No one likes cold calling. It can be such an awkward and uncomfortable part of generating business. Gone are the days of the door-to-door encyclopedia or vacuum salesman showing up in his tweed suit, sweaty, to your front door, in need of just a moment’s respite from the withering world of slammed doors, no thank you, and not today’s.
In his place, we have telemarketers and a constant stream of curated advertisement that bombards every single aspect of our daily lives. All of this comes from generated leads sourced from large companies whose sole job is to compile lists for businesses to try to best-sell their wares.
Most of us are programmed to just ignore all of it and move on, so, how do you take these finely procured leads, from all the data, and successfully close more roofing leads?
You’ve heard it before and it’s true – make lists. Making a list of all your leads is the first step to your success. Whether you are sourcing your leads from places like Spotio, Home Advisor, or Goodzer, it pays to put all your information into one organized list that makes sense.
Start by addressing how you plan to contact your leads and then start putting the names down exactly in the order you plan on making contact. It helps to put as much information with each and every lead as possible. If, for instance, you find that a colleague of yours knows one of the possible clients, include that information in a “notes” section that can be part of each lead on the list. For example:
1234 Bart Lane, Springfield, Anywhere, USA
Notes: Lisa’s Father, Homer, drinks at Moe’s with Frank (our long-time employee) who helped Lisa with her roof about 2 years ago when that big storm came through that hit the grocery store on 2nd and Pine St.
When compiling your list, make sure to add any and all additional information you can acquire from all sources available to you. Details are the threads that weave the fabric of human trust; without it, people become distrustful of one another, especially in business.
Let’s take our previous example and flesh it out a bit. Let’s say we’ve pulled the hail maps and found that Lisa’s house is definitely in the hail area. We’ll want to include that information in our list as well.
Notes: Additionally, Lisa’s house is in the hail map/ show her the hail map.
Now that you have your nicely organized and fully augmented list of leads, it’s time to get out there and get to the business of closing! Well, not so fast. Let’s think about your next steps. Are you simply going to call or go door-to-door and ask for business? What happens if they aren’t there? Or if they have a rebuttal? What if they say no?? Before you can get to the actual business of closing, you need to be thoroughly prepared for all the possibilities you can encounter- within reason.
First and foremost, if you are unwaveringly tied to using the phone, so be it. But, know that most people don’t like the intrusion of unwanted solicitation on the phone and will scarcely give you a moment to say your name before hanging up. Your absolute best bet is person to person.
If you want to have success at closing your leads, you need to be able to look them in the eyes, shake their hands, see their roofs, point things out to them, hear their stories and just be people, together, in person! The trust that is established in meeting someone face to face is invaluable and if you can’t have that interaction, you need to find a way to approximate that to the best of your abilities.
So you’ve shown up at Lisa’s house, armed with all your information and a big warm smile and a firm, honest handshake, but… Lisa’s not home. She never seems to be home when you go to talk to her about her roof. This is where something like the letter comes in. Writing a letter to leave for potential clients can have a huge impact- if it’s done correctly.
Never, ever, leave a corporatized, mechanical form letter if you want any chance of closing that lead. That type of letter goes straight in the trash. Everyone appreciates a personalized letter, addressed specifically to them, talking directly about their issues and lives.
Dear Ms. Lisa Simpson,
Hello, my name is Joe Shingle and I have been trying to meet with you to discuss the work done on your roof a few years back. Our mutual friend, Frank, and I work together. I hate that I keep missing you but would really appreciate the chance to get up when you have time.
Even if you don’t have a mutual connection, it’s important that your letter not be too personal, nor too impersonal. In order to get that lead to the next step of closing, you have to establish connection. Which leads us to…
Once in the position of speaking face to face with a potential client, it’s very important to always keep your finger on the pulse of the situation. Be aware of their personality, attitude and mood, and respond accordingly. Not every interaction will require the same type of energy or approach and you have to be prepared to give each situation exactly what it needs.
If you sense that someone is wavering or feels a bit unsure, it doesn’t always mean it’s time to go for the jugular. Sometimes it means you need to pull back and give them time. Tell them you’ll check back, give them time to think about it. Try to assess what it is that is giving them pause and then circle back next time you meet with them to address that issue. Above all, don’t push when there is obvious resistance. Being overly pushy can be the end to any sale – just ask the tweedy man with a car full of encyclopedias that were published eight years ago, drinking a warm glass of water at your mom’s kitchen table.
With the right preparation and earnest human to human contact, you can close more leads. These leads will then lead to clients and contracts based on the right type of interaction that you can feel good about and use as the basis to generate even more business.