What happens when your phone rings thanks to www.Adopt-a-Contractor.com? How is your phone answered? It needs to be answered quickly and properly, every time. “Catch” the call. You should have instant access to your calendar every time your phone rings so that you can book an appointment. Your prospect will judge your business based on their interactions with you over the phone.
Remember to smile while talking on the phone; it’s a fact that an upbeat facial expression can be transmitted through one’s voice and speech. Don’t use negative conversation as a way to establish a business relationship. Leave the cares and concerns about your other projects and company issues outside the realm of your interactions with your prospect. Focus only on them and what they want.
To that end, minimize workplace distractions. If you’re on the road when a sales call comes in, pull over and take the call. If you’re in a noisy area of your office, close the door or window, or find a quieter place to take the call.
Ending a phone call effectively includes summarizing the call. Say, “Mrs. Smith, I have you scheduled for your contractor appointments on Tuesday, May 5th at 11 a.m. Is that right?” Wait for your client’s acknowledgement. This recap will help reduce errors in scheduling.
Before ending the phone conversation, ask your client if there is anything else that your company can do. Give your name again: “My name is Mary. If there’s anything else we can do for you, or if your schedule changes, feel free to call me. Until then, Joe will see you on Tuesday. “
Don’t let it all go to waste
You’ve probably done a lot of marketing to get your phone to ring. Don’t let it all go to waste. Convert every call into a scheduled contractor appointment. Make sure someone who can convert or sell is actually answering your business phone. If your potential customers are reaching voicemail, an answering service, or an untrained employee or spouse, you are probably not converting many of them into contractor appointments.
All contractors should have a dedicated phone number—and even a dedicated phone—that’s used only for new business. An actual red phone is your instant reminder that there is no phone call that you’ll answer all day that’s more important than a call for new business. This red phone should have the phone number you would list in any and all advertising that’s designed to acquire new clients, such as emails and newsletters to new potential customers, print ads, truck signage, yard signs, billboards and direct mail. The red phone should always be manned because it means new business, and you should never let new business slip away under any circumstances.
If you’re a one-person operation, be sure to ask your clients whether they’d mind if you took calls during your meeting with them; most of them won’t object if you ask in advance. Let your everyday phone calls go to voicemail if you’re busy, but always answer your red phone.
Forget Toll-Free Numbers
Avoid using toll-free numbers. Unless you’re a national company, you’ll only be working locally, so why offer the illusion that you’re saving your prospective clients any money with a simple phone call? Besides, customers will choose the local contractor with the local area code. They want to talk to the actual contractor who’ll be working for them. A toll-free number implies an impersonal, non-local corporation that will send someone out whom the client won’t get to speak to beforehand. A few very cheap customers appreciate toll-free numbers to save a few pennies. Let your competitors have those customers.
Don’t use alpha-numeric phone numbers, such as “1-800-CONTRACTOR,” unless you also display the numbers in parentheses after it. No one enjoys having to decipher a clever vanity number.
The one exception to this rule is the phone number you have on a vehicle sign. You may have only an instant to make an impression, so a word as the phone number (or partial phone number) is actually easier for others to remember.
If you accept new business calls after hours, keep your red phone on and your other phones off. One way to prevent website visitors from hesitating to call you after hours is to add something along the lines of the following sentence under your red phone’s phone number: “Please don’t call after 9:30 p.m.” Many consumers are on your website in the evening and this sentence will let them know that it’s OK to call you at 8:15 p.m. It also implies that they will get YOU—the contractor, in person.
You Can’t Sell Unless You Get an Appointment
Some price shoppers don’t think it’s necessary for you to meet with them. They think you can give them a price over the phone. You have to get contractor appointments to sell these types of prospects. So, ask questions about the property, the system, or the component that the prospect probably can’t answer.
Try something like this:
“I can probably help you over the phone if can tell me…. And is it currently….?
As soon as the prospect admits s/he doesn’t know the answer to one of your questions, respond with:
“Oh, then, I’m going to have to come over and look at it before I can help you. When would be a convenient time for me to come over?”
Work Every Lead to Death.
A lead is a terrible thing to waste. When you leave a lead unclosed, it’s like leaving money unclaimed. The lead you worked hard to acquire, which you then pursued with the contractor appointments could be waiting for one more nudge. Don’t give up on any lead.
Before the Appointment
Before you go on an appointment to provide an estimate, first perform some basic online research about the property and potential customer. You can find out the price of the home, the location and what kind of area it is, whether your prospect is a professional or has made the news or is a philanthropist and civic activist, etc., etc. Anything you find doing ten minutes of research of the public record can help you get a feel for the prospect. If you discover that you have something in common with him, this information can be a great ice-breaker to help establish rapport. Plus, your prospect will realize that you’ve done your homework and have come to the contractor appointments prepared to secure his project. That’s what winners do, and it’s a tactic that impresses other winners.
Call the Prospect to Confirm
Before you leave for the appointment, call the prospect and let them know you are on your way. This will reduce no-shows. Close your sales and let us know here at www.Adopt-a-Contractor.com