Final Q&A from our March 2013 Webinar

Let's summarize the Q&A from last month's home improvement webinar by addressing a trio of vital questions:

Q: How do you get people to fill out information if they resist?

A: The problem of resistance frequently occurs when there is neither rapport nor trust established.  Once again, I suggest the need for scripting.  If the early questions are more along the lines of “searching for ways to help the prospect” your response will be much better.  Here’s an example: The prospect is looking at one of your products on display.  You ask “By the way, how old is your home?”or “Is this product/color/design appropriate for your home?”  The follow-up to their response to these questions usually opens the door for questions such as:  “Have you ever seen similar products?” or “Did you ever consider installing products such as these in your home?”  For specific products (i.e. siding and trim) ask questions such as: “Have you experienced any peeling or discoloration on any parts of the exterior of your home?” For roofing you might ask, “How old is the roof on your home?” or “Do you observe any of the shingles lifting?” or “Have you lost any shingles during the recent windstorms?” For kitchen cabinet refacing you might ask, “What is the current 'finish' on your kitchen cabinets?” or “Do you still have the original hardware?” or “What would be the most important change you would want if you were upgrading your kitchen?”

These and similar questions usually lead to discussions of a specific nature regarding their kitchen, roof, siding or other product and will help build trust and rapport.

Once you have established that you have an intense desire to supply information which is beneficial, discuss the inspection of their project using scripted language.  These scripts enable the prospect to see that you have an interest in their wants/needs and that you care about what they are saying.  The staff who are promoting lead development at the show need to have continuous role play to avoid social language.  Scripted language promotes rapport.  Rapport is a feeling which you can generate by showing care and concern for what the prospects are talking about.

Q: How do you keep your leads hot? From the day of the show until the day you get to the customer they seem to change their minds.

A: For best results, set the leads while you are in the booth.  In the more advanced companies they do this by bringing the customer to the point of agreeing to a visit, then on a cell phone they contact the call center or someone in their office who is scripted to set appointments.  All prospects agreeing to appointments receive a confirming e-mail (within the hour) thanking them for their interest and verifying the appointment time.

For those prospects who are more nebulous (less definite), they follow-up with a similar premise, and then mail or e-mail information which stimulates continuing interest, which is then followed-up with a call from the call center.

Current research indicates that for best results, leads are set in a time frame of 48-72 hours. Those leads which are set for dates beyond the 72 hour limit need to be reconfirmed or reset (sometimes revived) after 3 or 4 days.  All prospects, whether immediate or “down the pike,” require ongoing stimulation.  Use a follow-up post card, e-mail, or similar.  Long range prospects (those which you are unable to set as a specific lead now) are entered into your database for future mailings and phone follow-up at appropriate times.  If you have a showroom and they were interested or stimulated by some product which they saw at the show, arrange to pick them up at their home and bring them into the showroom. This has two benefits:

  1. A visit to the home enables you to take a quick look at the project and take pictures
  2. Bringing them to your showroom enables you to fit your products into the “design picture” of their home.  Once in your showroom you can utilize “cad” drawings or pictures of the home (taken when they’re being picked up).

Finally, use your creativity and imagination.  Above all, continue to stimulate their interest and stay in touch until the appointment can be set inside of the 48-72 hour time slot.

Q: How do you measure the success of a show?

A: First, make sure all of the costs of the show are fully loaded, including the time (labor) which went into preparing the display, erecting the display at the show, and the payroll for your promoters (staff) at the show.  Next, measure the number of leads procured.  Also measure each promoter individually to measure their efficiency.

Next, divide the number of leads which you are issuing into the cost expended. This will define the dollar cost of the lead being issued.  Next, measure the number of “sits” (presentations) which were made.  Then measure the number and total dollar amount of the “net sales" (after cancellations and credit rejects) and measure this against fully loaded costs (your investment) to arrive at the total marketing cost for the show/event.  Count the leads which are going into your database.  Keep them segregated until they have been followed-up on over the next 30-60 days.

Again, we appreciate all of your questions, and we are in the midst of preparing our webinar schedule for the remainder of 2013; however, in the interim we will be presenting live seminars in Orlando and Washington D.C. Go to for full information.

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