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False Positives

Don’t rely on today’s trends to make decisions for your business. You may be seeing a false positive. Here are some common examples. 

August 04, 2020
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On the phone with client

By JustLife | Adobe Stock

Occasionally, when you go to the doctor, you test positive for a condition then later discover that the test was incorrect. This is called a “false positive.” 

We see this concept in business, too. Just because it’s a referral does not mean it’s a good client. Just because someone sold a few big projects does not make them a great salesperson. Just because you had high profits on a job does not mean your production efficiency is strong.

With the environment today, there are even more “potential” false positives that are critical to watch. My advice is not to use today’s trends to make any decisions because they may be false positives.

Here are a few examples of potential false positives:

1. Leads 

The phone is ringing. People want to schedule appointments. While this is positive, it may not continue. During this time, anything can scare the consumer and make the phone go silent. It’s important to continue strong marketing efforts. Be creative and spend appropriately.

2. Marketing

Your open rate is up, and the time people are spending on your website and social media is greater than before. Is this because what you’re doing is better? Maybe. Except that everyone’s open rates are up. People are at home staring at their nasty bathroom or kitchen and researching remodeling ideas. You need to continue to get creative and innovative in your communications. Try to invest even more energy into this, not less.

3. Sales

Your close rate is up, so you must be doing a good job with sales. Not necessarily. Many are seeing high close rates now because the COVID-consumer has a greater desire to do the project. Your sales skills may be worse and not better, but you are seeing better close rates because of the environment. In uncertain times you need to see sales training as an investment not an expense.

4. Face to face meetings

Prospects want face-to-face meetings so developing virtual sales skills is not as important. Again, I believe this is a false positive. Many homeowners are ignorant (not fearful) of buying remodeling virtually. They will naturally gravitate toward having you look at the project in person. As a result of this false positive, many remodelers are backing off of developing the skills to master virtual selling and selections. As soon as homeowners realize that a virtual sales appointment can be effective, they will want it. If you are not skilled in this area, you will lose future opportunities. You need to invest in the tools and technologies that will allow you to stay in the wave.

I know it is frustrating not being able to watch market trends and know where to head. In these times, I would encourage drilling more into the “why” you are seeing certain results and overlay the environment as a primary reason, not just the metrics. While we all want to move toward longer term planning and clarity, you need to focus on what you know now and can control. 

About the Author


About the Author


Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com(link sends e-mail) or 301.275.0208.

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