For Pros: Tips for Closing the Deal From Day 1
1. Treat Closing as a Process
Heading into the final client meeting to close the deal can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By treating closing as a process from the first phone call to the final contract, you can sell the client on your company and services over time. Don’t wait until the close to start closing.
“From the very first call to the consultation to the follow-up emails, everything has to build on each other so by the time you sit down to close the deal, it’s more of an inevitability than an opportunity,” says Dave Marciniak of Revolutionary Gardens in Culpeper, Virginia. “We’re showing the customer our best work and giving them great customer service so they really understand who they’ll be working with and the philosophy we have.”
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The breadth of your website and Houzz profile, the quality of your photos, the way you handle the discovery call, your ability to screen the lead against your ideal client profile and your follow-up are vital elements in the closing process.
If done correctly, each step should contribute to the clients’ eagerness to hire you. You won’t have to persuade them in one conversation — their own enthusiasm will close the sale.
2. Meet in Person
Home renovation projects are an incredibly personal business. By meeting you in person, your clients will get the best sense of you and your business so they feel confident hiring you. It’s also much easier to get a client excited or troubleshoot concerns when you’re there in person and ready to discuss.
“I try to meet with the client as soon as possible. I spend a lot of time asking questions about family, lifestyle, hobbies and interests. People want to know you care about them, not just the job,” says Brenda Tucker of Center Stage Interiors in the Phoenix area.
Visiting a job site not only shows you’re willing to put in effort for the client, it also gives you a chance to see what the project entails. You can work together for weeks or months in close quarters, so establishing a personal connection can make the difference between landing or losing the job.
3. Make Past Clients Easily Accessible
Giving potential clients an opportunity to ask past clients about their experience is one great way to gain trust and credibility fast. Eugene Sakai of Studio S Squared Architecture in San Jose, California, sends a client reference list with hundreds of names, addresses, emails and phone numbers. The list also describes the work that Studio S Squared completed and a link to its project photos on Houzz.
“Throughout the whole process, even before we get to the contract, we try to be very transparent,” Sakai says. “We’ll give them the list of past clients and then let them do whatever they want. We don’t force anything or hover over them. We let it happen naturally so it’s more honest and they feel better about it.”
Another way to gain credibility and trust is to share your reviews from former clients with potential future clients. By showing you have satisfied past clients, you’ll be putting yourself in a stronger position to close the deal.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
Sometimes, even after a discovery call and a site visit, the client or project just isn’t the right fit. If expectations, personalities or logistics don’t match up, you can save yourself the frustration and stress that come from trying to make it work. It’s better for all parties.
“If I don’t think our firm is a good fit for the challenges of your project, I’d rather disappoint you at this stage than begin something we couldn’t follow through with,” Sophie Wheeler, a building designer, says. “It’s an interesting project, and I wish you the best of luck with it.”
However, just because things didn’t work out this time doesn’t mean there might not be an opportunity down the road. Even if the business isn’t right for you right now, declining gracefully is important for keeping those doors open for the future.
Original Source: Latest From Houzz: Tips From the Experts