Services. This group handles projects across the U.S. and Canada. The Team has awarded roughly $125 million in work to network members.
U.S. Pavement Services works with 12 of the 14 largest retailers in the U.S., which include Walmart, Target, Staples, Kohl’s, CVS, IKEA, and Best Buy. The 800 PAVEMENT Network, through U.S. Pavement Services, provides network members the unique opportunity to bid and perform big jobs.
“The 800 PAVEMENT Network is a strong, growing community built on trust, loyalty, and support,” Musto said. “Every member can expect tremendous support and backing from the 800 PAVEMENT Network. What makes our network so special are the relationships we have within the network. We are all here to support each other, share work when we can, learn from each other, and grow together!”
Musto continued, “The network is more than just a bunch of contractors doing work; it’s a family. And as a family, we continue to look after our own and help each other in every way possible. You can always count on your fellow members — even when you travel out of state, you can connect with teammates across the nation. The point is to build a strong team and grow it.”
While the motivation for joining the 800 PAVEMENT Network may vary according to the needs of each individual, joining is said to help members grow their businesses, and to help the industry raise standards and overall level of expertise and competence.
To learn more about the 800 PAVEMENT Network, call 1-800-PAVEMENT or visit www.1800pavement.com
Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org