Increase Sales by Asking the Right Questions at the Right TimeMar 27, 2023
Asking the right questions at the right time will increase your sales in decorative concrete, and you won't feel like you've "sold" anything.
I will highlight three stages of your customer interaction where you will book more installations for your decorative concrete business if you ask the right questions.
Be sure to stick read to the end because the most important "ask" is when you ask for the check. I will share a sample role-play of what I ask my customers to get them to say "yes" to moving forward on their decorative concrete project.
Ask #1 - Questions on the phone
You will start asking questions of your potential customer from the moment you answer their first call.
The questions you ask at this time lead you to something known in the sales process as prequalifying the lead.
To prequalify the lead, you will ask them key questions to ensure they are the right customer for you.
Be sure to ask the following:
What type of work are you looking to have done?
If their answer concerns decorative concrete, you can move on to the next question. Suppose it's outside of your scope of expertise. Be prepared to refer them to trusted contractors you have a relationship with.
We talk about that in detail in this post.
Pro tip: Ask about the lead source. We don't know how our marketing dollars work without tracking our lead source.
Let's say their answer to the above question is decorative concrete related; then you'll move on to the next question.
What is the address of this project?
You don't want to take on a job too far away. And you can use this information to stack estimates in the same region to keep you from driving all over for no reason.
Do you know the approximate size of the area?
Keep in mind your minimums. If they want you to come out and quote their 3x5 front entry, you will let them know that you have minimums but that you're willing to come out if they are willing to consider other areas you could look at.
We talk more about that in this post.
Do you know what you want the final project to look like?
If they have sample photos, have them email them to you so you can add them to their file.
Are there any issues you are hoping to correct?
Note all the issues they are having, such as cracks, holding water, slippery when wet, etc.
What is the current condition of the area?
Is it bare, or is there a previous coating on it?
Once again, make a note of this in the file.
That's it for Ask #1 on the phone. Once you determine this is a prospect for you, schedule the face-to-face estimate, and bring your notes with you as you meet the prospective customer face-to-face.
Ask #2 - Questions at the Estimate
At the face-to-face estimate, you will continue to ask questions to clarify the customer's desires and get more details of their problems and issues to make the proper product recommendation.
We aim to solve their issues or problems and ensure we present a proper solution to meet their desires.
At the estimate, I will restate what I see in my notes and ask them to clarify.
For example, "I see in my notes you are concerned that this area is holding water."
I do this while walking around, taking pictures, and making additional notes.
I have the customer walk around the project area with me so that if I see additional issues, I can point them out as we go.
For example, "I see these cracks here. We'll have to address that."
By doing it this way, the customer will not be surprised when I incorporate solutions like crack repair into the price.
Pro tip: Sometimes, our solution does not solve all their problems. Manage expectations by clearly explaining limitations to systems and products as you go. For example, "We can repair cracks, but we can't guarantee they won't resurface."
Now, you will restate their problem, recommend your solution, and point out how your solutions address their stated needs.
Ask #3 - Asking for the check
One sure way not to close the deal is to not ask for the check.
You have now restated their problems, made a product recommendation that solves their issues or desires, and given them a price.
Now you need to ask for a check, be quiet, and let them respond.
Asking for the deposit to schedule the job is the ask. It's effective because you're asking the customer for a commitment to move forward with the project. Their deposit is their commitment and an effective business decision on your part because now you have the money needed to secure the materials for that job.
That's why I say to ask for the check and then be quiet. They will either give you a check or give you an objection.
If they give you an objection, you can ask more clarifying questions to overcome their objection.
For example, they object by saying, "I didn't realize it was going to be this expensive."
Some clarifying questions might include, "What kind of budget did you have in mind?" Or "What did you think the project was going to cost?"
I then restate their problem and all of the work that goes into it -- breaking down the costs and building value for the work. Then go back to the close again, which asks for the check.
BONUS: Ask For the Check Role Play
At this point, we have already stated their issue, stated our solution, offered our solution's benefits, and given them the price.
Now, the conversation would go something like this:
"Your garage project will be a total of $4,200. Our next available date is Monday, March 20th. It will take us approximately three days to complete your project. To lock in and hold that date, it will be a $1,000 deposit.
We will divide the balance by two -- half when we start and the other half when we're done, and you're satisfied.
As I said, it's a $1,000 deposit to lock in that date. We take cash, check, or credit card. Would you like us to lock in that date for you?"
And that's it! I wait for them to respond. If they have objections, I overcome the objection and hop back into this script at...
"It's a $1,000 deposit to lock in that date. We take cash, check, or credit card. Would you like to secure that date?"
If we cannot get a deposit, I tell them we will type everything up and send it to them in writing. I manage their expectations by telling them when I will get it to them. Because of our automation, I can generally offer same-day estimates or end-of-business the next day.
I then send them the proposal and start the drip campaign discussed in this post.
So there you have it.
Three asks and a bonus role-play script.
And when you click the link HERE for our preferred client relationship management system with the automated drip campaign included, there's a free trial for you. (If you are a CTi Dealer, use THIS LINK instead so that the emails and the products are pre-loaded.)
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