The construction industry is booming. It used to be commonplace for homeowners to get three bids before deciding on a contractor. Now they are lucky to get three estimates and luckier still to find a capable contractor that isn’t already booked through the summer.
But I’m seeing a disturbing trend among salespeople and the owners of smaller remodeling companies: Many of them are over-qualifying leads. They are asking homeowners budget questions and then disqualifying them if the number is too low.
That mistake is costing these companies as much as 40 percent of their business. Now understand, I’m a big fan of qualifying prospects; I make a living teaching people how to do it. But a premature discussion about budget is a sure way to end the process with a homeowner.
Ninety-nine percent of homeowners are shocked by how much remodeling costs. They watch TV programs depicting major remodels that are done over a weekend at an incredibly low price while the family enjoys two days at a major theme park. So it’s understandable that a new prospect won’t have a realistic budget. The mistake that salespeople are making is they aren’t uncovering what the prospect is willing and able to spend. Instead, they are finding out what the homeowner thinks the project will cost.
it’s unrealistic to think that someone is suddenly going to increase their budget from $40,000 to $80,000 as the result of a 10-minute phone call. instead, use other clues to decipher their spending tolerance.
I find this happens regularly. A salesperson burns through a ton of leads to get a handful of clients. And because he or she lacks the true qualification skills necessary, the homeowners who end up sold aren’t really great clients anyway.
I recommend avoiding any detailed discussion about budget expectations on the phone. Period. It’s unrealistic to think that someone is suddenly going to increase their budget from $40,000 to $80,000 as the result of a 10-minute phone call with a salesperson. Instead, use other clues to decipher what their spending tolerance may be. For instance, home value and neighborhood are much better predictors of a person’s real budget.
Yes, you will go out on more appointments and some of those will not close due to budget. But when it comes to selling larger remodeling projects, the additional clients you close will more than offset the added cost of any extra appointments.