Looking to improve your sales game as a home improvement contractor? Check out these top eight tips for success, from establishing a sales process to being likable.
As a business owner, you have to hire the right people, keep the books in order, handle customer service issues, and so much more. If you want your business to generate revenue, you also have to market your services consistently. Marketing is what makes people aware of your company and helps them understand why they should hire you instead of one of your competitors. If your marketing efforts need a boost, apply these eight sales tips for contractors.
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1. Show the Benefits of Choosing Your Company
Whether you're updating the content on your website or meeting with a prospect in person, you need to emphasize the benefits of working with your company. You can do this by developing a unique sales proposition (USP), a short statement that explains why your business is better than the competition. Your USP might focus on the quality of your work, the value you offer, or how much expertise you have in the industry.
When you develop a USP, focus on the value you can bring to the customer. Many people think, "What's in it for me?" when they read your marketing materials, make sure you answer that question. Even if you want to highlight your experience and expertise, your USP should explain how choosing your company is likely to benefit the customer.
2. Establish a Sales Process
Every business should have a well-defined sales process, which is a sequence of repeatable steps to follow every time you try to turn a lead into a paying customer. Establishing a sales process has several benefits:
- Employees don't have to guess at what you want them to do.
- It's easier to deliver a consistent experience to every prospect, which can help build your brand.
- New employees don't require as much training if they have a "roadmap" to follow.
- Having a sequence of steps in place increases efficiency, as employees don't have to take time to come up with their own way of doing things.
- Your business is likely to generate more revenue.
To establish a sales process, you need to define a sequence of stages for employees to follow. The sequence is completely up to you, but a good sales process usually includes the following activities:
- Prospecting: Identifying potential customers
- Presenting: Making potential customers aware of your services, explaining the benefits of working with your company, and sharing your USP
- Handling objections: Alleviating any concerns the prospect brings up, such as the cost of the service
- Closing: Convincing the prospect to hire your company
- After-sales service: Staying in touch with the customer after the sale to make sure they're satisfied
Assigning Responsibilities to Team Members
If you have multiple employees, consider assigning each of these responsibilities to specific team members. You might have one person in charge of prospecting, one person who explains the benefits of working with your company, and so forth. Having just one or two responsibilities is a little less overwhelming, and it also gives team members an opportunity to become experts at certain stages of the sales process.
Streamlining the Process
Once you establish a sales process, make it even more efficient by using sales tools and technology to save time. For example, a customer relationship management (CRM) system keeps all prospect and customer data in one place, making it easily accessible to everyone who works for your company. If a team member has to call a prospect, they won't have to waste time tracking down their phone number or trying to remember what they discussed on their last call — everything is in the CRM.
3. Simplify the Sales Process
Once you have a sales process in place, simplify it as needed. Your focus should be on understanding the customer's needs and pain points, offering clear solutions to those problems, and making the process as stress-free as possible. Feel free to add or remove stages from your sequence if doing so makes it easier to meet the needs of your customers.
4. Always Be Prospecting
As mentioned above, prospecting refers to identifying potential customers. Unfortunately, many contractors get busy with their work and don't spend as much time prospecting as they should. This leaves big gaps between paying jobs, making it more difficult to earn a good living. One of the best sales tips for contractors is to always be prospecting. Set aside a little time every day to look for new prospects and find a way to get them into your sales pipeline. Otherwise, you might finish a job and have nothing else to work on for several weeks.
To prospect effectively, make sure you use multiple channels for lead generation, such as trade shows, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). Use a CRM tool to track leads and make it easier to follow up with them. If you don't have much time for prospecting, consider outsourcing your lead-generation activities to a reputable company like CraftJack.
5. Build Your Online Presence
If you don't have a website, you're missing out on many opportunities to connect with potential customers. The first step is to develop a professional website that highlights your services and shows off your completed projects. Once the website is up and running, fill it with informative and engaging content. Blog posts, videos, how-to guides, and other types of content help customers understand what you offer and why they should hire you. Finally, set up accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks to make it easier to connect with potential customers and share your expertise.
Search engine optimization is a great way to expand your reach without having to dedicate more time to making calls or emailing prospects. SEO is a set of techniques you can use to make your website more visible to the people interested in your services. For example, you can improve your on-page SEO by adding title tags and meta tags to your content. The way you format your content can also have a big impact on your search engine rankings, as Google rewards sites that prioritize the user experience. Subheadings, bold text, bulleted lists, numbered lists, and other formatting elements all make your content easier to read, which may boost your rankings at the same time.
6. Target Your Pitches
While you're implementing the rest of these sales tips for contractors, don't forget to target your pitches. Some contractors make the mistake of using the same pitch on every prospect, but that doesn't work because not all prospects have the same needs. To tailor your pitches, you need to determine which prospects are the best fit for your services and then figure out exactly what they need.
For example, the pitch for a budget-conscious consumer with a middle-class income will be very different from the pitch you use with a customer who lives in a large home with a pool, tennis court, and stable. Make sure every pitch addresses the prospect's preferences, needs, and goals. Throughout this process, focus on building relationships instead of just closing deals.
7. Avoid "Salesy" Behavior
Have you ever worked with a salesperson who comes across as unappealing or dishonest? If so, you were probably put off by their salesy behavior. To avoid doing this to your prospects, focus on being authentic during every interaction. Listen carefully and focus on what the prospect is saying rather than thinking about how to convince them to buy from you. If the customer expresses a concern, show empathy and understanding. Even if they don't buy from you right away, they'll remember that you treated them well, which may result in a referral later on.
8. Be Likable
Most people prefer to do business with people they like, so it's important to be likable when you interact with a prospect or an existing customer. When possible, connect with the customer on a personal level. You can do this by asking about their family members, sharing a little bit about your own personal life, or connecting with them over a shared hobby. Create a comfortable atmosphere by displaying a positive attitude and using humor when appropriate.
Another way to come across as likable is to follow up promptly and consistently. This shows people that you value their business and want to do what's best for them. If you're on a job and don't have time to call a prospect, there are other ways to follow up. For example, many contractors rely on email marketing to stay in touch with prospects and paying customers. With email marketing software, you can even automate some aspects of your marketing strategy, increasing efficiency.
As a contractor, you need to be comfortable making sales. That doesn't mean you need to hound prospects or rely on distasteful sales tactics. Applying these sales tips for contractors gives you an opportunity to generate more revenue while coming across as an empathetic, trustworthy professional.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know Which Leads are Worth Pursuing?
Not all leads have the same value, so it's important to know how to determine if a lead is worth pursuing. You can assess the quality of a lead by following these steps:
- Have a target customer in mind. Not everyone in your area needs your services, so trying to market to every person you meet is a waste of time.
- Nurture your leads carefully. Lead nurturing involves developing a relationship with each prospect based on their unique needs.
- Hire a market research company to help you learn more about your leads and determine which ones are the most likely to buy from you.
- Ask plenty of questions. If a lead seems hesitant about moving forward or doesn't really know what they want, you can always follow up with them in a few months.
- Work with a lead-generation company that verifies all leads before you receive them. At CraftJack, we verify every lead, ensuring you don't waste time calling wrong numbers or contacting people who have no real interest in your services.
How Can I Establish a Sales Process if I'm a One-Person Operation?
If you don't have any employees, you can still benefit from establishing a sales process. You'll just have to handle all the steps yourself instead of assigning them to team members. Using sales tools and technology can help make the process a little more manageable, leaving you with enough time to market your business and provide services to paying customers.
What are Some Effective Lead-Generation Strategies for Contractors?
Lead generation for contractors isn't always easy, but there are ways to make your strategy more effective. If you need more leads, follow these tips:
- Make sure your website has plenty of content to educate visitors and persuade them to contact you for more information.
- Ask existing customers to refer their friends and family members to your business.
- Send a time-sensitive offer to prospects in your service area.
- Optimize your website for local search traffic. Your pages should include relevant keywords, such as "general contractor in Miami" or "home cleaning service in Pittsburgh," to attract local customers.
- Try pay-per-click advertising.
- Update your business listing on Google and other websites.
How Can I Make Sure I'm Not Being Too Pushy or Aggressive in My Sales Pitches?
You probably hate it when you walk into a store and encounter a pushy salesperson, so don't use the same overly aggressive sales tactics on your prospects. Every interaction you have should focus on the prospect's needs, not your desire to make a sale. You should also put prospects at ease, listen carefully when they're sharing their concerns with you, and allow them to say "no" to your offer.
CraftJack Can Help You Become A Profitable Business
Ready to grow your small business? Use CraftJack's lead generation service to find real-time leads of customers looking for contractors in your area.
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