Sales. Many home service professionals flop here. Interpersonal skills don’t necessarily go hand in hand with being a tradesman. They also don’t go hand in hand with business ownership. I know. I did get a degree in accounting after all.
While there is a huge is a huge level of interpersonal skills that can lead to success, a good bit can be done with a little bit of professionalism, which goes a long way in an industry known for its lack of.
You don’t have to be the smooth closer, you don’t have to be the stereotypical pushy salesperson, and you don’t have to have all sorts of gimmicks.
All that you need is preparation and a process.
Here are some of the things that I’ve picked up over the years that you need to do before the sales appointment.
Pre Qualify The Lead
When you’re selling home services, most inquiries start out with a request for a free estimate. Meeting with every lead simply isn’t feasible for most small businesses (side note: free estimates for ‘everyone’ can work for some business models with dedicated hard sellers, and high margins). Practically speaking, you should be in the habit of naturally qualifying leads before setting up a sales appointment.
Send a Recap Email After You Qualify
Its all about small details. There’s never a single ‘step’ to successe. One of those small things that you can do is to send out a recap email right after your initial conversation. Sending out a recap email sets a professional tone. It also reminds your prospect of the budget expectations you have them in the first call.
Here’s a sample of what I might send out:
Thanks for the inquiry today. As we discussed on the phone, cabinets and new counters should be in the $11,000 – $14,000 rang
I’m looking forward to meeting with you at 11:00 am on October 3 at 1234 Junction Lane in Suite B.
Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the meeting.
They’ll appreciate it too.
Get Content to Them
In the days leading up to your sales appointment, you want to stay in the front of your customer’s mind.
One of my favorite ways to do this is to get content out and to them is with Facebook ads. This puts it right in a place where they can see it. If Facebooks ads aren’t up your alley, manually email them some links to relevant blog posts that you have.
Whether it’s an album of your previous projects that are similar to yours or an informational post that you wrote about something relevant to their project, send something of value to your customer before your sales appointment.
It serves a couple of purposes.
One, it shows them what your company is capable of and reminds them of why your company is in the running in the first place. Two, it gives you even more to talk about when you sit down in your appointment. You can discuss those past projects and get their thoughts on ways that you can use those projects to drive their project.
Three, it’s a quality touch without speaking a word [link on quality touches].
The Day Before
Send another email. It’s a reminder. Many folks might be thinking they need to remind you, after all contractors have a habit of not showing up for appointments. Be proactive here and send them and email reminding them the day before. This gives them another chance to clear their schedule for the following day and gives you enough warning in the event that they do have to cancel the meeting.
It also give you another chance to showcase yourself. Include a link to your reviews in the profile.
Call Before You Go
As a final measure, give your client a call around an hour before the meeting. You can let them know that you’re on the way so that they have a bit of time to prepare in case they forgot about the meeting again. Doing this also helps prevent cancellations and other problems that might end up wasting your time.
Your sales appointment is the most important time for you to make your sale.
While not everyone is comfortable being a salesperson, you can relieve a lot of that anxiety and tension by preparing yourself well in advance and setting up a formula to follow for every meeting.
Once you do it a couple of times, you’ll find that it’s just as second nature as anything else that you do in your daily routine.
What are some of the strategies that you use in the days leading up to a sales appointment to ensure that it runs smoothly?
Let me know in the comments section below!