How To Build Confidence With Homeowners
I hope that, whatever segment of the home improvement industry you are in, 2014 is shaping up to be a very solid year for you. Many homeowners who have put off roofing decisions for a few years are now making those decisions. Additionally, the harsh winter and spring storms have taken a huge toll on a lot of roofs. The end result is a very robust market for residential roofing, and metal continues to gain market share.
Welcome to the fifth issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. This information is for companies that currently do in-home sales of residential metal roofing, or are considering this industry in the future. With nearly 35 years of industry experience, I am happy to share ideas on how to make your in-home sales process be as successful as possible.
Homeowners must develop a sense of trust with a contractor if they are going to choose to invest in them and their products. They have to see you as someone they like, trust, and would enjoy having an ongoing relationship with. Here are some specific strategies for making that happen:
- Your demeanor and everything about the presentation changes when your mindset is that you are there to benefit the homeowner by solving their problems, rather than there to benefit yourself by closing the deal.
- You have to be a friend in order to make a friend.
- At the end of your presentation, you will be asking the homeowner to invest in you. Up to that point, therefore, you must be willing to invest in them with your time, care, knowledge, and compassion.
- It’s important to tell the homeowner why you’re in your line of work. Tell them what fuels your passion and excites you about working with homeowners. Share stories of other homeowners you have helped, and the positive outcomes.
- Build confidence in your company by sharing why you work there. Explain what makes your company different from other contractors.
- Use a system for selling, including a formalized presentation. It is not a crutch but it proves your seriousness, your professionalism, and it really helps to make you their trusted expert.
- Look for personal connections with the prospect. Search for common interests and mutual friends. If they know someone you have worked for in the past, that’s all the better. Google their name before you visit the prospect, know where they live (and who you might know in their neighborhood), and keep a keen eye once you’re in their home to discover their likes and interests. Look for ways to connect yourself with them.
- People naturally want to help people who they like. If you’re just a nice, friendly, easy-going person, your prospect will want to help you. And, of course, eventually they will be asked to help you by doing business with you.
- None of us likes to tell our story in a way which is self-aggrandizing. We don’t want to appear to be beating our own chests or patting our own backs. So, how do we share who we are personally without boasting? The key is in the stories we tell. For example, if you want to help the homeowner understand that you’re as much a part of their community as they are, you may say something (truthfully) such as: “Thank you so much for being willing to meet with me on Wednesday night because on Tuesday night I coach my son’s Little League team in (local town).” With a simple sentence like that, you have told them that you’re local, you’re a family man, and you care about giving back to your community. Again, always tell the truth but figure out ways to share stories that give them insight as to the person you are.
- Make the homeowner feel at ease by asking permission for each step of the sales process, and by giving them the freedom to always say “no”.
- Have the highest knowledge possible of the product you are selling. While being a “good guy” will go a long way, you still need to become their “expert” if they’re going to decide to do business with you. From their research, homeowners already know the answers to about 75% of the questions that they ask. You can’t fool them. You either know your stuff or you don’t. And, if you don’t, they are not going to do business with you. Be on a constant journey of learning and take advantage of all educational opportunities that come your way.
- You get bonus points if, when you’re answering their questions, you are able to refer to past customers you have served who had similar needs and concerns. This shows knowledge, successful results, care, and local connection.
- Tell positive stories about other people, including the other members of your company who the customer will work with. Keep everything positive.
- Agree with the homeowner as much as possible. In a future issue of this e-newsletter, we will talk about how you can even kill the competition simply by agreeing with your prospect.
- Finally, have a formal page that states your personal commitment and promise to your customers as to what they can expect if they choose to do business with you. Sign it at the bottom right in front of them before you give it to them, and include your cell phone with the admonition that they are to call you if at any point they think you or your company might have “stubbed your toe” and are not fully living up to the pledge. You present this just prior to attempting to close the deal.
Please watch for future issues of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report in which we will continue to look at industry trends and ways to increase your success. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com
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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