Having an effective prequalifying method for your remodeling leads saves you both time and money. It’s particularly important to have a solid prescreening process if you are still going on sales calls as the owner of a remodeling or building company. Your time is valuable, but don’t overlook how your sales team’s time is also valuable. Your salesforce will appreciate having prequalified leads, especially if they work on a commission only basis.
Keep in mind that during a prequalifying phone interview, your gatekeeper considers how well your services will fit the prospect’s needs and also how well the client would fit with your company’s services. You need someone skilled at viewing things from multiple perspectives. Your gatekeeper must be comfortable asking questions with great tact to determine suitability; confidence and communication skills are vital characteristics.
If You Can’t Prequalify Them, Can You Give Guidance?
Is the potential client’s project something your company does? If they are requesting an outdoor kitchen and your company does not do outdoor projects, consider referring them to someone else. If they want handyman services, but you only do custom home building or full room remodels, refer them to a reputable handyman service.
Referrals may seem like an extra step that you could easily skip, but it’s that extra level of care that helps people remember you in a good light. First impressions are important, and even if you can’t help a prospect now that doesn’t mean they will never need your services in the future. You would be surprised at the number of negative reviews businesses glean from perceived rudeness during sales prescreens or consultations. Respect everyone. Generally, if you follow the tenet of respecting everyone you come into contact with, you can build a well-rounded reputation even among people who have not become your clients yet.
The Pre-qualification Interview
Your gatekeeper needs to be able to conduct an interview, asking probing questions and actively listening to the answers, including:
- How did you hear about us? Important marketing research to evaluate marketing effectiveness.
- What are you looking for, in detail?
- Time frame for the project?
- Who are the household decision makers? They all need to be present at the sales call.
During the prequalifying interview you’re gathering information to assist in helping your clients, but you’re also building a rapport, letting the prospect know you take pains to make sure you’re a good fit for them before you take up everyone’s valuable time with a face to face appointment. Now, you can send your sales personnel into the prospect’s home with information they need to close the sale! In our next post on sales process we will discuss sales materials and how to add market research seamlessly into your sales practices.