10 Ways for Maximizing Slow Season Performance

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 11.38.05 AM

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means, for the home improvement industry, it’s the start of the slow season. This can be seen as both a hardship and a blessing. It mean fewer paid jobs coming in the pipeline, but it can also be a great opportunity to relax and enjoy a much needed vacation from a year of hard work. Down time is also the perfect chance to reflect on the past year’s success and also begin your planning of the next year. Here are 10 great ways to use your down time to make the most out of the slow season and help maximize performance for the coming year:

5 Ways to Keep Sales Reps Motivated

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.44.00 AM

Managing a team of sales reps is an ongoing challenge in keeping the energy high, staying motivated and increasing productivity to continue producing great results. Not an easy task, but one that is vital to the longevity and success of your company’s future at every level. Remember, your sales reps are the front lines of your business. They will often be the first impression a prospective customer has of your business, and the conduit for effectively communicate the quality and care of service you offer the world. Here are 5 ways to keep your sales reps motivated and productive:

Why Sympathy is the Best Policy in Sales


We’ve all encountered this situation in the past. Perhaps some more than others. You pick up the phone to call a homeowner, the phone rings and the person who answers is less than enthusiastic to hear why you are calling. It’s bizarre too, considering the homeowner had made the initial request to have contractors call them so that they may learn more details about a potential project they are considering. The reason for their lackluster response is typically due to  one of several reasons: the number of phone calls they have previously received, the number of pending estimates set-up, or they no longer need service.  The big question is, what is your next move?

5 Tips To A Better Voicemail Greeting

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 1.59.13 PM

Recently, we wrote an article about service providers with terrible voicemail greetings and how it may be scaring off customers. It’s only fair for us to now provide some suggestions on how one might rebound by creating a more successful greeting. After all, this may be the first impression a potential customer has of your business. Demand the absolute best of yourself and your company. Here are 5 tips that might help you create a better voicemail greeting:

Is Your Voicemail Message Scaring Off Customers?

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 11.24.39 AM
A few weeks ago my colleagues and I had an interesting revelation while discussing several common obstacles some contractors face when purchasing leads. Occasionally, one might feel let down by a lead they received, called, but never heard back from. For the sake of this example, lets assume the lead was called within a reasonable amount of time (see here for past article on this topic) but no one answered the phone prompting the contractor to leave a message. Perhaps they called back a few more times with the same results. It’s an unfortunate reality of lead generation and should be factored into calculating one’s return on investment (ROI) when determine the success of the program for each individual. But I digress.

Your Leads May Have A 2nd Life

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 3.47.19 PM

Buying leads is often a necessity for many small businesses as a well established form of advertising, to increase a company’s work flow. Here at CraftJack, we often stress the principals of one’s close ratio in factoring the cost per job versus the more commonly used (and frequently misguided) cost per lead. An example I have been known to use by comparison is advertising your business on a billboard by the side of the highway. Assuming an average of 5,000 cars drive past the sign in a given period and 5 calls (not projects) were a direct result of that advert, you wouldn’t call and request a refund for the other 4,995 cars. You would absolutely need to find out how much business you received from commuters who called after noticing the sign to accurately calculate what your cost per job was in order to determine if that billboard is a profitable form of advertisement for your business. The same is true for lead generation.

4 Steps to Closing More Sales With Questions

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 3.10.44 PM

Whether you conduct your sales pitches over the phone or in person, one thing that rings true in either case is that asking questions – preferably the right ones – will help turn more of those leads into customers. One of the single most powerful aspects in the process of selling is actually the asking. The more questions you present to a prospective customer, the more insight you will gain into their needs and objections while simultaneously presenting a more trustworthy presence in their eyes. Salespeople often spend too much time delivering their pitch and not enough time asking questions, uncovering those important elements the homeowner is looking for and the factors that will guide them toward hiring a contractor. Here are 4 simple steps to closing more sales calls with questions.

How Mnemonic Devices Can Help Your Sales Process

Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 3.57.27 PM

My father, who was in the insurance sales business for 30+ years, used to have this incredible trick he used in sales. Ever since I can remember, he always wore a watch on his wrist. Nothing overly fancy, but a nice watch. And on the crystal face of his watch there was always a very small neon green dot sticker. Now, my father, being the quintessential sales personality that he was, would always address one’s curiosity the same way when asked about the presence of the green dot. It would go something like this:

Client: What is that green dot on your watch?
Dad: Do you have any friends or coworkers in need of long-term disability insurance?


A Homeowner’s Perspective on Choosing a Contractor

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 3.59.31 PM
I had an interesting experience this past week that gave me a new perspective on the process homeowners go through when using our service. Ever since moving into our most recent office space this past summer just north of Chicago, we’ve had some phone jack wiring issues that had affected a good portion of the work stations. When we first moved in, more than half of the phone jacks didn’t work. A problem that needed to be solved immediately, as all our phone and internet are connected and we are a 100% online digital communications business.

6 Steps to Closing More Jobs With Better Emails

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 12.32.46 PM

Contractors often mistakenly send me emails that were intended for homeowners. Unfortunately, a fair amount of them read like a greeting card my four-year-old  composed at day care. If your follow-up email to a prospective customer sounds like it was written one-handed on your iPhone while stopped at a red light having a side conversation with your buddy in the car, there’s a good chance you will lose out on a lot of potential jobs. Here are six easy tips to help you improve your emails to homeowners.