BOB HEIDENREICH: Customer Education
Part 1 of 3: Ensuring you select the right customer for your appointment.
In the past, I have discussed how proper education about premium products not only makes us smarter about decks, but it also allows us to gain trust and loyalty with customers. Throughout the years of being the owner at The Deck Store, however, I have learned that you also need to become educated about customers if you intend to make a sale. With that said, I would like to take the next few articles to talk about common qualifications customers should have if they are seeking a deck estimate from your company, and the urgency and safety behind a sale.
When a customer walks into the door and inquires about a deck estimate, there are a few things you want to verify before you commit to the appointment. As we all know, with deck season on the horizon, appointments usually fill up quickly. I might have 15 people wanting an estimate, but I only have time for seven to 10 people. That means I have to make decisions based off of a few characteristics that hopefully ensure an order is placed with our company. Although other dealers may have other qualifications, I’ve developed these few standards that usually provide the best results for a sale to follow an appointment.
First, I notice who walks in the door. While there are exceptions to every rule, it seems as though we mostly gain sales when a couple shops for a deck together it means they are serious about their decision. If a husband or a wife comes in alone, that might indicate that he or she is price shopping.
When speaking to customers, I inquire about when they would like us to do the deck estimate. Generally, if the person suggests a Saturday, that means he or she is not interested in the final commitments of the project. As a test, I ask if the customer would be available on a Sunday. This shows that regardless of what that person planned for the day, he or she is willing to set time aside for the estimate because that individual is ready to buy. If that’s the case, I try to accommodate the customer on a day that better suits the person’s schedule.