More Q & A From Our January 2012 Webinar

We will now tackle many of the questions that we received on shows and events in our latest home improvement webinar on leads. If you haven't already read done so, please read the previous posting where we also address many of these questions.

1.  What role do scripts play (pros & cons)?

Almost anyone can sell more when they don't have to think about what to say next. Scripts enable people to be present –“to” and focus “on” the customer's interests and welfare. Scripts work best when they utilize a methodology in outline form. Essentially, this means a sequence of steps based on the customer's decision making process. The scripts or "what to say" element is utilized at a more effective level when the user of the script understands the reason for the technique. Understanding that process and integrating it faithfully enables the sales professional to "own" the material and better teach it to others.

2.  Why do most scripts for lead intake and “appointment setting” fail?

Some reasons for failure include:

  • They aren't written based on the customer's mindset
  • They utilize weak language
  • No-one has conducted a valid test on the script’s efficiency
  • You hired the wrong people to perform the tasks
  • There is too much blather (war stories and anecdotes)
  • The personnel has received little or poor training.

Rarely is it just one thing, and sometimes it may be all of the above.

3.  If a company develops 75 leads at a home show and has 6 salespeople how do they handle the abundance?  How far out should they set the leads?

I’m not taking your concerns lightly, however this is a great problem to have.

By far, the worst outcome is when you've scheduled many appointments, yet you lose business to other companies who get there sooner than you do. Setting leads “far out” means that many will have to be rescheduled or will die because interest wanes along with whatever emotion caused them to schedule with your company in the first place.

A frequent decision is to qualify most of these leads “tighter” than usual. While this works, it most frequently has several negative results – those leads which don’t qualify become lost opportunities which those in your company would have been glad to have when there were fewer leads.  In addition, the salesperson receiving the lead which is/was “more qualified” will want to accept this as the norm and won’t want to return to those leads perceived as “less qualified”.  In short, every time you relax standards, it's difficult to return everyone to them.

Wise managers utilize abundant leads (as in your question) as an opportunity to set weekend appointments and also to search for opportunities for daytime appointments where the sales manager and owner can “dig in” and agree to cover 6 or 7 leads each.

In short, you invested in lead development, you have an abundance of leads and the entire sales department has to be conditioned to make more presentations while this abundance exists.  Caution: if your salespeople are used to receiving 6 or 7 leads per week and you suddenly give them 14, they will not make more sales, they will become more selective as to who they want to make a presentation to (also called over-qualifying).

Our next home improvement webinar will be in early March, and we will send a notice out when the date has been set. I look forward to our future interactions.

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