We've all been on them. Appointments where, as soon as one of the homeowner opens the door, we can sense that we're not welcome, that they're not really bothered, and that actually it's the other partner who is interested in getting the work done and they're completely against it. It's like walking into a war zone.
At the same time, we've been on plenty of appointments where, as soon as the homeowner opens the door, there is a big smile on their face and that they thank us for coming over. They're keen to talk us through their big plans and you can just tell from the tone of their voice and their enthusiasm that this home improvement is really important for them and their whole family.
So, what's the best way to deal with a potential customer brimming with excitement? If you're one of three or four companies quoting, how can you stay in their memory for all the best reasons?
A potential customer wants to feel listened to
You might have been on one hundred boilers or alarm systems appointments in the last year. Pretty much on every appointment, the same reasons are given by your potential client for wanting what you can install.
That doesn't matter. If this is your one hundred and first appointment, it's probably their first. They've called you in because, to them, you're the expert. They want to hear from you that the reasons for their wanting that boiler, burglar alarm, or conservatory are valid - after all, who doesn't need a bit of expert justification when they're getting ready to part with thousands of pounds?
They want to be listened to because this is important to them. They really want you to appreciate how significant this purchase is and to take them seriously. If you go in and offer what you sell 10% higher than a competitor who doesn't seem interested in what the client was telling them, you'll probably get the business. Why? Because people buy from people they like and people who they feel are like them.
They want to be walked through the options
If you go to a client's home and they're looking at spending £8,000 on getting all the windows replaced, don't limit yourself to uPVC because that's the cheapest price you can offer. It's completely understandable why you might do that - you want to win the business - but you're restricting both the client's choice and your ability to make more money.
Ask questions when you get there about how they want to feel about their new windows once they're done. Make mental notes of everything they say and show them as many samples as you can. Take a sample and put it in situ - show the sample against what they have currently and ask them "do you want the windows to look like this or look like that?".
Sometimes, too much choice can kill the chances of a sale. You might have 30 samples you can show them but by asking them the right questions and really listening to their answer, you can show them the 3 or 4 that are the closest match to their plans.
Clients love feeling in control and they love working with an expert. When they feel that, you're no longer someone who wants to take money from them - you're their partner in something bigger.
They want to be helped to say "yes"
We've all seen "A Place In The Sun". A couple wants to buy a property overseas and they have a strict budget that must be met. But, in the end, they'll break that budget when they come across their dream home - something that's concrete and real that's as close as possible to what they've always dreamed of owning.
By listening to a customer and walking them through the options, their fixed budget of £7,000 might suddenly become £9,000 because you've not shown them something they want, you've shown them something they REALLY want.
Show empathy with the client. Get excited with them. When they smile at you because you've shown them something they "properly" love, smile back at them - the type of smile that makes them feel that you're happy because you're helping them.
How do you find clients ready to buy?
When you think about the number of companies selling windows, doors, conservatories, conservatory rooves, solar panels, boilers, alarms, and CCTV, you'll know that you've not launched a business in a sector where there's a lack of competition.
Advertising is everywhere and it's tough to stand out. As more and more people start to use the internet to find companies rather than relying on newspapers and leaflets, many firms find it almost impossible to get their website to the top of the search rankings naturally. You could try Google Adwords but did you know that you'll pay Google £9.34 for every click on the phrase "new boiler" (as at 14th June 2018)? That's £9.34 for just a lead - not £9.34 for an appointment or a sale. It's very easy to see how online advertising bills could go up very fast.
Leads 2 Trade generate 10,000+ leads every month through our network of websites for windows, doors, conservatories, conservatory rooves, solar panels, boilers, alarms, and CCTV companies. But that's just the start.
What you need to know about the leads we deliver
Some leads are better than others. And we see it as our job to filter out the bad appointments to find you the great appointments where the people you�ll be meeting want to buy now or in the very near future.
It�s attention to detail that allows us to do that. Window, door, and conservatory installers - we'll double check all contact details, find out when they want to go ahead, and tell you the exact nature of the work required - including how many doors, how many windows, and the material they want (uPVC, aluminium, etc).
For heating engineers looking for ECO boiler leads, we'll make sure they meet the "Affordable Warmth" criteria before we send you their details as well as their heating and property type.
No system is perfect but an astonishing 78% of the leads we pass to our partner companies turn into appointments. That's why our team are the official home improvement lead generation partner for CERTASS and for the UK Trades Confederation.
You can choose the number of leads that come to you or go for our uncapped service. If you want to try us out first, our pay as you go leads service is the ideal package.
As soon as we receive a lead through our consumer-friendly websites, one of our highly trained professional call centre team contacts the enquirer directly. Depending on what they're interested in, our operator will go through a series of detailed questions to confirm the nature of their enquiry, their level of interest, and when they're ready to make a decision.
Once a lead is confirmed, we can deliver it to you straight away by text message, email, or hotkey telephone transfer. Alternatively, you can let us control your diary and make an appointment on the call for you directly with the enquirer.
Leads 2 Trade jargon buster - what is hotkey telephone transfer? Once an enquirer has successfully passed the qualification questions, we can transfer the call directly to you or your sales team to make the appointment. The enquirer is told which company they are connecting to prior to transfer.
Speak to one of our account managers
More than 650 companies across the UK trust us to deliver them leads of the very highest quality. To speak to one of our account managers to see how our service can fit around and benefit your business, please call us on 0800 021 3211 or fill in our contact form by clicking here.