Last month in this space, I reviewed a series of market projections for 2014 from Harvard University as well as the industry’s leading associations.
Punch Up Your Sales Now!
When it comes to remodeling sales, some markets still boom; others are closer to bust.
Adapt Relevant Business Practices
8. Itemize estimates
With consumers carefully watching their dollars and using the Internet to research pricing, itemizing a bid can help gain a prospect's trust. Novotchin takes pride in knowing that two customers requesting the same services and products on the same day would receive the exact same price. - Kimberly Sweet
9. Offer one-stop shopping
Stephen Gidus, CGR, partner at PSG Construction Inc. in Orlando, Fla., says the downturn changed the types of projects the company is accepting. With fewer whole-house renovations, he says, "We ended up regrouping and focusing on smaller projects and getting more into the design/build aspect of the renovation market."
PSG still works with outside architects and designers for larger projects, but uses the design/build scenario for projects of less than $200,000.
"We've had a very good response to the design/build process where the client wants to go to just one person to take care of everything for them," Gidus says. - Linda Abu-Shalback
Educate Individuals and Teams
10. Find the 'it' in 'I want to think it over'
In your next staff meeting, spend time discussing an objection that has been around as long as selling and will be around as long as it continues: "I want to think it over." Discuss the following thoughts and tips in the meeting and change your people's thinking on this common objection:
If you fail to isolate, the prospect has the opportunity to throw more objections at you down the line. Say, "Other than fitting payments comfortably into your budget, is there anything else holding you back?" If there is nothing else, you know what you're working with and can begin closing by working on creative financing, cash down, extended terms, justifying the price and value of the product, etc. If the prospect does throw another objection into the works, don't despair. Be glad you found it out now. Simply keep isolating objections until you know exactly what you have to do to make the sale. Customize the words to fit your business and your style.
Practice clarifying "I want to think it over" and then isolating the concern. From there, it's up to you to overcome what you find. "I want to think it over" will always be a factor in the sales profession. You might as well get good at handling it and turning it into sales. Role-play with your people so they work out the kinks out before they're in front of a prospect. - Steve Johns
Steve Johns is a speaker, consultant and trainer for the remodeling industry. You can contact him at 405/759-2073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. Remind the staff that everybody sells
Every contact with a company influences consumer perceptions. Employees should realize that how they look, speak and behave reflects upon the company. In that sense alone, anyone on staff can make or break a sale. But their enthusiasm for work and sense of investment in the company also make a big difference.
Mattson says that while it's the responsibility of the sales force to close business, all employees need to think about bringing it in. "You get more bang for your dollar if you train someone else to ask for referrals because the prospect isn't as wary," he says. "A lead carpenter can talk with passion and conviction. "
"Salespeople can get a job. It's the people on site who will keep it and guarantee repeat business. Repeat business always comes from people on the ground, not the sales force." - Kimberly Sweet
12. Have a process? Write it down.
"If all remodelers did was write down what they know in their heads, they'd be so far ahead," Richardson said during his seminar. Documentation will help make sure the right things get done every time, especially with more than one salesperson.
He proposed starting with your "sales recipe," whatever it might be. For example:
- warm-up call
- Kimberly Sweet
13. Head prospects' objections off at the pass
Richardson also suggested writing down potential customers' standard objections and spending time as a sales team to develop a set of standard answers. - Kimberly Sweet
14. Look into sales systems
If you're seeking in-depth sales instruction, a number of consultants have Web sites, newsletters, classes and books that have worked for other remodeling companies. Here's a partial list:
Book: How to Become a Millionaire Selling Remodeling, by Phil Rea
Web site: www.sandler.com
Books: You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar: The Sandler Sales Institute’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling, by David H. Sandler, and Close the Deal: 120 Checklists to Help You Close the Very Best Deal, by Sam Deep, Lyle Sussman and the Sandler Sales Institute
Web site: www.sellemup.com
Books: SolutionBased Selling, by Steve Johns, and MAPS Marketing Manual, by Steve Johns
Web site: www.techknowledgeonline.net
Book: If I Sell You I Have a Job, If I Serve You I Have a Career, by Mike Gorman