We hear a lot about the importance of running a sales lead in a professional and systematic manner. Typically, I am one of those people preaching that message, but today I want to talk to you about HOW to properly set a sales lead.
A lead that is set properly can dramatically increase sales productivity for the sales team. After all, when a lead is qualified properly for time and to have both homeowners present, we all know that the probability for success is much higher.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t set qualified leads because they simply don’t know how it’s done. I am going to solve that little dilemma right now.
There are three simple steps to properly setting a lead and giving your sales team the best chance to convert that lead to revenue:
1. Initiate the relationship building process;
2. Gain enough time so the sales team can effectively do their job;
3. Make every effort to get all homeowners present for the sales appointment.
The first step to properly setting a lead is to realize that the phone call is our first opportunity to start building a relationship with the homeowner. Unfortunately, this opportunity is often missed when the lead coordinator focuses only on the mechanical situation and the specific time and place for the appointment.
To initiate the relationship building process, begin by asking questions that have NOTHING to do with heating and air conditioning. Ask the homeowner about their area of town or ask them if they know any of your other customers in their area.
Additionally, lead coordinators should be on alert to ask other questions about the family and pass on that information to the sales professional. If you hear a dog barking, ask the homeowner the dog’s name. If you hear a baby crying, ask the baby’s name.
You would be amazed by how much information homeowners will share with you if you will only ask! You might learn something very important about their kids or their spouse.
I remember one time our lead coordinator learned that the homeowners husband had just returned from a deployment in the Middle East. This information was passed on to the sales professional and when he greeted the homeowner with, “I heard your husband just returned home. You must be very proud and very relieved!” The deal was sold before they even got to the kitchen table. While other contractors walked in asking about the HVAC equipment, our man was able to ask about something very important to the homeowner.
The second and third steps to properly setting a lead can be accomplished by explaining everything that’s involved with the estimate. Letting your homeowner know how thorough and detailed the sales professional will be sets the stage for getting enough time for the sales consultant and getting all homeowners present.
The conversation might sound something like this:
“Mrs. Homeowner, when we come out we are going to perform a comprehensive energy audit at no charge to you. It’s recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy and Consumer Reports. We will measure your house and windows, check the type of construction and check out your duct work and attic insulation. All of these things are critical to properly sizing your system. We are required to do it on every job, but don’t worry because it’s a complimentary service.”
“The reason we do that is very simple: Our company wants to make sure the job is sized and installed perfectly. It does take longer to do it right, but I am sure that’s the kind of service and quality you expect, correct?”
Once the homeowner begins to understand that this is more than a service tech dropping off a bid, you can get the homeowner to commit to an adequate amount of time for the sales call and give good reason to have all homeowners present.
You can ensure the homeowner understands the 60/90-minute time commitment and make two requests to get all homeowners involved in the DESIGN process (never say “decision-making” process as this will send up a red flag to the homeowner).
“Now depending on how long it takes to measure your home and depending on how many questions you have, that process takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Is that going to be OK?
“Also, because we want the system to be perfect for everyone who lives in the home, it’s very important that we get all homeowners involved in the design process. The last thing we want to do is design the perfect system for you and have your ‘significant other’ hate it.
“Buying a new Home Comfort System is like buying a new car – there are a lot of choices. Like everything else these days, the technology is amazing!
“So given those two factors – the time involved and getting all homeowners involved in the design process – when is a good time we could get together? I have a 2PM and 6PM available this afternoon.”
Like everything in sales and marketing, there are no guarantees. Sometimes despite your best effort, you won’t be able to get both homeowners present. The key is to do the very best you can so your comfort consultants will have both homeowners present and the best chance to be successful as often as possible
Properly setting leads is very important to your company’s overall sales and marketing strategy. Building the relationship, getting enough time for your comfort consultants and getting both homeowners together for the sales call just requires a little effort. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
In-home sales is one of the most crucial drivers of success for any home services company. To learn more about the process, and to access a free training package of resources that includes industry research, video lessons, sample presentation materials and more, visit EGIA.org/CBS-IHS.
Weldon Long is a successful entrepreneur, sales expert, EGIA Contractor University faculty members, and author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Power of Consistency - Prosperity Mindset Training for Sales and Business Professionals. In 2009, his business was HVAC company was selected by Inc Magazine as one of America’s fastest growing privately held companies.