While running a meeting of the Remodelers Advantage Roundtable group “Quattro,” I heard Neil Harvey say, “Time serves no sale.”
That sentence is powerful. Why? Most remodelers have mixed feelings about dealing with the fulfillment side of the sales process. It takes a lot of work to figure out the design and specifications of a project. Meeting new potential clients is way more exciting than sitting in an office dealing with details.
So what happens? The deadlines set for the necessary steps in the process get missed. Or, even worse, the information developed is incomplete and likely does not solve the client’s problems with their home.
Contract signing might never come as a result of the passage of time.
How to not get sucked into this whirlpool of ineffectiveness?
1. Set the Example
As the owner model the behavior you expect from your employees. This can be hard to do when the owner is also a salesperson. Get over it! It all starts with the leader.
At every meeting determine the date of the next appointment and what is to be done by that date. Make the deadlines realistic and meet them.
2. Stay in Touch
Suppose the next appointment is in 2 weeks. Call the client at least weekly to keep their interest high. Share something that was discovered during the design process, something that might make their project even better. Keeping them informed keeps them excited.
3. Track Progress Publicly
Keep a whiteboard or the like with all projects in design and estimating on it. Mark all the deadlines on the board.
The sales/design/estimating team should meet weekly to update everyone on progress and what new projects are now on the board.
Celebrate when a progress point is met. Celebrate when a construction contract is signed. Focus on the successes.
The key with all this is to make time the friend of the sales department, not the enemy. Using time as a tool can get you and your team more work sooner than they ever thought possible.