As much as we wish they were, not every job you’ll get will be a home run. You know the kind, where the homeowners sign the contract right away, the insurance company approves your estimate, and the work goes off without a hitch. For every ten jobs, you might get one that goes that nicely, and the rest, well, they require a little more legwork.
One of the most difficult parts of selling for contractors is getting the contract signed. Some homeowners like to take their time making a decision, or are unsure of what work they need done, or they just think they know more than you do. These are the homeowners that are typically deemed as cold leads; they didn’t slam the door, they let you explain what you do, and they may have even had you do an inspection, but then they want to wait to sign a contract. It can be frustrating dealing with these types of homeowners because you want the work and you want to get started. You might even think it would be easier to move on to the next house who is ready to sign the contract and forget about the hesitant people all together. But, taking the time to warm-up these cold leads can pay off big time if you do it right. In this post, we will go into detail about some of the best practices to warm-up cold leads and get contracts signed.
Don’t Push Too Hard Too Fast
One of the easiest ways to scare off cold leads for good is to push too hard too fast. Having to make changes or repairs to a home is big, big deal and some people need more time to process that than others. When you push too much, it can overwhelm the homeowners and make them run to another contractor with more patience, and it can also seem a little sketchy; like you just want to get the work done and get paid. Most of the time you can tell which homeowners are going to be a little harder to convince, so have a sales plan specific to those kinds of customers. Try your normal sales process at half speed if they seem skittish; do your inspection and give them all the information, but don’t bring up a contract or moving forward until the next time you speak. Give them time to process all the information one bit at a time, and let them become comfortable with you before the ball really starts to roll.
Stay In Touch
Another great way to warm-up cold leads is to stay in touch with homeowners while they are in the process of picking a contractor. Even if you are moving slower, as mentioned above, communicate with them; call and see if they have questions after looking over your damage assessment, ask if they have any questions about the insurance process, or if they need help navigating HOA requirements. Try and speak with them at least once per week while they are in the decision-making process. Not only will it keep you in their minds as an option to do the work, it will also help you build rapport and display your full expertise, which will hopefully bolster their confidence in you.
Typically, the people who take the longest to process and decide have specific concerns that are holding them back, and these concerns are typically easy to find. All you have to do is ask. Ask them if they have any specific questions or if there is anything they are worried about and, usually, that answer will let you know what they are worried about so you can address it. Finding out why they are hesitant to move forward gives you the opportunity to display your knowledge of the process and the repairs, and make the homeowner more comfortable with you; similar to staying in touch, it allows you to build rapport with them before other contractors can. Addressing their concerns, and pointing out how you can help negate them, can be a big step in getting a contract signed.