Virtual is becoming the “new normal” in today’s environment. From online meetings to video chats and webinars, more companies are creating a virtual space for themselves and their customers. This also impacts the sales process. In-person appointments are not only less convenient, they are less efficient for both parties. Virtual appointments and sales are becoming increasingly popular and accepted among a variety of industries. Mortgage brokers, car dealers and even therapy and mental health professionals now offer virtual services previously done exclusively in-person.
Home projects are no exception. There are many ways to continue to sell home renovation projects, such as siding and decking, in this new environment. We are here to help you make the shift and continue to build your business with the following tips:
1. Add virtual tools to your sales arsenal.
Before you get started with virtual selling, consider all the tools that can help you throughout the sales process. Access to virtual tools like Zoom and GoToMeeting will help create the virtual experience. By utilizing these services, you can take more appointments in a given day and have both decision makers “at the table” to make the sales process go smoothly. You can share your screen and design their home online. Royal® Building Products offers a suite of online design tools to inspire creativity and help your clients see the end result before they sign. Homeowners want design and rely on contractors to validate their design choices. This is a great way to allow homeowners to try different ideas before they buy and give them the confidence to close the sale. Feel free to share these with clients on your social channels, or as part of an introductory outreach email. Do you currently utilize a virtual sales tool? If not, Royal has partnered with One Click Contractor to transform the way home improvement projects are sold. One Click Contractor facilitates the entire virtual sales process—from measuring to payment—without setting foot in a customer’s home. Sign up for a free demo and learn more at royal.oneclickcontractor.com.
2. Create a virtual pitchbook.
Develop a 10-12 slide sales presentation to review with the homeowner as part of your pitch. Include some background information on yourself and your company, your value proposition, the products and services that you offer, as well as examples of past client work and testimonials. Add in any photography or before and after images if you have them. They go a long way with the design process. Most importantly, keep safety in mind. Let your customers know how you will social distance during the installation; provide sanitized samples to keep peace of mind.
3. Dress for success.
Dress as professionally as you would for an in-person meeting when you have your virtual appointment. Tone of voice is especially important for virtual meetings, especially if you are sharing your screen and not on camera. Practice your sales pitch a few times, paying attention to pacing, allowing natural pauses for questions and acknowledgement and lowering your voice so the homeowner feels comfortable.
4. Create a virtual connection.
During an in-person meeting, a quick home tour or observations about a family can quickly break the ice, but forming that connection virtually may not come as naturally. To establish a casual and relaxed conversation, start with informal conversation or have a quick anecdote handy on a relatable topic such as kids, pets or sports.
5. Consider driveway selling as an option.
Driveway selling is a new option to close sales. You can have a face-to-face meeting with your customers in the safety of their driveway. By setting up a table, providing sanitized samples and wearing a mask and gloves, you can still provide that in-home selling experience at a safe social distance. Arrive ahead of the appointment to take measurements with the homeowner’s consent to help shorten your in-person time and make the most of the appointment.
6. Close the deal…virtually.
Provide the homeowner an estimate via email and allow them to sign electronically. DocuSign provides free and inexpensive safe signing options. If you take the driveway selling approach, provide a sanitized pen to sign paperwork that night or ask if they would prefer to use their own.
7. Set yourself up for the next sale.
One often forgotten step is documentation of your project for future sales pitches, as well as follow up for references and reviews from your customers. In a virtual selling world, this is more important than ever. Create a quick checklist to ensure that you are getting as much usable content as you can for your next sale, including:
- Before and after photos
- Customer testimonial and referral
- Online reviews (request that they post a review to your Google Business page, Facebook page, etc.)