Turning Time Into Money: Pre-qualifying Prospects – part 1
Nowhere more than in remodeling, does time mean money. Like most entrepreneurs, remodelers have to wear many hats in order to run a successful business, so effective time management is crucial.
One of the most common ways that remodelers find themselves wasting time is attending no-hope appointments with totally unqualified prospects.Time after time, otherwise organized, efficient remodelers find themselves squandering their precious time with people who just aren’t going to buy. These appointments add hours to already long work weeks, take your resources away from more qualified prospects, and make you resentful that you’ve lost yet another one.
Avoid a great deal of this by spending a small amount of time up front to save a great deal later. Do this through pre-qualifying the prospect at the very first contact.
Pre-Qualifying the Prospect
Pre-qualification simply means gathering specific information from a prospect that will give you an indication of your chances for closing the sale. Some remodelers are so glad to get a telephone call from a prospect — any prospect — that they jump at the chance for work while barely taking the time to ask how the prospect had heard about the company before scheduling an appointment. This isn’t the best approach.
Slow down. Take a deep breath. And spend a minute talking to the prospect right now, during the first telephone call to see whether or not this appointment will be the best investment of your time. The successful, professional remodeler knows that every time an appointment is made, many hours of time are gone. Each time you make an appointment you have to schedule time for:
- the appointment itself
- follow up (even if you don’t want the job)
With this scenario in mind, it takes the same amount of time to work with prospects who fit your profile of a desirable client as it does with prospects who have a job that’s too small, who are shopping for the lowest price, or who don’t have the money to do the job right. The difference between the two is that your close ratio will be much higher with qualified leads. Once you’re at the appointment, it’s too late. You’ve already invested. So try to find out as much as you can about the project during that first contact.
The Pre-Qualifying Conversation
In the next post of this two-part series, I’ll discuss the specific questions you should be asking to help you determine the strength of the lead.