How can you avoid the biggest mistakes commonly made by building companies when following up new enquiries? It’s not only tough to keep track of new leads; but sorting the genuine leads from the tyre-kickers is almost a full-time job in itself!
The catch-22 situation builders face is that, while they need to ensure that future work is being fed into the pipeline, they also can’t jeopardise current projects.
Unfortunately, this has lead to the shocking statistic that 86% of builders are not following up their leads effectively.
Even though most building companies struggle with managing and converting their enquiries into contracts, it doesn’t mean YOU should be complacent.
In fact, if you want to grow your business,
this is the biggest opportunity for you!
If you can develop a process to effectively generate and follow-up new enquiries and then build great relationships with your potential new clients, you'll be able to increase your conversion rate and the amount of projects in your pipeline.
To stand out, you need to be able to avoid the mistakes most of your competitors are making in this field. Believe me, I’ve seen the same mistakes being made consistently across the industry...
Ask How They Found You:
Whilst it’s not always possible to be 100% accurate (particularly when you're running multiple marketing campaigns and prospects may have been exposed to a few different messages), you must always start by asking how they found you.
There's a limited window of opportunity for this, so you must ask right at the very beginning of the first conversation you have. After the first interaction, it’s likely that the prospect will forget, so don’t leave it until later down the sales process.
Once you know what part of your marketing and advertising is working, you can simply up-scale this activity and generate more quality leads for your company. (This process also quickly identifies the marketing and advertising activities that are unprofitable.)
A simple new prospect sheet that captures the questions you need to ask will help you gather this information; but it really is nothing more complicated than asking “How did you hear about us?”. This can be part of a normal conversation; rather than a checklist or a rigid questionnaire that makes you sound like a robot.
Failure To Follow-up:
The next problem we see over and over again, is that builders are not following-up their leads or are failing to make contact with the prospect. The further away from the initial enquiry it gets, the harder it becomes to make contact.
In an age where communication has never been easier, getting through to the prospect is becoming even harder.
You know how it goes... You call. You leave a message. You hear nothing. You call again. You leave another message…
By time you get to your third or fourth call, it starts to feel a little creepy... right?
However, in order to secure new business, you must make contact with new prospects. This is why email has to be part of your follow-up strategy. It’s passive, non-invasive and easy to respond to.
Follow-up 3 Times Or More:
Did you know that it takes a minimum of six points of contact to get a client to take the next step? Unless you have a strategy in place to make sure those six points of contact are achieved, you're facing an uphill challenge - potentially leaving you to manually follow-up every single lead that comes through, which isn’t practical or effective.
The easiest way to quickly follow-up an enquiry and maintain contact - BEFORE the prospect moves on to the next builder - is by using email auto-responders, which are found in most CRM systems. You can easily set up auto-responder emails, which educate and build trust with the prospect over a period of time.
This means that you can still call the prospect through your normal sales process; but, at no point, will they feel neglected or forgotten through lack of contact. In all likelihood, when the client is ready to take a step forward, they will either reply to one of your emails or simply give you a call.
The other great thing about these emails is that you can demonstrate your expertise and position yourself as an industry expert, before you even speak to a new prospect.
Don't Forget To Ask Them Questions!
When you do get through to the prospect, you need to be able to extract as much information as you can from them.
This may be your only opportunity to gather the 'intel' you need to understand the client, their motives and what they want.
So, you must ask lots of questions, listen and record their answers (of course).
If you understand what the client fears about the building process, you can address their concerns head-on in your proposal. When the client reviews the proposals they’ve received, the one that addresses their fears and concerns will be successful. This is just one of the ways you can avoid competing on price.
The client's fears usually come down to one of three things: budget, speed or quality. Figure this out by asking more questions and then tailor your proposal accordingly.
If your sales process embeds these practices, not only will you begin to stand out from other building companies; but your ability to build great relationships with new prospects will improve also. But... there’s so much more you should be doing.
Taylor Made Homes developed not only an effective sales process, but a follow-up strategy that helped them reduce their workload and stress levels.
If you’re serious about developing a sales process that effectively generates, follows-up and converts new prospects, you need to avoid the 7 biggest mistakes builders make when following-up sales enquiries.