Canadian Contractor

Robert Koci   

Boost your reno sales without sounding like a car salesman

Canadian Contractor Marketing & Sales Business Service

It's important to understand that people only do renovations because they have pain. While your client is explaining to you what they want done, your job is to find the real "pain point." Is your prospective client embarrassed by the poor condition of their residence? Have they promised an upgrade in living space to their spouse?

At last week’s Remodelers Advantage Business Summit in Las Vegas, attended by some 35 Canadian renovators, Chip Doyle from Sandler Training provided some great advice in his session entitled: “Boost Sales Without Sounding Like a Salesperson.”

The reality is that nobody wants to be “sold to,” Chip told us. So it’s important to approach a client with the right mindset. But before you even start, you need to have your system in place, says Doyle.

The system is what he calls a Waterfall Business Development System that starts with names, then follows up with conversations and then meetings, and finally, if all goes well, to the service you provide. That system is connected by your marketing, your lead management systems and your closing approach.

One of Chip’s first and most important pieces of advice is to “act famous.” It’s key to being able to have the conversations you want with the right people. For his sales work, Chip needs to be able to talk directly to CEOs, but he knows that if he doesn’t “act famous,” not a lot of CEOs will be interesting in talking to him.


Another key element of “not selling” is to take the attitude that you are qualifying, not selling, when you speak to a prospect.

Chip says having an upfront contract for every meeting is also important to improving the “no sales” attitude approach. You want to let everyone know at the start of the meeting what will happen during the meeting. That means explaining:

1. The purpose of the meeting.

2. The agenda.

3. The logistics of the meeting.

4. The outcome.

In a sales meeting, doing this will have the effect of relaxing all your sales meetings, regardless of how good the prospect is. It will also avoid the tendency to put off the close of a sale.

It’s important also to understand this: people only do renovations because they have pain. While your client is explaining what they want, your job is to find the “pain point.” It often happens that what they want won’t relieve their pain point.

Here is Doyle’s list of the common pain points:

1. Prospects may actually be embarrased to have people come over to look at their existing residences.

2. They may have promised something to their spouse.

3. They feel isolated because the house is not designed to be communal

4. They feel sick and unsafe.

5. They are cramped in the space they have now

6. They lack privacy

Good prospects WANT to talk about their pain, but if you don’t give them a chance to do so, you will only provide what the homeowner is asking for and you become simply a construction labourer. But if you can value engineer and differentiate yourself by finding the homeowner’s pain, you have a sure sale. But listening for the pain means not selling.

More rules:

1. People want to buy, they don’t want to be sold!

2. The selling happens when the prospect is selling themselves.

3. Sell today, educate tomorrow.

4. No pain, no sale!

Not every prospect is meant to be a customer.

And, finally, here are five ways to grow sales, says Doyle:

1. Reduce your sales cycle.

2. Improve your lead generation and marketing.

3. Increase your average sale.

4. Improve your close ratio.




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