Q&A From March 2016 Webinar
The following questions were left over from our most recent webinar on lead management and diversification:
Q: How do you isolate those who are “not now” leads – how do you follow up with them?
A: A well-managed company does the following with lead intake:
- Logs every lead into their database
- Ensures that a lead slip contains a name, address, phone number (cell phone if possible), and an email address plus call permission (under present “do not call” laws you have a period of about 90 days from the time you get an inquiry.) A call permission would indicate the customer giving you permission to call in the future regarding any changes in either the structure of the product or the price.
- Ensures that leads are confirmed by a scripted confirmer (within 48 hours or less) into appointments for issuance.
- Supervises lead issuance and regulates the number of leads issued daily, then requires that unsold leads are reported, detailed and returned within specific time parameters which can range from 24 hours to 3 to 7 days. (The shorter the better).
- Rehashes unsold leads to confirm appropriate use by the salesperson. Unsold leads are entered into a database for rehash and future redistribution.
Q: Our salespeople resent rehashing; they see it as questioning their ability and integrity.
A: Much depends on the circumstances under which your salespeople are hired and the operational policies you put in place to control “issued leads”. Consider that your issued lead cost for your company may range anywhere from $200 - $400 (sometimes more). This is a costly asset being left in the control of a salesperson.
Rehashing helps to ensure that the salesperson completed the inspection and sales process as you defined it, and that the customer is left with “satisfaction” whether they bought or not. Frequently, rehashing even can increase closing rates!
Q: Do you advocate giving prices or ballpark figures at a show?
A: No. The promoters working your booth (remember we advocate that you don’t use salespeople in your booth) should be pushing for “the value of the visit" during which your company rep will look at the project in terms of what you want to have done and what needs to be done (maybe two different things). If you review the latest webinar, you will note we advocate a thorough inspection which may indicate needs not expressed by the owner. The price given should be based on what the inspection produces and the salesperson's proposal of the corrective needs. Any issuance of a price or a “ballpark” number (at a show) is injurious to your sales process and is usually unfair to the customer.
Q: Do you ever get “push back” or criticism for being too aggressive at shows?
A: We directed this question to Joe Talmon and the number of clients he has represented who utilize our concepts. The only criticism that we receive comes from those in other booths. To my knowledge, our clients have never received criticism from customers. However, remember it’s scripted and it isn’t only what you say, but how you say it.
Q: We have a display in Home Depot, do we use the same methods you recommend for shows?
A: This ties in to a previous question. In this case, remember you are on someone else’s turf and need to operate within the confines of their policies. If your methods are characterized as overly aggressive or high pressured that’s because they are perceived as such by customers/those shopping in Home Depot. However, we remind you that we follow the same policies and it's always scripted and managed to ensure that the promoter is following the script.
Q: We cannot get our salespeople to work around their jobs during the install – how do we handle this?
A: Not an uncommon question. Despite the fact that other homeowners in a neighborhood often have a concept of “sameness”, in addition they are stimulated/motivated to compare their property/home with that of your customer who is having work done. It is wise to solicit business around that home whether the salesperson who sold the job is willing to do this or not.
Most companies have a program that offers an increase in the incentive (commission) for self-developed leads. And most companies are aware of the cost of developing a lead. If nothing better, hire a part-time college student to work around that job. First, going to the customer’s home where your job is being done, and casually asking questions about the neighbors and their names. Even without the latter, using your customer's name as you solicit identifies your work and stimulates their interest. Remember, they must be scripted utilizing “the value of the visit” (inspection).
Next, comes who should get that lead. The salesperson who sold the job in progress will claim priority, but that doesn’t mean they should get the leads developed from an action that they wouldn’t undertake. If you have a plan where your salespeople get 5% or 10% extra for a self-developed lead, you have a budget for hiring the part time solicitor.