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The Power of Questions

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The Power of Questions

Use these six kinds of questions to help guide homeowners into the best decisions. 

By Mark Richardson February 8, 2021
Ask the right questions with homeowners
This article first appeared in the February 2021 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Every potential remodeling client is unique. 

Learning to ask the right questions is often the best way to find the right prescription. Asking questions also allows you to control the process, and those that control the process generally get the outcome they are looking for.

The following are some important questions to get at a prospect’s needs and guide them into the best decisions.

1. “When would you like to wake up in your new master suite?” Always ask when they want the project completed not when they want to start. Most homeowners are unaware of how long the process takes. This also allows you to ask an important follow-up question: “Why?” If they do not have a strong why, then the likelihood for them to have a real sense of urgency is low.

2. “What research have you done for this project?” This is code for who else are you talking to (but a little softer). You might hear they have met with several remodelers. A great follow-up question then is “Can you share some of the ideas that have been generated so I can give you some feedback?” These questions may also give you a feel for the way they make decisions.

3. There are also many questions that begin with “why” that help you understand the project, the client and their painpoints. A few might be “Why did you move into this neighborhood?” or “Why are you thinking about tackling this project now?” or “Why are you leaning toward granite versus quartz?”

4. There are also some questions that make great starters like: “Would it be helpful if…? “Who doesn’t want you to be helpful? This gives you permission to share your expertise. Another one is: “Have you considered …?” In this case, it might give you direction and allow you to also ask why.

5. Another revealing question is, “Have you ever lived through a remodel before?” This can provide insight into their remodeling experience as well as who did the last project and why are they not working with them.

6. Questions about budget can be tricky but are very important. You cannot really help a prospect without discussing money and are wasting their time, and your own. I generally encourage asking the money questions after you have a basic understanding of the scope of work and have gained some real rapport with the prospect. A good question is “Have you thought about the level of investment you want to put into this project?” or “Have you established the magnitude of investment for this renovation?” Most of the time this leads you to share your insights on the budget.

As a remodeler, mastering questions is a crucial skill you need to develop. While I have outlined a few questions, the real success is not just the question, it is how and when you ask it. Do the questions come off as scripted or are they natural? Do they create memorable insights? And most importantly, do they lead to a sale?

written by

Mark Richardson


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 or 301.275.0208.

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