5 tips to close more sales this spring

5 tips to close more sales this spring

What’s the busiest season for home improvement projects? If you’re like most contractors, it’s spring. The weather is warmer, the days are longer, and homeowners are coming out of winter hibernation ready to make big changes around the house.

If you want a bigger piece of the spring home improvement pie, now’s the time to tweak your process and make your business more attractive to your customers. Sound complicated? Then check out our five easy-to-implement tips to help you close more deals this spring.

Put psychology to work with the anchoring effect

Anchoring is one of the most proven techniques in marketing. Simply stated, people will anchor, or fix on, the first number they see and evaluate all other numbers against that anchor.

You’ve undoubtedly seen this technique when you’re shopping for services online. Think of the last time you shopped for a cable TV package: The provider probably offered you three package options. The first is really expensive with every possible channel, even ones you’ve never heard of. The second option, the one the cable company really wants you to buy, is placed in the middle. Then there’s a third, extremely basic option, offered last.

The idea behind anchoring is that once you see the high price on the first cable option, the price for the middle option seems much more reasonable in comparison—and the budget option seems even more unappealing.

You can put the anchoring effect to work for you using tiered estimates. Give homeowners three different options, with the most favorable one in the second spot. This way, they’ll index on the most expensive option and your preferred option will seem like a better value.

Automate your lead follow-up process

Following up with leads is a key piece of any sales process. Data published by Salesforce suggests it takes between 6 and 8 “touches” to close a deal. But how much time do you really have to sit on the phone following up with leads?

Enter marketing automation. These tools handle the lead nurturing process for you, automating your follow-up touch points. You can set up automated, personalized emails, SMS text messages, even postcards to keep your business at the front of your customers’ minds.

If you’re not sure marketing automation is worth your effort, consider this: Companies that automate their lead follow-up see a 53% higher conversion rate. Wouldn’t you like to close 50% more deals without spending one extra hour on the phone?

And here’s the really good news:  Many of these tools are free or offer low monthly subscription rates to put them in reach for even small business owners.

Want a pro tip from the team at Hearth? Use your email automation system to survey your leads and potential customers. Create a simple survey asking for feedback about your sales process and use those responses to tighten and optimize your pitch. After all, you can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken.

Highlight the cost of inaction in your estimate

Sometimes homeowners need a little extra nudge to start a project. They know they need to fix their roof, but there’s no sense of urgency to get the work done. Without urgency, a homeowner can sit for weeks or months on your estimate without taking any action.

So how do you create that sense of urgency that closes deals? By putting a dollar figure on the cost of inaction.

In the case of the potential roofing customer above? Spell out the possible consequences of not replacing an aging roof—water leaks leading to mold, mildew, and possible structural damage, not to mention higher energy bills.

And then estimate the extra costs involved in fixing those consequences.

Remember the anchoring principle? If your homeowner sees that the cost of not replacing his roof is in the tens of thousands of dollars, your estimate begins to look even better.

Of course, not every home improvement project carries obvious costs of inaction, but you can play up the immediate and long-term advantages of even a remodeling project or upgrade. Remodeling the bathroom, for example, can return over 100% of the cost when it’s time to sell the home.

Focus on value, not on price

Chances are, you’re not going to have the lowest price—and that’s actually not a problem. Have you ever heard the phrase “you get what you pay for?” You don’t want to be in a race to the bottom with every other contractor in your niche.

The trick is focusing on your value versus your competitors, so price becomes less of a deciding factor in winning the sale.

Fear is a big factor in a homeowner’s decision—fear of change and fear of being cheated. In the case of change, the issue is spending a lot of money for a project, money that won’t be available for other purchases in the future.

The fear of being cheated comes down to spending more than the project’s perceived worth. And the more expensive the price tag, the greater the fear.

Your job is to show that you bring more to the table than just the work itself. Is your guarantee the best in the area? Do you offer discounted annual inspections with a new roof? Are you well known for your excellent customer service?

Highlight those value propositions in your sales presentations. Customer reviews and testimonials are a great way to get your point across. Do you have satisfied customers willing to serve as a reference?

If you can demonstrate your company’s long-term value, you’ll be better positioned to close more deals.

Help customers find financing

Finding financing for your customers is a powerful tool for closing the deal. Think about just two of the major obstacles to winning a bid—sticker shock and wondering how to pay for the work.

Financing solves both of them.

Instead of telling a homeowner his new roof will cost $18,000, you can say “We can get you that new roof for about $200 a month.” The first one sounds slightly terrifying, while the second sounds quite reasonable.

In the case of the homeowner who can’t—or doesn’t want to—pay cash, you can quickly find him financing options so he knows the money is there to start the job. Financing gives him more ways to pay, increasing your chances of closing the deal.

There’s a third reason to put in-house financing to work for you: Upselling. Research shows that businesses offering financing close larger deals than those who don’t.

Imagine a cash-paying customer with a hard budget for her remodel. The options she really wants exceed that budget, but you know she wouldn’t be happy in the long run with the low-cost option she can cover with cash.

Financing bridges the gap between what she thinks she afford and what she really wants. It’s a win-win for you and the homeowner.

Remember the previous tip about focusing on your company’s value? Financing helps you get there. If you can offer a turnkey solution to the homeowner’s needs, you’re offering more value than your competitors. It’s a very easy way to increase your customer’s perception of your competence and professionalism.

Key takeaways to use today

Home improvement is a competitive niche—with so many contractors and home improvement chains, it’s hard to gain an edge.

Simple steps such as changing your bid format to include anchoring, taking advantage of marketing automation tools, and offering financing solutions differentiate you from the crowd and move the needle in your favor when it comes to closing deals this spring.

Hearth is your partner in homeowner financing. Our contractor financing program makes it simple for your customers to find financing without paying any fees when a customer gets funded.