This is the time of year when many home improvement companies rush to close as much business as they can…before their markets shut down for the holidays. Said another way, now is when you should be thinking about what you want your sales reps to do between Thanksgiving and the start of the home show season.
In short, think re-hash. Why? Re-hashing old leads that didn’t close is an inexpensive – and effective – way to generate sales even as the season moves into the holiday freeze.
Why is re-hash inexpensive? Quite simply, because you’re contacting back leads you’ve already paid for. In essence, you’ve already written off the costs of those leads that didn’t close. So any of those ‘dead’ leads you can turn into sales is like found money.
Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you re-engage with re-hash:
- Keep complete records. Nothing makes it harder for an appointment setter to re-start a conversation with a homeowner than not having good records of previous discussions. You should be tracking everything – lead source, specifics about the homeowner’s situation and most of all why the homeowner didn’t buy. If your caller can reference those some of those specifics at the start of the conversation, the discussion will warm up a lot faster.
- Use previous contact info to establish trust. Reminding the homeowner (i.e. “We talked with you last Spring about refacing your kitchen cabinets”) establishes trust quickly. The homeowner immediately perceives your appointment setter to be someone who already knows him or her, rather than “just another annoying telemarketer.”
- Use your best agents. Everybody knows when an agent assigned to outbound telephone calls just doesn’t have the enthusiasm for it. Re-hashing is hard work, and you need callers who can maintain professionalism and phone presence. Using uninterested callers is a waste of time, and won’t convert your database into new business.
- Use your CRM system and follow up! One of the strongest trends I’ve seen from re-hashing is the opportunity to cultivate prospects who may not be ready to buy immediately, but who have a home improvement need that they’re planning for.
Example: Calling a homeowner in the beginning of January may not result in an immediate appointment, but you might also hear “We’re saving to begin a re-siding project in May.” Log these sorts of intentions in your CRM, and set a tickler to call back at the appropriate time.
Re-hash is tough work, but can pay rich dividends. Use all of the tools and techniques available to you to harness it this winter season!