You’ve done all the work to get the lead, set an appointment with the homeowner, and now it’s time to close the sale.
It’s important to remember you don't have to close every appointment you run. In fact, I often advise sales reps to focus more on educating the homeowner and less on the close. More on that in a bit...
You can however increase your chances of a win by bringing value, references, finance knowledge, and negotiating skills to the table. Here’s a look at how veteran home improvement contractors are using these tactics to close the sale:
1) Build trust by being yourself and focusing on building common ground around their interests
First things first, be yourself. People tend to buy from those that are genuine and authentic which makes it important to let your personality shine throughout the appointment.
Get a sense of the homeowner's grasp on home services, and form common ground with them. Usually I tend to focus in on:
Aspects of their home
Being yourself and focusing on building common ground specifically around their interests will help to go a long way to building trust with them.
2) Educate, educate, educate – win the future sale
Remember - you're the expert here. Educate the homeowner on how their home can be built and maintained. If you focus more on educating the homeowner, and less on the sale – you will gain their trust.
This can be as simple as explaining some nuanced things about punctures in shingles, or how water can seep from clogged gutters into the underlayment of the roof, or how the size or layout of a home affects airflow of your HVAC system and ultimately temperature.
You are giving them something and not asking for something in return. They will be subtly obliged to at the very least humor you, and maybe someday... buy from you.
If you focus more on educating the homeowner, and less on the sale –they will be more likely to buy from you in the future.
If they're a savvy homeowner they may already have opinions on this. If they are already knowledgeable (or think they are), this is a good chance to build camaraderie. Don't get scared away by talking to a knowledgeable homeowner. If you educate well, you bet they will call you first the next time they have an issue.
3) Gain authority with customer testimonials, case studies, and third party materials from other experts
The most powerful voice in the room is often the one who is not there. Testimonials and case studies from satisfied customers can be a powerful tool for closing the sale. These help to build credibility and demonstrate the value of your services.
Furthermore, materials and videos from industry experts that you can leave behind, text or email later, or show in the moment go a long way. Jim Johnson champions this approach and the sales reps trained by him often see great results by bringing his materials into the home with them when they are selling.
The most powerful voice in the room is often the one who is not there.
You can do this by asking previous customers to write or record a testimonial that you can bring on appointments or showcase on your website.
Check out Chris' Lead Scout blog where he talks about how you can use BluePagesPro and ProjectMapIt hand in hand to create engaging customer testimonials and show them off when you're in the house selling to a homeowner!
4) Offer homeowners financing options
Chances are you're asking for a lot of money. Many homeowners won't be able to afford the service in full up front. Make sure you're always offering a financing option to ease the short term pain. If the homeowner is hesitating around the sale, don't forget to remind them of a lot of the reasons that people benefit from repairs and big home improvements
Increased value of the home
Avoid costly repairs in the future
Pay less in utilities long term as you make your home more efficient
And the pricelessness of having a home that is safe, comfortable and enjoyable to spend time in
By offering financing options, you can make it easier for them to say yes to your proposal. If you have questions about financing - we recommend contacting Christopher Scoville, a home improvement industry veteran with lots of stripes when it comes to contractor financials. The more knowledge and connections you have in this process, the more credible and trustworthy you will become.
5) Negotiate the sales terms
Be prepared to negotiate with homeowners in order to close the sale. This may involve offering discounts or flexible payment terms, or making other concessions to meet their needs. Don't be afraid to start a bit high on your pricing to allow room for this.
Another common tactic is to offer 3 Good, Better, Best estimates so the homeowner feels a sense of control over the pricing.
Negotiating will feel more comfortable once you really get to know the homeowner, so make sure to be building rapport throughout the appointment. This will help you determine what is important to them and ultimately help you close the sale!
6) Use deadlines to create urgency
Setting deadlines for homeowners to make a decision can be an effective way to close the sale. Two key ways to do this are:
Give the homeowner a special offer with a deadline.
Set a deadline where the price for your services expires and has to be "rechecked"
This can create a sense of urgency and encourage them to make a decision sooner rather than later. Any discount or promotion you offer should also come with a deadline in order to get commitment! Furthermore, this will protect you from fluctuating supply and labor constraints – which these days we know all to well affect our bottom lines!
7) Follow up
It sounds simple... but how many appointments have you run where the homeowner didn't reach back out and NEITHER DID YOU?
Make a habit of following up a minimum of 5 times for each appointment you run. There are tools that can help with this, either as a reminder, or automating the process.
Here are a few pro tips:
While you're with the homeowner, tell them you will send them a few resources. This gives you an opportunity to nurture them over time – emailing or texting them helpful videos or write ups associated with their issues. Again, this education is a powerful way to build trust and get a sale or referral down the road from them.
Send the homeowner a "Thank you" email a few days after your appointment
Call or text to check in and see if they have any questions
Use the deadlines and promotions you set previously as an excuse to reach back out
Add the homeowner email address to your eMarketing database so they can receive valuable information from your company in the future.
Send postcards or handwritten notes using our platform, Lead Scout, to stay top of mind for the homeowner and their neighbors.
“It takes about 7 touches to close the sale. Very few people will buy on the first appointment so you have to learn how to follow up” ~Dmitry Lipinskiy, Roofing Insights
By staying in touch with the homeowner, you can help to move them closer to making a decision. Consider checking out ProLine, an automated messaging software that connects to your CRM and sends consistent follow ups to past appointments. Hatch App is another industry tool that a lot of contractors find to be super helpful because it automates a lot of interactions with the homeowner.
Use these tips to close more leads and grow your business
There are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of winning a home improvement sales job. By bringing value, references, finance knowledge, and negotiating skills to the table, you can set yourself apart from other contractors and close more deals. Be sure to educate potential customers about your services, offer financing options, and follow up after each meeting. Using these tactics will help you build trust with homeowners and gain their business.
Now that you know what veteran home improvement contractors are doing to close the sale, it’s time to put these tips into action. Use them to sell more jobs and close more leads. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be a pro at closing the sale in no time.