Q & A From Our June 2011 Webinar

Thank you to everyone who was on last week’s home improvement webinar on leads and obtaining financing. We received an abundance of questions, many of which we were not able to answer during the program. As such, we are going to address many of them in this forum.

Q: Can you provide us with “slicks” of the ads you showed?

A: While we do not provide “slicks”, you will have pictures of the ads on the MP3 and can arrange your own from these examples.

A caution – be sure you check with some authority in your state (or your attorney) regarding the disclosure needed in these ads – regarding the size of the contract, the APR, etc.

Q: How does the advertising you’ve shown work with canvassing, shows or events?

A: Think about it – one of the most common reasons your canvassers or presenters can’t build a lead is because the prospect says “we can’t afford it now”. Have a pamphlet or brochure available to explain how you make this type of financing available.

Q: Is print media dead? If not, what are the most cost effective ways of using print media?

A: Print media is not dead, but it is in trouble. Circulation is dying.  Many people in the age range from 30-50 get their news via the Internet and don’t read the paper.  Many dealers are buying print media on a P.I. (per inquiry) or similar.  This takes knowledge of how advertising is sold, but it’s worth a try in any market.

The form of advertising mentioned in our recent webinar (utilizing financing/payments) is working a lot better than most.  Check the ad samples from the recent webinar.

A reminder – we have an abundance of free articles on this topic and others on our website.

Q: Do you hold new salespeople responsible for generating leads?  If so, how do you recommend they procure them?

A: Create a job description defining their responsibilities – and policies – then train the new hires on “how to self-generate leads”.  It is a great idea to make lead generation part of a new salesperson’s responsibility.  If nothing else, have them work around your completed jobs that were sold by veteran salespeople who won’t work around the job.  These are an excellent base in which to develop new leads.

Incidentally – you asked the question regarding “new salespeople”.  It probably fits all salespeople if lead intake lessens self-generated leads.  If you don’t have a database recovery system – have them start with old (recycled) leads from “no sit” – “no demo” or “no sale”.

12.  Q: Is direct mail around the house we are working on a good source of leads?

A: Direct mail is one of the options for using the job under construction or just completed.  Have someone visit 5 houses on each side of the new job and 10 houses across the street on every installation you do.  Make sure they are using door hangers. You can usually get the names of the people from the owner of the house where your current job is being done.  All actions such as this have a learning curve.  The more you do it, the better you will get.

Q: We just regrouped our canvassing program.  The trouble we always have is getting canvassers in the door.  The ones we get in the door show up for the interview but never return.

A: I would probably need to know a lot more about your company and operation before I could answer you completely.  It may have to do with the ad you’re placing or the kind and style of job you are offering (good canvassers in many markets make upwards of $60,000 a year).  Today’s great canvasser isn’t just “looking for prospects”, he or she is hired based on having some sales acumen. They are tested and profiled, and only the best are selected. They are trained and supervised by someone in the field with them.  They work on tight scripting.  The leads they make are relayed into a call center.  Someone else sets the appointment.

A behavioral profile can aid you in determining (1) adaptability to the sales role, (2) how the individual will respond to the stress, (3) manageability.

You probably have to rethink your program and see what you are missing.  In all probability, you may have to change the “model” you set up for this (the canvassers’) job.

You also may need help in your process regarding interviewing salespeople.

Q: We are in the roofing business. When it rains our prospects need a solution (usually they have a leak).  When it isn’t raining, we have trouble getting leads and closing.

A: You are in the same ballpark as those in basement waterproofing.  You are waiting for “nature” to help deliver a prospect that has a “high need”.  The truth is that the roof has a weak condition when it isn’t raining as does the basement.  Your job is to develop leads on an inspection basis, detect the weaknesses and convince the people to consider before it rains.

In your business (roofing), if the roof reaches a certain age, it’s time to think about replacing it before it leaks.  An analogy: when your tires start to lose their tread, you don’t wait for them to blow before you replace them.

There are many studies on why roofs are leaking (or will eventually leak) and the same is true of waterproofing.  If you can get a prospect before the roof leaks, you are ahead of the game and the competition.

Q: What are the best headline grabbing words and phrases to have in a magazine ad and where should they be located in the ad?

A: A couple of reminders first.  People don’t read ads.  They read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.  Your prospects aren’t looking for your product for the most part.  They’re looking for what your product does: protects their home – saves them money – avoids/eliminates maintenance – increases the value of their home.

The eye reads from left to right and top to bottom.  The headline captures the attention, the bottom line tells them what to do: “Call today” – “Visit our showroom” – etc.

Think of the words that relate to those issues and think of how best to get their attention.  An ad in any printed format is in competition with other reading matter on the same page (frequently another ad).  So you have to work at your headlines: “Save ___% today” – “Sale” – “Free” – “Low or no cost” – and, of course — how you will make it affordable for them.

We will answer more of your questions in the next blog posting.

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