Our last home improvement webinar elicited more questions than we have ever received, and we will continue to answer them now.
If you have not read it, make sure to review our last blog posting for more questions that were answered from the webinar.
Q: We get internet leads and we call every day and email letters and newsletters with coupons and still we get no response. What can we do to get to talk to homeowners?
A: A prospect’s response to advertising (a lead) is an indication of interest. The level of interest may vary from curious to various levels of need. The Internet lead is someone responding to your homepage – or – something within your posting which intrigues them.
First, acknowledge all inquiries with a simple thank you, then provide them with the information they requested and let them know (professionally) that someone will call them within the next day or so to answer specific questions and give them additional information which may include job sites or things of that nature. The latter is not necessarily what they want, but it responds to their urge for contact. The person calling them should be scripted and ask questions rather than starting to sell. Questions such as:
- “How long have you lived in your home?”
- “What is the age of the particular product you have now (roof, siding, kitchen, bathroom)?”
- “What is your goal?”
Most companies respond with personnel callers who talk about themselves or use inane introductions such as “My name is Mary Smith. I’m with XYZ company – how are you today?” These are ‘worthless words’ and that’s why you need a script.
Usually the Internet lead (prospect) has also examined the websites of others and they may have information and misinformation about the product or service you are offering. Structured dialogue (scripting) will usually get you to the core of what their needs might be.
Also, you indicated in your question that you call every day – and – you may be long past the perception of an information provider to that of a pest.
Your last sentence indicates you probably need a lot of work on scripting.
Q: We use your “Leads, Leads, Leads” program. The amount of information seemed overwhelming at first, but since using the scripts properly, we doubled our issue rate. The problem is, the salespeople claim they want a more qualified lead to create a better sit rate.
A: We are glad you are using “Leads, Leads, Leads” and continue to review this material; it will help with the next part.
What you stated remains an on-going problem – the salesperson wants a more qualified lead which brings down the issue rate. The owner wants more “bang for the buck”, so he wants the sit rate increased.
My recommendation is that you first focus on improving the issue rate while utilizing scripts, which ensure (1) all interested parties, (2) a specific time, (3) interest created in the product or service . Next, sales management has to realize that the issued lead today is very costly and salespeople have to be better prepared to “sell their way in”. I’m not talking about “foot in the door”. Rather being prepared for some of the minor resistance that frequently occurs. I also suggest that someone in your marketing department listen to The Science of Successful In-Home Selling and that likewise your sales managers listen to the CDs in the Leads, Leads, Leads package you have.
Q: We are in the gutter business, which isn’t good right now. We also sell handyman services, and our average contract is between $2 – 3,000. Is there financing available?
A: Contracts of the size you mentioned do not require conventional financing. Use credit cards (which also may be offered on a 3 or 4 payment basis with an individual contract stipulation authorizing you to charge their credit card once a month for 3 months). However, this is not the reason you may not be getting as much business as you want. Adding this as a “benefeature” enables you to provide a solution for the customer who really doesn’t’ have the cash to buy now.
Incidentally, who told you the gutter business was bad now? Remember, it is either good or bad, depending on the way you run your business and the success you achieve.
Q: How many people still use the “free no obligation estimate” phrase??
A: The phrase “free estimate” is outdated language. We suggest a phrase that goes something like this:
“We will examine what you want to have done and need to have done and if we can offer a service which fits your needs we will give you an accurate written proposal on what your investment would be.”
Q: Are the ads which feature average payments directed at low income customers?
A: To our knowledge, these ads attract responses from a broad range of prospects – – some of whom have saved a portion of the costs and need to finance the balance and haven’t found banking sources which will accommodate them. This includes prospects who were rejected when they sought credit in an earlier application for reasons that may no longer exist. It attracts people who have a “big ticket” project of necessity – roofing, HVAC, and similar and haven’t been successful with their local bank. Of course, it also attracts low income prospects.
We will continue to answer questions from our last webinar in the next blog posting so be on the lookout.