|Rod Sutton, CGRA, Editor In Chief
Times are good when remodelers complain about too many leads. In addition to the usual telephone leads, electronic leads from Web-based referral services and remodelers’ Web sites add to the deluge. And for those remodelers who have built a substantial base of satisfied clients, requests from people who have never been a client, but know someone who has, put additional leads in the pipeline.
A professional remodeler’s response to these consumer calls separates him from the less savvy. Professional remodelers must be able to respond to every lead that comes in, even the obvious mismatches.
Most of the truly terrible leads can be filtered out of the pipeline before they enter. The initial response must be made by someone who has been trained to identify potential clients. The rub in this strategy, though, is the term "potential clients." Professionals have defined that term; others consider all clients "potential." When a remodeler has determined the criteria for a client, he can ask the right questions, moving down the list until he determines that the lead will be a potential client and not a cold call.
In those situations where the cold call needs to be terminated, the professional can easily, quickly and with tact reject that consumer. A well-trained qualifier can respond to the consumer in a manner that makes it clear that the fit isn’t there. The consumer continues his search, appreciating the courteous service even though frustrated in the response. Further down the pipeline, the rejection becomes more delicate. For this, a letter may serve the purpose.
This issue has several resources for remodelers to use in this bullish client market, including CR Peter Feinmann’s strategies for identifying the clients that have sustained Feinmann Remodeling for years. We also show how a newly engaged couple has worked their way through the process of finding a professional remodeler, including the responses from the companies they contacted.
Online, we’ve assembled more resources at HousingZone.com. Mike Carden, CGR, of MUI Corp. is currently writing a series of articles on his lead tracking system. You can find his articles under the Columnist section of the site. Feinmann Remodeling has agreed to share its "no" letters online, too. A sampling of the form letters sent out to consumers who don’t make it through the qualification process are available at HousingZone.com, keyword "Business Tools." Finally, the site contains Stan Ehrlich’s worksheet, "Where’s Your Profit?" that helps remodelers evaluate the projects -- and clients -- to target.
Our online offerings continue to complement what we publish in the magazine. If there’s something you need, we’ll try to find it for you. In the meantime, let us know how your qualification process is working and how the resources we’ve assembled have helped you.