Is Your Home Renovation Company Sending The Right Initial Signals To Prospects?
When most home improvement contractors think about improving sales, they typically think about refining their sales presentation and getting better at closing sales.
Those are obviously crucial aspects of successful home renovation sales. But what if you’re losing potential customers before you even get to that point?
Making a poor or mediocre first impression can kill a sale, or at the very least put you at a serious disadvantage later in the process. A good first impression gives you something to build on, a lousy one gives you something that must be overcome.
So, the first step in improving sales conversions is to look at all the ‘first touches’ with our prospects.
More Than One First Impression: Online, By Phone, & In-Person
In today’s marketplace, first impressions aren’t as simple as they used to be. Most homeowners now do more preliminary research on contractors before calling them. That means home renovation companies need to worry about 3 first impressions: online, by phone, and in-person.
Here are the 3 most common mistakes that are made on contractor websites… are you making any of these?
Outdated Design – If your website is more than 2 or 3 years old, it might be time to totally overhaul your site or even build a new one. That’s how fast things move now – even a couple of years can mean your website is too old. If you want to close more prospects, keeping your website fresh in terms of font, graphics, navigation, and SEO best practices has become a must.
Muddled Message – Just like everyone these days, your prospects are busy people. When visiting websites, homeowners expect that your value proposition will be expressed in a clear and concise way. Unfortunately, many home renovation company websites are boring and confusing.
Unclear How To Get Started – Make sure that your website is encouraging the actions you want your prospects to take. Too many sites don’t have contact forms prominently displayed and don’t have clear call-to-action buttons.
Pro Tip For Fixing These Issues: Take the time to dig into the details by doing some research on your competitor’s websites. What are they doing differently? What’s better and how can you do at least as well if not better?
Make a list of best practices and give it to your web developer/designer as a guide for a site overhaul.
You’ll also want to spend adequate time figuring out your messaging. Are the headlines on your homepage clear? Can your ideal prospect instantly understand the benefits of working with you? Get rid of anything that’s unclear or extraneous on your homepage.
The phone is a place where most home renovation companies think they’re making a good first impression… but many are not!
If you’re a smaller company, the danger is that the owner or project manager is answering most of the calls, and doing it while trying to do multiple other tasks. In this case, hire someone if possible to handle calls and get appointments set.
If that’s not possible right now, at the very least slow down and give your prospect full attention when talking on the phone. They’ll notice the difference.
Of course, for larger companies, the danger of the phone is different: it’s possible ownership or management can lose touch with how those initial conversations are being handled.
Here’s an interesting example. Many Pay-Per-Click management companies will now record incoming calls that are generated using online advertising. What’s fascinating is this: companies are often shocked by the number of calls that aren’t answered, and if it they are answered, by how long it takes to pick-up.
It is also often an eye-opener the questions prospects are asking that are receiving inadequate answers. Yes, the ultimate goal is to get an appointment set, but your phone handlers should be able to skillfully answer questions, too.
Pro-Level Tip For Fixing Phone Issues: Create scripts to questions that prospects typically ask. Those answering the phone don’t need to follow the script like a robot, but can use it as a helpful resource.
When it’s time to meet the prospect at their home or in your showroom, the best way to make a good first impression is this: start by listening.
Too many home renovation companies rush through a few questions, take a few measurements of the project space, and then provide a quote.
Others do the opposite and come on too strong. They create an overwhelming sales process that puts too much pressure on the prospect. This outdated approach usually alienates today’s homeowner.
When you start off in “listening mode,” you are setting a tone of dialogue that relaxes the homeowner and makes them more receptive to your sales message when it’s time to close.
You CAN Improve Your First Impressions, It Just Takes Follow Through…
Set yourself up for increased sales by taking action now. When you take care of the small details, the results begin to add up. Start by slowing down and analyzing the first impression you are making in these 3 key areas. Make any necessary adjustments and measure progress.
Making these changes can be challenging, but it is often not as hard and time-consuming as many business owners assume. Be one of the home renovation companies that works at your first impressions, and then reap the rewards.