The Appointment Setting Process
Welcome to the fourth issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. This information is for businesses that actively market and sell residential metal roofing, as well as businesses that sell other replacement home products and have a desire to keep tabs on the entire home improvement industry.
In this issue, we want to address one of the most critical elements of the in-home sales process. It’s an element which, if not given full and purposeful attention, will cost your company sales and profits on a regular basis. Your Appointment Setting Process.
I have seen far too many companies that lack systems for setting appointments and the end result is that they set fewer appointments, have more cancellations, have more sales calls where the homeowner either doesn’t show up or is unprepared for a professional presentation, and their salespeople experience lower closing ratios.
These companies without an Appointment Setting Process often relegate appointment setting to whoever answers the phone or, worse yet, to their salespeople. As we will discuss in this Executive Report, appointment setting is about much more than just a time and a place. And, if your salespeople set their own appointments, they are likely qualifying way too hard, as well as going into the appointment with preconceived notions that shape their presentation but are usually inaccurate as they are based on only a brief phone conversation.
So, what are the necessary parts of a solid and successful Appointment Setting Process?
Your Appointment Setter must first realize that it is their job to “sell” the idea of an in-home presentation. Many people may call you just for general information or to fish for a price. Your Appointment Setting script will have specific tactics for helping the homeowner to appreciate the value of an attic inspection, roof evaluation, and in-home presentation. In the end, it’s a very simple, normal process that is repeated thousands of times each day. Homeowners invite contractors to their homes to take a look at things and, if they have one, offer a solution to their problems. Your Appointment Setter must be skilled at helping homeowners understand the simplicity and necessity of this process.
Beyond that, your Appointment Setter must remember that this is one of those “first impression” moments for your prospect. The connection must make them feel welcomed rather than an interruption. It must be courteous and professional, while allowing the caller to feel in control. It must include asking permissions, confirming their understanding of what the next steps are, and thanking them. This is also an opportunity to do some Needs Analysis. Find out why they called – what their concerns are and what is bothering them. Your salesperson will confirm these things in the home but learning as much as you can while setting the appointment helps the salesperson in planning and in asking the right questions during the sales appointment. Find out, too, about their current roofing situation. The more information that can be passed on to the salesperson, the better.
The Appointment Setting Process needs to include finding out how the prospect learned about your company so that information can be given back to your Marketing Department. You also need to make sure that the prospect allows adequate time on their calendar for your presentation. Your Appointment Setter needs to confirm that the homeowners will have a path cleared for you to access the attic for the inspection. You need to confirm location of the home and any directions that may help your salesperson. (GPS directions are not 100% reliable!) Finally, your Appointment Setter must be trained to ensure that the right people will be at the appointment. This is not about making sure that the person who will say “yes” or “no” to a contract is there but rather about making sure that the people who need to understand your product are there. We suggest scripting this part something like the following:
“Mr. Smith, because we really need to understand your exact roofing needs, it is important to us that everyone who may have thoughts on that be present for the appointment. Additionally, due to the uniqueness of our products, if we have a solution to offer you, we want to make sure that everyone involved fully understands our products and their features. That’s the only way we can be successful in the long run. What we will be talking about is much more than just a roof. Can you confirm with me who all in your family will need to be involved and present for the appointment, so that we can bring adequate materials for everyone?”
Hopefully, the above script has gotten them off of thinking about who makes the decision but, if they respond “I will make the decision. My spouse doesn’t need to be there,” your script needs to be something like the following:
“Oh, I fully understand that. Our concern is just that we want to make sure that we capture the roofing needs of your entire household, and we want to be able to explain our products to everyone who will enjoy them. Will that include some others or just yourself?”
Finally, the Appointment Setting Process requires a confirmation email sent to the prospective customer, as well as a phone call two days before the appointment if the appointment was set out a week or more from the original contact.
By creating, scripting, and following a successful Appointment Setting Process, your salespeople and your prospects will be better prepared for an experience that is enjoyable, goes as anticipated, and leads to a sale for your company.
Please feel free to contact me anytime you’d like to discuss sales, marketing, or residential metal roofing. You can call me at 1-800-543-8938 ext 201 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team would be happy to help you create or review your Appointment Setting Process.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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