Speed and persistence are key to lead generation, but if you are not prepared for what lies ahead, quickness and tenacity won’t matter. That is because many contractors call potential clients unprepared and end up losing out on that valuable revenue.
Nonetheless, the good news is that you can easily prepare yourself for every referral call you make by answering the following nine questions. For an extra boost of confidence the next time you pick up the phone, prepare by reading through the following questions.
1. When Should I Call?
As you have seen over and over again, speed and persistence reign supreme in lead generation. In fact, CraftJack broke down the numbers. In our article Persistence & Speed: Keys To Winning New Jobs, we discuss how 88% of converted leads are contacted in first 24 hours.
But that doesn’t mean you should forgo common sense when making calls. It’s always more important to call at an appropriate time than it is to call as soon as you see the lead.
For example, let’s say you were busy on a job and didn’t see your new referral until 10 P.M. You may think that you should call right away, but many homeowners don’t want to be bothered that late. While it is convenient for you, it may not be convenient for them. Always put yourselves in their shoes.
2. If They Don’t Answer, When Can I Call Again?
No matter when you call, chances are, the homeowner will not answer on your first attempt. With Caller ID, people usually let unknown numbers go to voicemail. In fact, 80% of leads do NOT close on the first call and making two calls instead of one increases your chance of contact by 87%. Therefore, you must always have a backup time when you can call again.
Before calling again, educate yourself about the best practices for follow-ups.
3. Where Should I Call?
Many of our fantastic contractors receive referrals while working on a job site. Once again, speed is key, but if you’re about to get out that drill or are in the middle of a conversation with a current client, it may not be the best time to call.
Before you call, make sure you are in a quiet and comfortable setting. Don’t let anything get in the way. Your calm and relaxed demeanor will shine through in your conversation and undoubtedly help close the deal.
4. What Do I Need During the Conversation?
As smart as we are, we can not remember everything we hear. Because of this, it’s important to have a pen and paper handy when hopping on an important call. Others like to have their computer open to take quicker and more extensive notes. Perhaps more importantly, some like to have their calendar open. (We’ll talk more about this with the next question.)
Go back and think of anything you needed on past calls with clients. Whether it’s a pen, paper, computer, calendar, references or anything else, make sure you have it before you make your next call.
5. What is the Earliest Time I Can Schedule an Estimate?
Your calendar really comes into play here. Very few homeowners are going to hire you over the phone. After all, you need to see the project, provide an estimate, and go over any details. So before you call, have three to four times in mind for your first appointment. As you are chatting, lead the conversation and push the times that work for both parties.
Remember, don’t get frustrated if they are not ready to move forward. Just because they don’t want to remodel their bathroom this month doesn’t mean they wont be ready next month. If so, plan an estimate then.
6. What is the Price Range?
Price plays a significant role when it comes to choosing a contractor. Even before you see the project, homeowners will want to hear a price range. Given that you know your business better than anyone, have a price range in mind before you call. If you honestly can’t answer, tell them or ask more questions and try to compare it to a previous job.
You could also always say you need to see the house to determine an accurate price range. Boom! You have your first appointment.
7. What Other Numbers Do I Need Handy?
Homeowners don’t like to hire rookies for a project that may require their life savings. They want to hear other numbers. Other pieces of information to know before your call may include:
- How many similar projects have you completed?
- How many projects in the area have you completed?
- How many years have you been a contractor?
- How many men would work on the project?
- How long will the project take?
- How much time will the homeowner need to invest?
8. What Examples Can I Send Right Away?
On top of numbers, homeowners need to visualize their new and improved home. They almost always ask for examples. Before you make the call, have images of three to four projects you can email or send them right away and reference these in your call.
The faster they can visualize their project, the quicker they will sign a contract.
9. Am I Ready to Call Now?
If you are comfortable with each question, then you are ready to call. If not, go back and get organized.
Contractors who call quickly usually get the business, but those who are not prepared rarely close the deal. As long as you answer each of the preceding questions, you will be prepared for anything the homeowner throws your way!