In any service industry, it's always important to make a good first impression on your potential clients. No matter how good a remodeler you are, you'll never get the chance to prove your skills if you can't sign on new customers.
Sales processes shouldn't be static fixtures of your business. It's important that they evolve as customers' mindsets change. An outdated sales method could wind up costing you business.
You may have a carefully laid-out sales strategy that you and your employees use for customer acquisition. Step-by-step processes are common among many businesses that rely on sales and clients for income, Remodeler pointed out.
"In 2003, every company had their own sales process," explained Mike Lane, a Connecticut-based home improvement company sales trainer, according to Remodeler. " ... And for a long time that was great."
Lane explained the sales process often involves identical questions repeated to various customers and exact timelines about when to follow-up and when to have a contract signed by.
They also typically include tactics that have long since gone out of style, Entrepreneur reported.
For example, have you ever tried to fake your enthusiasm or turn on a bubbly personality that wasn't your own? Unless you're a highly skilled actor, your leads probably see right through the show.
People today also tend to get turned off by persuasive language too early in the relationship. If you're beginning the conversation with product pitches or project ideas before you've even heard what the client is looking for, you're less likely to make the sale.
Rather than perform the same song and dance for each and every customer, begin by asking questions and listening to the answers. Find out exactly what the customer has in mind. This has several purposes.
First, learning what the customer wants will let you determine whether it's actually something your company can provide. If they're looking for something you can't do, tell the right away to save yourself and the prospect time.
Second, getting an idea of how big or small a project the customer wants will let you determine whether it's possible.
"We want to give them general parameters for the type of work and pricing, based upon what we're hearing … to try to eliminate the absurd in the beginning," explained Mike Klein, CEO of Illinois-based design/build firm The Airoom Companies, according to Remodeler.
Finally, and most importantly, asking questions and listening to the answers shows the customer that you care about their project.
Once you know the extent of the project or projects your customer wants completed, you can move onto other details like pricing expectations, timelines and financing options.
Lane suggests not waiting too long to bring up the possibility of financing. If you miss your window of opportunity, the client may make up his or her mind to say no and move on; show them early on how financing will benefit them.
To learn about how financing can benefit your business, reach out to Aqua FInance.