Remodeling and home improvement companies generally fall into two camps when it comes to interacting with prospects on the phone.
- Camp One: Virtually every call from a homeowner results in the company sending a salesperson out to their home. This is called Under-Qualifying, or UQ.
- Camp Two: When a homeowner calls, the inside salesperson asks lots of probing questions (including how much the prospect can spend). It’s not uncommon for this camp to even try to figure out if the homeowner will buy from the company before agreeing to send someone out. This is called over-qualifying, or OQ.
The UQers usually swear to me that they “just want the appointment” and that nothing of consequence can possibly be accomplished on the phone. The OQers, on the other hand, argue that the cost of sending someone out is prohibitively high, and they fear spending too much time creating estimates that don’t win the business.
Are you a UQer?
If so, then my message to you is this: take a few extra minutes on the phone, get some more information. The fact of the matter is there actually are some leads for which you should not be leaving the office.
And even if they are worthy of a site visit, asking the right questions will allow you to coordinate strategies with your salesperson before sending them out. This is the easiest way to improve closing and conversion rates.
What about the OQers?
Well, if you’re an OQer then, in my experience, the only way to convince you to change is for you to measure the increased revenue that occurs by loosening your standards a bit. I’m confident that when you compare these figures to the (minor) increase in cost that accompanies a decision to go out on the additional sales call, you’ll be convinced.
Remember, just because you visit a homeowner doesn’t mean you have to give a bid or a proposal of any kind. You are also not obligated to go back to the office and open up your estimating software. That realization alone will help reduce your cost of sales.
I have seen OQ home improvement companies increase their annual revenues by 35 to 40% just by doing less stringent qualifying on the phone and a handful of additional techniques* in person. What the OQers typically don’t understand is that large-ticket sales require face-to-face interactions, not voice-to-voice, to close.
A parting thought
Consider this: Big online retailers know the difference between online shopping carts, voice-to-voice, and face-to-face. That’s why they haven’t tried to take over the in-home sales market. Most homeowners won’t be buying a new solar power system, adding an outdoor kitchen, or landscaping their backyard via an online giant any time soon.
Don’t give your voice-to-voice and face-to-face advantage away by poorly qualifying on the phone.
*Want to learn the additional techniques that regularly increase our member’s revenues by as much as 40%? Click here to schedule a free evaluation to see if you can benefit from the Remodelers Advantage SalesEdge program.