Pointing to Greater Sales

Wow, if there is ever a time to get more leads and sales it is now. But really, when is it not the right time to get more leads and sales? Yet, in this currently tough market there are still many success stories being experienced among contractors. Why? There are a host of reasons but much is due to the fact that the successful contractors are practicing the basics of selling. Let me share one area of basics that could radically and positively impact your sales.

There are five points of contact that you must make with a prospect if you have any serious hope to landing them as a customer. Each contact point is critical in and of itself and when put together simply separate you from your competition.

The 5-Point Customer Contact Model
Point #1 - Initial Call/Contact
Point #2 - Follow-up/Schedule
Point #3 - Pre-Meeting Confirmation
Point #4 - Sales Meeting
Point #5 - Sales Meeting Follow-Up/Thank You

Now, let's look at each point of customer contact.

Point #1 - Initial Call/Contact
This point represents any manner in which you get the lead. This might be through the prospect calling your office, receiving your direct mail piece, getting your name from your website, a referral, or seeing your trucks or signs. This first contact may be spent getting info on the prospect and their need and include setting up a sales visit.

Point #2 - Follow-up/Schedule
Mostly likely you set up a "site visit" to your prospect's property. This second contact point is then sending an e-mail or "hard mail" thank you note confirming the upcoming meeting. However, depending on what you spoke about during Point #1, you should also include some piece of literature about your company, past successes - something about the effort they are desiring from your company. You should use this second point of contact to further their image of you as a true professional consultant who is a resource of information.

Point #3 - Pre-Meeting Confirmation
If you have more than two days between Point #1 and Point #4 you need to call the prospect to confirm "We are meeting tomorrow at 4 p.m." Too many contractors and estimators continue to make "rookie" mistakes by not confirming their appointments only to arrive at the scheduled time and find the prospect has forgot the meeting. On this call it is also important to remind the prospect of anything that you may have asked him or her to do for your meeting.

Point #4 - Sales Meeting
This is the actual meeting with the prospect. By now you should have all the needed sales information, measuring tools, samples, etc. appropriate for your effort. The better prepared you are for this meeting the more confident you will come across, and the more alert you will be to any sudden "audible" you may need to call. If you like to do a quick measurement and then provide an estimate on the same visit be sure that your printer is ready and that you have ink in the cartridge.

Point #5 - Sales Meeting Follow-Up and "Thank You"
This is a great and fifth opportunity to make contact with the prospect. After every meeting you should always send a "Thank You" message. If you are meeting again in less than three days then you might not do this, but if you are coming back for a second, third, or even fourth meeting then send a message of thanks. This is another opportunity to forward additional information that might have been requested or would add to the prospect's decision to use your company for their construction needs.

Over just the past six months I have spent time with no less than three hundred sales people in construction. When I inquired to their habits many of the sales people admitted that they are not practicing the basics to selling. The high-performance sales people are working the basics every day.

Listen to the professional baseball hitter who is experiencing a hitting slump. Good hitters will tell you they often went back to the basics to regain their groove. You too can get in the groove by going back to the basics of selling.

Good luck and good selling!

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