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This is in regard to contractors doing remodelling work, specifically in meeting a customer for the first time who knows nothing about you. You have received the call from some type of advertisement you are running, and set the appointment. The day of the meeting...

The customer greets you at the door, you walk into the house. In regard to the estimate what are you doing first?

Do you follow the customer to the area of the house and let them run off what they have to say about what they want.

Do you set down at the table first and talk about yourself and your company?

Do you set down at the table first and let them talk about themselves?
 

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I introduce myself...and make sure they get a card right away.
I make a comment about the house, or the yard, or the dog, or the rugs, or painting, or anything I see interesting. I have yet to enter a home that has nothing to talk about.
I don't work too incredibly hard to break down the customer wall, because you are in their home and they already feel somewhat comfy.

Then I will ask for a dime tour of the areas in question. I will ask what their wants and needs are, and also ask what they do not like about their current flooring.
That will help me keep from selling them something they will dislike.

I will be as professional as possible in describing my recommendations if they ask for it. And I will be totally honest.
I am not there to tell them what they want to hear.
After measuring, I will inform them I am done, and that I really appreciate the opportunity they have given me.
It's also a great time to tell them that if I EARN their business, that my customer service is second to none.

I will ask for as many phone numbers as I can before I leave, and find out the most convenient time to contact them.

Then I squeal and burnout in their driveway, like I am a bada**

JK :)
 

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Mike Finley said:
This is in regard to contractors doing remodelling work, specifically in meeting a customer for the first time who knows nothing about you. You have received the call from some type of advertisement you are running, and set the appointment. The day of the meeting...

The customer greets you at the door, you walk into the house. In regard to the estimate what are you doing first?

Do you follow the customer to the area of the house and let them run off what they have to say about what they want.

Do you set down at the table first and talk about yourself and your company?

Do you set down at the table first and let them talk about themselves?
I walk in and say where is your beer?j/k......As already said I have the same approach,I walk in and mention something about there home or the way they lanscaped.After that ice was usually broken and you are free to listen to there needs and (wants) and formulate your response to there questions and answers.If something requested out of my scope of expertise if you will, I have a list of companies that I reffer to.
 

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"How ya doing Mr. Customer? Thanks for having me out.... so we are here today to look at the roof, is that right? Why don't you tell me a little about what's going on."

I let the customer lead me around their house. I am never forceful at this point. If the take a seat in the living room I may ask "where would you prefer I sit?" When sitting always allow the customer to give you direction. The last thing you want to do is sit in their favorite spot... but usually right off the bat we begin walking around or brifly discuss what's what. I then do my inspection.

If the customer is with me during the inspection, this is when the sale begins. It's when I probe for all sorts of information which allows me to formulate my sales strategy.

After the inspection I summarize my findings during the inspection. Now I hammer home some key points about what they told me in a product presentation explaining the material and how it is to be installed.

After II discuss all the goodies about the installation process, in as much detail as the the customer wants to hear, then I say "Well I told you all about the roof and how it is installed and how we do some things slightly different than some of our competitors... Now let me explain who we are and why some of our past customers have hired us."

At that point I pull out my licensing and insurance information and I explain the importance of each. I don't really brag about us and out accomplishments but I do tell the customer to kick anyone out of their house who doesn't have proof of both.

You asked about do I sit down and let the customer talk.... the bottom line is I let the customer talk as much and when ever they want to talk. You let them talk enough and they will tell you how to close 'em. They will tell you what is important to them.

Also like Flor said, you gotta interject some small talk. It can't be all business. you need to relax the customer and find common ground. My favorite is hard wood flooring. I have found everyone with hard wood flooring is proud of their floor and will discuss it in great length if you let them, and I don't mean in a situation when I am trying to sell flooring, because I do not sell flooring. I might say, "Wow your floors like nice, I recently had mine refinished but they didn't turn out this nice. What did you do?"

I think of every moment I spend with the customer as a dance. I usually let them lead but I can control the dance moves without them knowing it.
 
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