When it comes to sales, you’d better be ready when the opportunity presents itself. Look at every open door invite to a prospect’s home or business as a chance to refine your selling approach.
Free Estimates. Companies just starting out should certainly offer free estimates because a regularly practiced dress rehearsal makes a sale. I emphasize practicing on relatives, friends, family, then finally your prospective customers until you get it down-pack. You then start charging a fee for in-home estimates; a small amount you feel your time is worth. It should get deducted from their final bill if they hire you. If you are a small outfit, free estimates can get expensive and eat away a lot of time. Charge for that. Photos: theapple.monster.com
I would go on to say that giving the prospect rough ballpark figures could continue to be free, as long as they are either by phone or email.
Before you get wound up running around for free estimates, you need a simple sales packet neatly dressed in a notebook or folder to keep the meeting on track when yer standin’ there in front of the homeowner.
- Get a three-ring, binder-style notebooks with pockets for extra stuff.
- Include several sheets of clear cellophane sleeves to keep papers and photos neat.
Items To Include In Your Custom Sales Package
Once you gather materials, these are items I include in our company packet I carry with me to a prospect’s home or business. You should customize yours to fit how your company operates. Photo: americanhuntingalbums.com
1. Copy of license. Present a good copy with info that is readable. They should be able to check it out before hiring you. Handymen may not need a license for certain projects but nevertheless they should have everything else described in their sales packets.
2. Copy of general liability insurance. Make sure you carry enough coverage for your business: every one is different. Make sure the phone number to the insurance company is visible and available for the homeowner to call. Make it a point to explain this to them. Also include a copy of Worker’s Compensation coverage if applicable.
3. Copy of RRP Certification. Explain to the prospect why they should hire a RRP Certified firm instead of others without certification. Having all your ducks in a row and the confidence in making the prospect’s home safe and free from lead dust, the more professional you appear in the interview. The better your chances of landing the project.
The RRP instructor advised us that contractors are charging $500 to $1,000 per opening (doors & windows) for the time it takes to set-up and dismantle RRP compliance at jobsites. This makes the fact that you’re an RRP certified firm or individual a selling point.
4. Photos Of Recent Work. I would include any photos of work — before and after as well as the start to finish process. Show them whats in the walls. Going the extra mile showing transparency lowers their guard. Take photos of everything and make sure you have ample lighting. I keep a camera in the van at all times. It don’t have to be an expensive camera, either. Mine is a 5 year 8 megapixel Kodak I bought for under $100 bucks!
5. Copies of “Why They Should Hire You” . This could be an article on why homeowners shouldn’t hire unlicensed contractors. Or why the contractor should have insurance when working on their property. You need some things in your arsenal to make them think, hey. This company guy knows what he’s talking about and maybe I won’t hire my cousin’s buddy. It’s about education. They may not know the disaster that could happen if they hired a guy that could start tomorrow or the pitfalls of going with the cheapest guy. Que them on facts.
- The Hidden Dangers of Hiring Unlicensed Contractors
- Becoming A Contractor: Do You Need Liability Insurance?
- Does my contractor need to have liability insurance?
6. Copy of references. These will work only if you include customers you worked for within the last year and sooner, I found from experience. Older past jobs of customers don’t seem to want to be bothered with answering questions. They don’t answer the phone or anything. Unless the project you did really stuck out in their mind and they were thoroughly pleased, they still may not want to talk to a stranger — asking them how’d they like their remodel you guys did.
7. Business cards. Keep extra business card towards the end of the notebook. This is so you won’t forget to give them several. I chose Staples because of convenience. You can design your own cards at the Staples website, then pick them up in person that same day from the local store in your area if needed. Don’t use the blank paper kind and print them on your ink jet; they just won’t look professional enough!
8. Calculator. Just in case you need to run down numbers for the homeowner.
9. Blog or website. If you currently write for an informational home improvement site, or have a DIY website, this would be a good selling point to include in your package. Let the homeowner in on the good news. They will see this and think you must care about helping people. You enjoy your job.
Any positive stuff you contribute online will help solidify trust in their minds with hiring you.
You ain’t gonna run off with their money!
10. Product line. If applicable. Any products, specialty services offered, and the like. It should be something related to your remodeling niche explaining why you carry and install these products, services, etc.
Take your sales book to every meeting. You’ll want to be complete in your presentation. You may not get another chance. Good luck. Photo: tmz.com