1. Make contact within 60 minutes
The most important tip on this list is to make contact as soon as you can whenever a new lead comes in.
You’ve heard it a million times before, but how quick are you really?
An analysis of more than 2,200 American companies found those who attempted to reach new leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision-makers than those who waited even sixty minutes.
In other words, 60 minutes is your limit, and sooner is always better.
Do what you have to do to make that happen. If that means hiring an office manager or dedicated sales rep to handle incoming calls, then do it.
Just make sure someone is available to answer the phone when it rings, and make sure you’re following up with website form submissions and chat requests within the hour, and you’ll improve your closing rate significantly.
Pro trip: Need a bit of support getting to that lead faster? You should check out our friends over at Hatch (and thank us later).
2. Greet leads professionally
I shouldn’t even have to explain this one, but unfortunately, it’s happened one too many times where we hear contractors answer phone calls with a “yeah, hello?”
That’s not going to work.
In fact, studies show that tone is responsible for 86% of our communication on the phone.
If you want someone to trust you with their hard-earned money, you’ve gotta be professional and courteous when you answer the phone.
If you’re not great with words, just keep it simple:
“Hi! You’ve reached John from J&K Plumbing. What can I help you with today?”
Then, simply listen to what the person is struggling with and see if you can help.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it, and it works much better than a cold “yeah, hello?”
Bonus points if you answer the phone with energy and enthusiasm instead of being flat and monotone.
3. Address objections before they come up
This one is third on the list, but in reality, it’s a close tie for first.
If you can address objections before they come up, you’ll have a much easier time closing deals.
For example, if you’re priced at the top end of your market, bring up the price before the customer asks, and then justify it:
“We’re not the cheapest, but we don’t cut corners and if there’s a problem—which rarely happens—we’ll be there within 24 hours to fix it no questions asked. You get what you pay for with us, and we don’t stop until you’re satisfied.”
You’ll notice that customers are much more open to paying a higher price when it’s justified.
But the price is just one objection (albeit the most prevalent). Think about other objections your customers might have during the sales process, and formulate answers to justify them just like in the example above.
Then, if you can get to the point where you’re addressing your customers’ objections before they even bring them up, you’ll have them thinking to themselves, “man, this guy really understands me!”
This builds trust and rapport, which leads to closed deals and added revenue for your business.
Pro tip: Take a couple minutes and make a list of common objections and appropriate responses that you can hand out to your sales reps when answering calls. Being proactive is key!
4. Get your foot in the door ASAP
You can only do so much selling over the phone, which is why if you’ve deemed the person on the other line a qualified lead, you need to schedule a time to ‘meet’ and get your foot in the (metaphorical) door as soon as possible.
The more time passes between your phone call and your estimate/inspection/quote etc. with the customer, the lower your chances of closing the deal.
Because unexpected bills might creep up, and those “new windows” take a back seat.
Because another home service company might have swooped in and underbid you.
Because they’re gonna go with Uncle Bob instead, who doesn’t quite know what he’s doing but accepts beer as payment.
Good Ol’ Uncle Bob…he means well. – gif source
If you don’t get your foot in your customer’s door as soon as you can, you risk losing out on the deal for reasons outside of your control.
Don’t let that happen. Set up a time to get that free estimate done as soon as possible.
Not only will your closing rate increase, but you’ll also close deals faster because you’re shortening the sales cycle.
It’s a win-win!
5. Offer pricing and financing options
Right now, your customers are comparing your bids and estimates to those of your competitors.
That’s typically how they make their purchase decisions.
But what if you could change that?
What if you could almost force your customers to choose between you and….you?
Well, you can, and offering pricing options is how you do it. If you have one price, you’re presenting what I like to call a take-it-or-leave-it offer. Your customer can either accept your terms or decline them.
There’s no in between, which means they look to competitors for other options.
But if you can find a way to offer pricing and financing options, then you completely flip the situation on its head.
For example, if you’re a landscaping company that specializes in backyard design, you might present your customer with three different pricing options based on their needs—one lower priced option, one mid-range, and one high priced option- and match those with financing options, you’ll likely have yourself a win!
This forces the customer to choose between plan A, B, or C, and not between you and another company altogether.
Not only does this increase your closing rate, but pricing and financing options also increase your average sale value, which is an important metric if you want to eventually try pay per click for contractors as a way to generate new leads.
6. Make your quotes sexy & leave something behind
Just like it’s important to answer the phone professionally, your bids, quotes, and estimates also need to be professionally designed.
If you’re using generic documents that blend in with the other handful of quotes your customers get from competitors, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
All of your business’s customer-facing documents need to stand out from the others or they’ll be forgotten.
They don’t need to be works of art, but at least have:
- your logo in color
- your slogan
- your business phone number
- your cell phone number
- your website URL
In addition to the bid, quote, or estimate you leave behind, you should also leave something behind that showcases your business and positions you as the only logical choice.
For example, Chris Berry (owner of B&K Painting) leaves behind a manual with every bid he makes so that customers can read through and learn more about his painting process, the materials his team uses, and even hear what other people have to say about his work.
Let’s just say that Chris doesn’t lose very many deals.
Long story short, if you’re just another estimate or quote in the pile, you’re not going to win.
Make your documents stand out, leave something behind that positions you as the expert, and you’ll have a much better chance of closing the deal.
Pro Tip: We recommend using software like SumoQuote to really get that wow factor!
7. Follow up early & often
If you’re not following up with missed phone calls, form submissions and chat requests from your website, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities to close new deals.
Just because your initial conversation with a prospect didn’t result in a new contract, it doesn’t mean it’s dead in the water.
In fact, according to a study by Leadfuze, 80% of sales require at least 5 touch points after the initial conversation.
Don’t give up after the first touch. If you do, you’re leaving money on the table.
Call leads back. Email them. Stop by when you’re in the neighborhood. Use retargeting to stay top of mind.
The more you can occupy space in your customer’s mind, the more likely they are to sign with you over your competition.
So there you have it…
7 contractor sales tips for closing more deals!
If you mix all or even some of these tips into your sales process when talking to new leads, you’re bound to get better results.
That’s assuming you have fresh new leads coming in each month of course.
Not the case?
Here are great places to start:
And if marketing isn’t your thing, then book a free demo of our done-for-you marketing system and we’ll show you how we’re generating leads for businesses like yours—both consistently and profitably—and how we might be able to help you too.