Q & A From Our January 2012 Webinar
Our latest home improvement webinar on leads brought together over 900 companies to help turn leads into sales in the year 2012.
As is the case with most of our programs, we have an abundance of questions that were not able to be addressed on the webinar. We will also answer many of these in our monthly e-newsletter (you can sign up today on our website).
Questions on Shows, Events, and Showrooms:
1. How do I keep my full-time people busy? There aren’t enough events.
Full time people can also work mall displays — radiate around recent installations – work on Quality Control programs that provide referrals (business now and later). There’s lots of prep, legwork and maintenance work for them too, especially as your department grows.
2. In your seminars I’ve heard you say “no chairs” in the work area. Our people get tired and they sneak them in – – what should I do?
You have to check on them yourself frequently, or through a small group of mystery shoppers. Hire part time men or women who can complete an 8-10 point survey after visiting your booth/display – also let your promoters know that they are being shopped – (it’s like putting a radar sign on the highway – most cars will slow down even if no actual radar is present). I know this rule may be difficult to enforce, but it is a key ingredient to make your presence at a show more profitable.
3. How do you avoid giving a price when they walk over to our window sample and ask “How much is this one”?
Usually the prospect does that when they’ve already asked for a “ballpark figure” and were given an explanation about why the price would be delivered in person after evaluating their project.
You could paraphrase the original “depends” response as follows:
“The price of (your product) would depend on the options you chose along with the quantity, sizes and colors – of course – once our representative sees the condition of your (current product), he’ll know what we need to do to order the proper (your product) and install it properly, meeting the conditions existing in your home. In addition, he’ll be able to deliver a price in writing and as I have mentioned- that price will be good for one full year – may I make a suggestion? (Take control – get to the next step—search for the best time and circumstances to visit – set appointment.)
Questions on Canvassing:
1. How do I find good canvassers?
A: Recruit and hire regularly using 5-10 sources with a well planned sequence enabling you to identify fearless optimists or manageable mavericks whose current lifestyle is congruent with earning fairly good money in only a few hours daily. It is the kind of job that will appeal to many different circumstances.
Many of our clients hire college students as canvassers and those individuals who need a second income. They also hire retired or semi-retired people – in short “people with available time”. But don’t forget, we suggest the use of a behavioral profile to determine whether the canvasser being hired has a behavior adapt able to this sales support role. Many of our clients hire canvassers who then become highly successful in that role and they find it good basic training for an actual sales position.
2. Can I pay canvassers on straight commission?
Yes, but statistically – employee retention is better when paying a base salary PLUS incentives. There are very few stable individuals who can use their own car, work alone despite the weather then deal with the face-to-face “turn down” rate, which is common in this role, even when they are paid a high commission rate. Reminder: strong management (supervision) is the key.
3. Vans are expensive. It’s a lot less money to send them out in their own cars. Why can’t I do that?
A: They don’t show up or they arrive late or get lost, leave early and give up easier. Sometimes they have friends accompany them. That could jeopardize your plan, create insurance risks for your company and other problematic exposures.
Check out reliable used vans. They are less expensive than you think.
We will address more of your questions in the next blog posting, and we invite you to give the home improvement webinar another listen. The material that was covered takes constant reinforcement.