Don’t Fall Prey to this Remodeling Sales Mistake

Remodeling sales can be broken down into a series of small decisions the homeowner must make, culminating (hopefully) in the signing of a contract with you. An important, and often overlooked, factor in getting through the requisite series of decisions from the homeowner, is whether the salesperson thinks that the next decision is an easy one.

If the homeowner has never made a decision to spend six figures on remodeling their home and the salesperson thinks spending six figures is a lot of money, it is highly unlikely that the salesperson will get the homeowner to decide to spend six figures on the first sales call.

On the other hand, if all the homeowner has to decide is whether to come to the company’s showroom to look at appliances, cabinets, and countertops after the first meeting in the home, then that is a decision that is extremely likely to happen because both the salesperson and the homeowner feel that is a reasonable decision to make.

Or instead, they might decide to retain a designer or sign an agreement for a smaller project. The key is that there is a logical and less risky choice that the homeowner will feel comfortable making. More importantly, the salesperson will be more comfortable asking for the decision.

The Design Build remodeling process is successful precisely for these reasons. But if you have a website with a page titled, “How we work with clients,” then you probably already have good steps identified. If you use an automated system for tracking, these steps are probably labeled as “stages.” Don’t use the default stages in your automated system. Create your own that map to how you work with clients and the incremental decisions they make on the way to purchasing from you.

It is the company’s responsibility (not the homeowner’s) to provide a safe and low-risk process to homeowners to reassure them that they are making the best choice.

Unfortunately, even the most rigorous processes can still be hijacked by an untrained salesperson. Are your salespeople able to succinctly explain your process and know when it’s time to make the next small decision?

I work with many remodelers that claim to use a Design Build process but are frequently chasing their tails with homeowners that have “just one more question.” The salesperson loses sight of the fact that the time to answer those questions about options and selections is not now; it’s after they have made a decision to design them.

Homeowners will rarely have a good process to buy 6 figure remodels, yet it is not uncommon for them to ask the salesperson to deviate from the remodeler’s process. Don’t fall prey to this! (Even my SalesEdge students do it from time to time.)

The salesperson must not go off process. Discipline is key.

Tired of “general” sales training? Get SalesEdge with Chip Doyle! It’s the training program focused on REMODELING sales.  Learn More »

 

What Percentage of Remodeling Leads Are Ready to Buy Now?

Whenever I talk to remodelers, they all have one thing in common.  Not enough leads.  I’m not surprised by this.  Most businesses can always use more leads.  However, I think there’s something else that’s really the problem here.

Most remodelers aren’t taking action in order to capture leads that aren’t “sales qualified”. You see, there’s a different between a lead and someone that is ready to remodel today. So, when I talk to remodelers and they say they don’t have enough leads, they are really telling me they don’t have enough people in their pipeline that are ready to buy.

Let’s break this down a little further.

Categorizing Leads

The way I see it, there are a few different categories of leads that you need to be trying to generate.

1. Subscribers

Subscribers are people that have come to your website and filled out a form that contains just an email address field and maybe a first name field.  You don’t have much information on these visitors, but they subscribed for a reason. They might just be researching home design ideas, but they could also be researching your company.  It’s hard to tell at this point, but they are in your marketing funnel!

2. Leads

Leads are people that have visited your website and have given more information that just a name and email. Maybe they gave you a phone number or selected various options from a dropdown menu on a form telling you that they are interested in improving their kitchen. These leads haven’t directly asked to be contacted by your company, but they provided their information to you in exchange for access to more information. An example of this would be a visitor downloading an e-book from your website called “Kitchen Design Trends to Watch in 2015”.

3. Sales Qualified Leads

Sales qualified leads are leads that have specifically contacted you and want to be speaking with you.  It may have been through your “Contact Us” form or it may have been through a “Request a Quote” form or a “Schedule a Consultation” form.  These leads are further down the funnel in their research process and they are actively looking to engage.

Filling the Funnel

Okay, now that we’ve looked at these different stages, let’s get back to the problem here. Most remodelers are only looking for sales qualified leads.  You have Consultation and Quote forms all over your website, but you don’t offer other ways to engage with your company on the website.

This is a BIG PROBLEM.

Most website visitors are just looking to research.  They want to get ideas and learn more about you.  They may be 6-18 months out from a decision…or longer.  Does that mean you don’t want anything to do with them?

I sure hope not.

What you really want to be doing is filling all three buckets of leads at the same time: Subscribers, Leads and Sales Qualified Leads.  That means you need to have different mechanisms in place to capture those leads.

Before we go any further, I want to hammer this point home.  We’ve been working with a remodeler in the Seattle area for over four years now and I did some math on their lead flow recently.

We’ve helped them generate 1,897 leads by driving more traffic and creating educational offers for website visitors.  Do you know how many of those leads came through the Contact Us Form?  125.

Gulp.

125??  But that’s only 6.5% of their total leads generated!

leaky_funnel

What does this mean for you?  If you aren’t blogging and creating e-books and downloads and giving people other ways to engage with you besides your Contact Us Form, you’re missing out on well over 90% of the leads that could be in your database!  Yikes – that’s what we like to call a leaky funnel!

As a side note, they have had 46 consultation requests, so if I add that to the 125 Contact Us requests, that totals 9% of their leads.

How to Keep All Your Lead Buckets Full

So, what can you do to correct this?  It all starts at the top of the funnel.  I’d recommend creating some education resources that you can place on your website in exchange for an email address or some basic contact information.  You can also start blogging and getting people to sign up for that.  These efforts will build up your subscribers.  Once you have subscribers, you can send them emails with more helpful information and stay in touch until they are ready to buy.  As your subscriber base grows, you’ll notice many of them turn into leads because they fill out more forms on your website and supply you with their phone number.

Once you have a phone number, you can start logging calls and trying to set appointments. Once you start setting appointments, you’ll notice that your sales qualified leads number is much higher than it used to be.  And these were the leads you were after from the start.

So, how can you generate more of the leads you want?  It starts at the top of the funnel.  Do your work there or risk missing out on 90% of the people that are in research mode and could be potential buyers down the road.