To explain how I can help you with your sales process, I thought it would be best to tell you a story…
It’s a story about Cathy and Chris. They are a husband and wife who are remodeling their kitchen.
There are two remodelers who are also part of our story.
The first remodeler is Cornerstone Construction
- Cornerstone has been in business for 15 years.
- They have an owner named Tom.
- Tom does most all of the sales work for the company.
- He has a Production Manager and one carpenter out in the field.
- In the office he has an Office Manager/Bookkeeper.
- Most of the production work is done through a trusted group of trade partners or sub-contractors that they’ve had a great relationship with for years.
- They usually do a little over $1,000,000 in revenue a year.
- Projects ranging from kitchens, baths, additions, and whole-house remodeling.
That’s Tom and Cornerstone Construction.
The second remodeler in our story is Refined Remodeling.
- They have been in business for 7 years.
- They have an owner named Bill.
- Bill’s business is strikingly similar to Tom’s!
- Bill’s built it to around $1,000,000 in revenue as well
- Has some help in the office and a production manager that is on his team.
- Like Tom, most of his projects are made up of a combination of kitchens, baths, and additions.
That’s Bill and Refined Remodeling.
Now, we are going to go through the Sales Process that Cathy & Chris experience with Tom and Bill.
What you are going to see is that both of the remodelers are respectable and do quality work
But what we are going to see are little differences between the companies – specifically around their Sales Process – that while they might seem small, make the difference in who Cathy and Chris end up choosing.
Specifically – we are going to focus on the the initial phone call and what happens before either remodeler arrive at Cathy & Chris’ door.
Cathy is the one who initiates a phone call to Tom with Cornerstone and Bill with Refined.
In both cases their Office Manager answered the phone.
Tom’s office manager took down Cathy’s name, phone number, and the type of project she was interested in and let Cathy know that Tom would be calling her tomorrow. He was out of the office for the rest of today. The conversation lasted about two minutes and was over.
Bill’s office manager uncovered the reason for Cathy’s call and then said,
“Great, do you have 5 to 7 minutes to answer some questions about yourself and the project you had in mind?”
Of course Cathy said yes and Bill’s office manager started asking the questions on her Project Discovery Sheet.
Questions like: How did you hear about us? Have you visited our website yet? When are you looking to have this project completed by?
She told Cathy,
“Bill will be calling you later today and that conversation will probably last 15 to 20 minutes since he will really want to get to know you and your project. Does that sound good?” Cathy said, “You bet!” and the call ended.
Bill called Cathy back the same day and they spoke for 15 to 20 minutes just like planned. The conversation consisted of:
- Bill asking lots of questions like: Have you ever remodeled before, if so tell me about the experience?
- He got to know them and the project.
- They chatted about the fact that they are new to the area and found some common interests.
- Eventually he asked: What type of financial investment are you looking to make in this project? (Gasp! He asked about her budget! And you know what happened? They had a pretty frank and open discussion about it.)
- He also explained how Refined Remodeling’s Process works… Laid out their Design/Proposal Development Fee.
70% of the conversation was Cathy talking and Bill was able to understand her and Chris’ needs, fears, desires, and expectations quite well.
Bill booked a time to meet with Cathy and Chris and then Bill said,
“Cathy, you’ll be receiving an email from us containing a document titled: ‘What to Expect at our First Meeting.’ I’d like you and Chris to please read that before we meet. And I’d like to spend the first 10 minutes of our appointment reviewing that. Does that sound good?” Cathy of course said yes. And Bill continued: “Excellent! In the email I will also include a link to Houzz which I told you about – you are going to love that site by the way and I’ll also include a few other resources that I think will be helpful to you both. What is your email address so that I can send that to you?”
Cathy provided her email address and Bill sent out the email with a click of a button – an email that looks like this was sent [click here to view the email].
And with that same click, he also sent out a great looking postcard [click here to view the postcard] that starts to show Cathy and Chris what doing business with Refined is going to be like.
Later that night…
Cathy mentioned to Chris how much she enjoyed the conversation with Bill (after all – she got to talk about her, the family, and her project most of the time – people love talking about themselves!) and they reviewed the professional email from Bill and spent time that night creating an Ideabook on Houzz.
Now Tom from Cornerstone called Cathy back the next day, still fairly timely and when he said he would. The conversation was cordial, but only lasted about 4 minutes. Tom realized that the project was definitely one that Cornerstone would be interested in and they set-up a time for an appointment. He didn’t get her email address, because he didn’t ask and will be heading to the appointment without a lot of knowledge about Cathy and Chris’ project.
Who has the upper hand so far? Bill from Refined or Tom from Cornerstone?
Bill, of course.
Here’s a key point: – The differences between the two are substantial, but not earth shattering.
Bill and Refined have a clear process and system for the initial call and the questions they ask. They don’t sound scripted, but they do sound organized and they know a whole lot more about Cathy & Chris than Tom does.
Tom didn’t technically do anything wrong – but Bill, with the questions, time spent getting to know Cathy and their project, the professional email with resources, the postcard in the mail – has built much more know, like, and trust with Cathy and Chris at this point.
The key here:
Bill has a system. Tom is shooting from the hip.
Bill with Refined is showing up to his in-person meeting:
- Already having spent 4 times as much time getting to know Cathy & Chris.
- He’s asked them about how much they are looking to invest in their project (i.e. their budget) and he has it.
- He’s set the expectation of how the appointment is going to start… If you remember, they are going to spend the first 10 minutes reviewing the ‘What to expect at the first meeting’ document and Cathy & Chris have prepared for that.
- Cathy and Chris have received a professional and organized email from Bill with resources and links. They have prepared an Ideabook on Houzz and Bill has already reviewed that.
- They are aware of his Design/Proposal Development Fee and how his process works – so there are going to be no surprises there.
Do you see how the initial phone call and what happened before he ever walked up to their door has really set the stage?
He has a process that he follows… He’s organized.
He’s enhanced his process with valuable resources and has begun educating Cathy & Chris on what they need to know.
Bill is in control of the sales process and is elegantly leading the homeowners through the remodeling process…
On the flip side – Tom with Cornerstone has NONE of those things:
- He has a very basic understanding of the project.
- No idea what their budget is.
- No communications via email or in the mail.
- And they don’t know his process.
- He looks, talks, and acts the same as a bunch of other remodelers… While Bill with Refined stands out.
Implementing these ‘little things’ into your remodeling business and improving your sales process can make a huge difference in you turning more of the leads you already have into paying projects.
My question for you: Are you more like BILL or TOM?
I can help you be more like Bill – not only for the part of the sales process outlined above – but through the follow-up, sales pipeline tracking, when they sign with you, as well as implementing a plan to stay-in-touch with your clients in the years after the project is completed.