Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, delivers inspirational keynotes at conferences. She authored international bestselling book “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results” and “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews.”
As a contractor, you know how competitive the market is. When you are contacted by an interested potential customer, you want to do all you can to get that job. Read on for pointers on how to be sure you nail any interaction with a potential customer – and get that contract.
Credibility and trust are key elements when prospective clients look for a residential contractor. When you initially speak with a potential customer, make it clear that you’re licensed. When you meet face to face for the first time, be prepared to provide a copy of your contractor’s license and any other necessary documents to establish your credentials – and to let the homeowners know that they can trust you to know how to handle their project.
Treat Couples Equally
Many times, you’ll meet with a couple. One person may speak the majority of the time, but make sure that you direct conversation to both individuals equally to avoid insult.
When discussing the prospective client’s ideas for home improvement, be sure that one of the first questions you ask is, “What budget are you working with?” The answer will let you have a good idea of what is monetarily possible. Listen carefully for any idea that doesn’t sound doable, and if you run into something that appears to be a roadblock, ask further questions to clarify said roadblock.
Offer suggestions on how to turnaround the “can’ts” into “cans” – services that you can provide within the homeowner’s budget. Unfortunately, some contracts won’t be worth the work, financially. It’s best to discuss the financial aspects and details of the project upfront and save both your and the homeowners’ time if it’s not a match.
Once a compromise or agreement is made with regards to project details and money, it’s time to describe how you work and the processes involved. Discuss how long it will take you and your team to complete the project, and ensure that’s agreeable to the homeowner. Then move on to other details, such as:
- The type of people with whom you work (e.g.,day laborers, other licensed contractors, etc.).
- A detailed account of a past experience similar to the project the homeowner wants done. Provide images if possible (either bring them to your face-to-face meeting if you get a good scope of the project over the phone, or email them to the homeowner before or after your face-to-face meeting).
It is in your best interest to come to an agreement with regards to timelines – and to stick to them.
Homeowners who experience outstanding customer care will become loyal fans of yours. They may not have an upcoming project of their own, but surely they know other homeowners. And the majority of your satisfied customers will know how to – and will – post an online review about your service. Make sure what they say is good.
After the home project is complete, check for satisfaction on all levels. Mark your calendar to check once again a month later. Should all be received with rave reviews, ask if you may use their words as a testimonial. The ultimate goal is to earn a returning and referring clientele in order to successfully grow your business.
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