Conrad Inspecting the Renovations We’re having some work done on our condo this week which makes work a little messy and noisy! I had no idea that they would have to use a special nail gun, loaded with 22 caliber rounds of ammunition to shoot nails through concrete. Ironically, all for a soundproofing project. We hired a small local contractor to complete the work and as I watch them work I am reminded of a couple important sales lessons.
(1) They were referred to us by a trusted source. Last year What’s Working in Sales Management publication reported that 78% of all sales were done with existing vendors or with referrals from existing vendor. This year I would encourage you to implement a company wide referral program to improve your closing ratios and increase your profits.
(2) CJ from 3SqFt was the only contractor that we received a proposal from who presented the proposal in person (rather than email) and followed up! Every other proposal we received came via email and we have not heard from them since. My rule is that you should never let an email or a mailed proposal be the first time your prospect sees a price from you. Doing so encourages the prospect to ignore you! When a proposal is required chose to either hand deliver it OR walk your prospect through the proposal on the telephone. This way you are able to control the conversation when they react to the price (positively or negatively), answer their questions on the spot and close the business with less (or no) follow up.
(3) I am impressed that when 3Sq show up – and they do almost on time every day – that they all are dressed in company t-shirts printed with their name, phone email, address and company USP. Who says dealing with a contractor has to be a lousy experience? This year selling more will require a multi media approach to sales. While you may not be able to wear a uniform, how can you incorporate a new media, or new marketing approach to your sales? People must know who you are first, before they can buy from you.
What are you doing to promote your business everyday? How are you following up with your proposals? And critically, are you asking for referrals? Big business or small business these are three important lessons that all companies can learn from a thriving independent contractor in Miami Beach.
Happy Super Bowl Week!