Confused...One Call Close - Marketing & Sales - Contractor Talk

Confused...One Call Close

 
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
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Confused...One Call Close


I am not new to the business, but am new to Contractor Talk. I have a background in new construction, (when it still existed) but have transitioned to remodeling 6 yrs ago.

My confusion comes in when some guys act like asking for business on the first visit is applying pressure to prospect. I have heard this from countless guys in my area as well as on this forum. It is my belief that if a prospect likes you, your company, and the solution, then how is it applying pressure to ask for a committment if it fits the customer's needs and budget? Some guys won't even discuss budged, needs assessment, or ask for the sale on the initial call because they are so put off by the "high pressure" guys. It has been my experience that you will lose out on tens of thousands in sales annually if you take this approach, yet this sentiment is very common.

Sure, they may always be able to get a better deal, but that goes without saying....
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:41 PM   #2
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


In these tough economic times people are more weary of jumping into a big project. We sell decks and I feel that I am a pretty good salesman and that the initial impression is very important. Even when the economy was good I was not the pushy sales person and I had about a 50 - 60% closing ratio. Now I am most likly at about 20 - 30% closing ratio. I see rich and middle class being more careful. I am still not the cheapest but I tell people this and I will tell you that about 15% of people care about quality.

Here is a perfect example. I built a screen porch for a customer and they had a friend staying with them while their house was being built. So he saw how fast we worked and the quality of our work. The gentleman staying there asked my partner to do a predrywall inspection something we normally do not due but we did and he wanted to pay him and he said just let me build your porch when you decide to put one on your new house. He refered us to his friend we built his deck and he was very happy. Then it came time for his deck. We bid on it and it was intially $10,000 over his budget. We came up with changes to meet his budget but in the end found someone else to do it cheaper. Are you f--ing kidding me. Nope.

Anyway I think that your idea might work for small projects but our average deck is about $21,000. I have had 2 1 call 1 close this year and this was because I was the last contractor and matched their other bids.
I think that putting that pressure on people makes you seem like a used car salesman and there is already a company in our area that is known as that and I do not want to be grouped in with them.

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Old 04-21-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


I think that customers who are likely to yield to pressure from salesmen to decide on a first visit are basically vulnerable in one way or other. The kind of customers I deal with would see through that stuff and invite me to get the out of there quick.

So it's not that some people are better salesmen than others, it's just that some of them don't have a problem preying on those people who don't have the intellect to realise when they are being pressured, or who realise that they are being pressured but don't have the assertiveness to resist.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:07 AM   #4
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


Excuses , excuses, excuses.

With the price of gas going up, why should I make a trip back. Very seldom do I not close in first close.

Shoot, I hate going back. To me it is tough to have to resell myself, and then to me the question is why not ask for the order on the first visit?

Shoot, even the fellows that are selling large additions need to sell a design contract, small first step in the process.

To me it is logical if the customer asks you into their house for a specific reason, why wouldn't I ask for an order???
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


I do enter into a design agreement but never on the first visit. If there is a design agreement it is for a large project like a garage or an addition. My self included I would never personally sign with the first contractor I met with. As a contractor I have regular subs I use but when I get something that I do not have a regular sub I get multiple bids even if I know one is really good. I pay for quality but I do not pay double for quality.

With that being said yes gas is expensive, yes everything has gone up in price, yes there are some customers that think because the economy is bad then the price should be less. My job as a salesman is to high light why someone should go with me even though my price is higher and not pressure them into making a decision they might regrete later on.

I am not about making money so much today as I am in making money in the future. I guarentee you that majority of the customers that you pressure into making a decision the first time you meet with them will have some sort of buyers remorse. I want my customers to be happy with the buying process as well as their project. I want them to tell 10 of their friends so that I will continue to be busy for far into the future.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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Originally Posted by outdoorescapes View Post
My self included I would never personally sign with the first contractor I met with.
Same here. Maybe it's different for different trades, maybe siding etc is straightforward and not open to a wide range of possibilities, and is feasible to sell in one visit.

Anything more complicated than that and it's better to not even try for a one visit close, and to make it clear at the outset that you plan to go away and do some drawings (or whatever is appropriate), and to let the clients relax and not have to be on their guard the whole time you're there.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


There are so many guys going for the one call close in window-siding-roofing sales, that I have great success selling against it. Ironically, I rarely make a second visit, I close most deals via email... I'm not going to discourage the guys that go for the one call close, as that would kill my usp.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:59 PM   #8
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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Originally Posted by HomeSealed
There are so many guys going for the one call close in window-siding-roofing sales, that I have great success selling against it. Ironically, I rarely make a second visit, I close most deals via email... I'm not going to discourage the guys that go for the one call close, as that would kill my usp.
Same here. Regional thing?
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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Originally Posted by john elliott View Post
Same here. Maybe it's different for different trades, maybe siding etc is straightforward and not open to a wide range of possibilities, and is feasible to sell in one visit.

Anything more complicated than that and it's better to not even try for a one visit close, and to make it clear at the outset that you plan to go away and do some drawings (or whatever is appropriate), and to let the clients relax and not have to be on their guard the whole time you're there.
Excuse again.


When a job is complicated you need an agreement to design, in other words close them on that, instead of the complete project.

It appears that there are a lot of "reasons" why not to do it and quite frankly it boils down to one thing, that is you are afraid of people saying no.

If I go out, the people are interested in talking to me and have some intent to do something. Why not ask them for an order while you are there?

Shoot, on some projects, I have gone to the truck and spent a half hour figuring out a price for people. You are not building a rocket guys, you ought to be able to some kind of agreement while you are there.

That is not saying I haven't had call backs. Remember what people are doing most of the time is procrastinating. Help them make a wise decision and hire you.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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Originally Posted by BamBamm5144 View Post
Same here. Regional thing?
Maybe...
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:00 AM   #11
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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Excuse again.






Maybe framing is dead simple stuff, I don't know, we make our houses out of masonry over here.

But the idea that I am going to visit somebody, design a kitchen, price it up, they are going to have a think about it, then we are going to make some changes, adjustments to the prices etc and sign up all in one evening is pretty ridiculous.

It also suggests that they don't want to have a look at any other suppliers' stuff too, which is even more preposterous. I actually want them to have a look at what other people are offering, then they will know for themselves why to go with me, rather than me just telling them that I'm the best, they will be able see it for themselves.

They do try that one call close stuff at the lower end of the market, and it quite often works too, I understand, although a lot of those get cancelled under the legally imposed cooling-off period. Those laws were brought in because too many vulnerable people were getting pressured into signing on the spot.

But the sort of people I work with would feel quite insulted if I tried anything like that with them, and not only would I lose that sale, I'd lose their circle of friends and family too.


As for them paying for a design, that's not how it works over here. Architects get paid for designing stuff, but kitchen makers have to figure it as part of their overhead. The trick is to get good at it, and quick at it, and not do it for people who aren't going to buy from you.
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Last edited by john elliott; 04-22-2011 at 03:02 AM. Reason: To add another thought
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:18 AM   #12
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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Originally Posted by Framer53 View Post
Excuse again.


When a job is complicated you need an agreement to design, in other words close them on that, instead of the complete project.

It appears that there are a lot of "reasons" why not to do it and quite frankly it boils down to one thing, that is you are afraid of people saying no.

If I go out, the people are interested in talking to me and have some intent to do something. Why not ask them for an order while you are there?

Shoot, on some projects, I have gone to the truck and spent a half hour figuring out a price for people. You are not building a rocket guys, you ought to be able to some kind of agreement while you are there.

That is not saying I haven't had call backs. Remember what people are doing most of the time is procrastinating. Help them make a wise decision and hire you.
Frammer,
I think we are going to have to agree to dis-agree on this one ! :>)

speaking for myself- I truly don't care if some one says No. I want to treat customers the way "I" would want to be treated-and personally I would not want,as a customer, to be subjected to the "one stop close" or however we are going to call it.

I like to think things through-and I assume my customers feel the same. I want customers to take the time to research ME, my company, read the material I give them, check out my web site, check out the BBB if they are so inclined-do whatever they need to do to realize that I am their best choice-and then we can move ahead. I want custmers who WANT to have ME do their project-and I don't want to ever feel that I talked someone into anything.

In fact- it's better if THEY feel they need to convince ME to do their project. then I am assured of being able to do things my way on my terms at my price!

april 16 I closed a sale-that will be the biggest project i have ever done by a factor of 2--- i wrote the proposal march 23. customer emailed me a week or so later and asked for some clarification and some pricing info if we eliminated one of the structures-and told me they hoped to have a decision by april 15-sure enough april 16 they called with the go-ahead.

If I had tried to "one stop close" these folks- I would have lost the project. instead I have a customer that enthusiastically wants ME to handle their project-at my convienience,on my schedule,at my terms.
stephen
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:36 AM   #13
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


Some folks trust you after you tell them your company story,see pictures and see a referral list - others want to think about it. Ive worked for a company that ONLY did a one call close and I and the customer hated it.They have such a bad reputation in the area they do not want people to think about it. But working for this company for just a short while was like going to sales college for four years. i learned how to get the sale without putting on any pressure. It may be the first visit or the second but they will usually be very happy that I let them make their own decision. I guess that is the secret : LET the customer feel that they are making the decision while you are really leading them to the sale all along. OR maybe im just full of crap as my wife thinks...
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:38 PM   #14
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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But working for this company for just a short while was like going to sales college for four years. i learned how to get the sale without putting on any pressure. It may be the first visit or the second but they will usually be very happy that I let them make their own decision. I guess that is the secret : LET the customer feel that they are making the decision while you are really leading them to the sale all along. OR maybe im just full of crap as my wife thinks...

No offence, but I think your wife is right in this particular case.

There's only two ways you could have done- that one was that you only dealt with vulnerable people who were easily 'led', and the other is that you had some kind of mind control device, probably off-world in origin (because AFAIK the technology for controlling intelligent people like that hasn't been developed on this planet yet).
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:31 PM   #15
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


There is no such thing as a one size fits all sales approach

The ability to close a sale in one sitting is dependent on many factors such as

1. Trade
2. Project complexity
3. Customer buying style

To insist on executing the sales process a certain way without consideration for the factors involved is silly.

When I buy, I dont want to think things over and inconvenienvce myself with three appointments to make a decision on something that can be handled with one because a contractor wants me to buy the way he wants to buy.

If you want my business, get past past your buying style and do business the way the customer wants it. Not everyone buys like you do. Failing to recognize that will cost you business.

If you can close it appropriately in one sitting then do it. Dragging it out for any reason other than necessity is goofy.

Asking for the sale and pointing out valid reasons to make a decision instead of employing common delay objections is a professional and legitimate method of being efficient with your time and resources.

Asking for the sale when appropriate at the first appointment is certainly not pushy. Its just a question and sharing of relevent information for the customer to consider.

If you need to be pushy to execute a one call close then you are not doing it correctly.

Last edited by MikeGC; 04-24-2011 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:39 PM   #16
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Re: Confused...One Call Close


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Its just a question and sharing of relevent information for the customer to consider.

You can certainly provide a customer will all the information that you think he needs to consider. The problem comes when the customer feels he needs to consider the information that the other contractors have to provide.

Of course there are some jobs that are dead simple, and the customer will give the go ahead on the spot. It's difficult for me to relate to that sort of situation because what I sell isn't dead simple, and what my competitors offer isn't dead simple either. It needs time to consider the differences and to make an informed choice, and they can't do that when they've only heard from one contractor.

But maybe with other trades it's different?

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