The Heart of Your Business:
The 5 Incremental Sales to an Optimized Lead Conversion Process!
Remember the good old days? Most home improvement company’s marketing and sales process looked like this…
- Your company put an ad in the yellow pages
- Consumers “let their fingers do the walking” and called your company
- Your company sent out a salesperson, made a presentation and sold the job (or not)
- Repeat Process
Wow, have times changed, eh? Some of you may be asking “What are Yellow Pages?”.
Nowadays, the consumer’s path to purchase looks dramatically different, doesn’t it? They have a wealth of information available to them online that actually complicates the process for us in the business. Today, the successful companies don’t simply need the biggest and most colorful yellow page ad. They need a process driven system that holds the hand of these homeowners from the moment that ‘spark of interest’ gets generated right on through to the ideal end result of a raving fan helping spread the word about your awesome company.
Lead Conversion… It’s All About the Basics!
Hmmmm, Isn’t there a song about that? Back in the day, everyone concentrated on only two parts of the lead conversion process… generating the lead and closing the sale. Both are still essential today but there are additional parts of the process we need to pay close attention to. There are now, in fact, 5 specific and distinct ‘sales’ that have to be made in an optimized lead conversion process. Then and only then will your company maximize results and stop profitable business from ‘falling through the cracks’. Below you will find a list of these all important ‘5 sales’ along with some thoughts on how you can get better at each one. We’ll conclude the article with a shocking discovery on just how small improvements in each of these processes will result in mammoth growth for you company.
The 5 Sales to Optimum Lead Conversion
Sale #1 – Generate An Inquiry – This is simply lead generation. We all know leads are the lifeblood of our business. Just make sure you’re not ‘looking for leads in all the wrong places’ (sounds like another song)! With over 80% of homeowners beginning their contractor search online you MUST have great web strategies. Now listen closely… GET SOME HELP WITH THIS PART OF YOUR BUSINESS! A website created by your geeky brother-in-law or even your local ad agency just won’t cut in most cases. Find a great partner who serves and knows THIS industry. Also don’t neglect many of the tried-and-true lead gen methods such as shows/events, TV/Radio, canvassing, direct mail, etc. They still generate a ton of business for the biggest and best companies in the industry especially when combined with great web strategies.
Sale #2 – Convert Inquiries to a Solid, Set Appointment – This ‘sale’ is crucial! It is key to remember that your mission here is to NOT sell your product but sell ‘the value of the visit’ which is not the same. Often, this ‘sale’ is a phone conversation following up a show lead, web inquiry, etc. You must follow up with lightning speed and the skill to finesse this ‘spark of interest’. Proper scripting is crucial here.
Sale #3 – Convert a Set Appointment to a Complete Presentation – Here’s a fact… not all appointments end up taking place, do they? You can improve your ‘demo rate’ by implementing LEAD WARMING activities which are simply nice, warm communications (emails, text messages, etc.) to the homeowner prior to the presentation. Simple things like a confirmation email (or text) with a picture of the salesperson or getting them a consumer guide will go a long way toward creating a warm, fuzzy feeling with the homeowner. Getting them a link to your great online reviews will also help keep the fire lit with your prospect.
Sale #4 – Convert Your Complete Presentations to Sold Jobs – Ok, now you finally get to make your pitch. But here’s the thing. Some people will buy right away, and some won’t. You must appeal to both. Certainly, ongoing sales training for your sales stuff will impact your ‘buy now’ success as will offering financing options, etc. But, never forget there is a ton of business to be had with the group that decided to ‘think about it’ or ‘get other estimates’. Stats show that 60% of these unsold leads will proceed with a similar project with some company within a year. That company needs to be yours by implementing a lead nurturing program to consistently follow up on this gold in your database! Do you have one?
Sale #5 – Convert Your New Customer to a Lifetime Customer and Raving Fan – Once you get a customer (whewww) it’s now time to wow them with the experience you give them. Then proactively get their feedback and enable them to say great things about you (online reviews). This is like currency for your business and will also lead to a ton of repeat and referral business.
Here’s the GREAT News!
The best and most profitable companies in our industry track their performance and have mastered each of these all important ‘5 sales’ and you can too! Challenge your staff to each get a little better at every one of these processes and your growth will astound you. In fact, a manageable 10% improvement in each process will result in a revenue increase of over 60%! With an issued lead now costing home improvement companies $403.01 (according to the latest research), NOW is the time to optimize all aspects of your lead conversion process.
Tim Musch, MarketSharp – Director of Business Development
Industry Expert | Fierce Racquetballer | Multi-Instrument Musician