Thursday, September 11, 2014

Getting To Know Youuuu…


We’ve all done it.  You know you have…
  


That prospective client calls in for a kitchen remodel, you go out on the sales call and it turns out to just be a broken cabinet that just needs a new hinge.  @#$!*%   Hours wasted that could have been better spent on qualified prospects and paying clients!

Not too many remodelers and contractors I know want to be stuck in the office answering phone calls; they want to be out in the field, working on projects and getting the job done!  As a remodeler or contractor, you might excel in the actual work you do, but if you don’t convey that in your initial call with a prospective client, you’re failing miserably and your bottom line will suffer as a result.

After 20 years in the remodeling and construction industry, screening an estimated 20,000 prospects, I have become what I like to think of as a Lead Specialist in my field.  A Specialist who can take the time to spend 35-40 minutes on the phone (so you don’t have to) with Mrs. Finkelbaum discussing her family, passion for gardening and oh yea, that kitchen she wants remodeled.  This blog, Getting to Know Youuuu, will be the first in a three-part series designed to show you how to generate a successful, Qualified Lead!
  
The first step in Getting to Know Youuuu, is to “place the pillows”.  The more “pillows” you place from the minute you pick up the phone, the more comfortable your prospect will be.  To start, there should always be a consistent and dependable person with a pleasant and comforting voice answering the phone.  You don’t want your cousin Sal, with his New York accent (no offense to you NY’ers out there) qualifying your leads! 

Next, let the homeowner ask about the company and what type of services it can provide.  This part is 75% LISTENING to their needs and wants and 25% of you TALKING.  Always remember to ask open-ended questions.  Questions where the person has to answer with details and not just a simple “yes” or “no”.  This will allow you to get a better idea of exactly what they are looking for, or not looking for!  It also enables you to relate and engage more with the prospect on the the project at hand.  

“It’s all about THEM and NOTHING about YOU!”

Below are some sample “pillow” questions to consider:

     “Mrs. Jones, can you tell me what you are looking to accomplish at your home?  What made you call us today?”

      “That’s great, can you give me some details on why you are unhappy with your current kitchen?”

o   Many new questions can come out of this question, as well as an opportunity to relate with them on how the current kitchen is.  Let them hear your experience (yours, your moms, friends, etc.) with the same problem they are having in the current situation.  This is how you relate and engage!
o   Here is where you may find out who else is living in the home, how it is affecting them, or not affecting them!  “My husband is really the cook, and he has been dreaming of a new gas cooktop for years!”  “I love to entertain, and my current situation doesn’t allow for everyone to gather in our kitchen.”

      “Have you done any research on products you would like to use in your new kitchen?  Would you mind sharing them with me?”

o   This again will give you the opportunity to relate with products they are considering, we must be careful not to put down any product…remember they like it from site, but we can offer other solutions.  “Mrs. Jones, tile is beautiful on the floor and I’m not sure what style you have looks at…have you ever considered another option like hardwood?”  She will then either tell you yes and why she does not like it, or no and this will open up more opportunities to relate and share with the prospect!”

Placing pillows, is really laying the groundwork for building a successful working relationship with your prospect.  Essentially, you are looking for this prospect to become a client and the only way to do that is to build a solid relationship in which they trust you and your expertise.

In the next installment of this series entitled; Show Me the Money! we will discuss how to arrive at the financial investment that the prospect is willing to make.  A crucial step in determining if this prospect is a qualified lead or not!