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HomeContractor ResourcesCreate A Successful Sales Process In 10 Easy Steps
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September 2023

Create a Successful Sales Process in 10 Easy Steps

Two people handshake over table, finalizing contractor sales process.
Last updated June 14th, 2024

When your business depends strongly on the individual relationship you build with each customer, it can seem difficult to standardize your sales approach to produce the results you want consistently, without losing the personal touch that’s crucial to close – and to continue.

In this post, we’ll show you 10 easy steps to create an effective sales process that can help you secure more, and more profitable, projects, whoever the customer and whatever their needs. From warming up your leads to overcoming objections to signing the deal, each step leads naturally to the next, as fluidly as a good conversation – which is what your sales process should feel like, to you and to your customer.

Why Create a Sales Process?

A sales process acts as a roadmap, guiding salespeople through the buyer’s journey. A well-defined, uniformly applied sales process can streamline your sales efforts, make success more repeatable, and increase the frequency, number and size of jobs you win.

The Benefits of a Standardized Sales Process

Implementing a standardized sales process can level up efficiency while deepening trust with prospects, who can anticipate the professionalism of your work through the professionalism of how you talk about it. Following a set process also helps you pay close attention to the nuances of a homeowner’s specific situation, readily address common objections, and ask the right questions to get to the right answers. And when you know where you’re going when you start, you can make quicker work of qualifying leads, saving time on cold calling and follow-up emails that fizzle.

Improving Your Process Improves Your Results

A thoughtful sales process encourages salespeople to more precisely identify potential customer pain points and overcome uncertainty in advance with a proven, structured approach. Additionally, it allows for better coordination and collaboration within the sales team, and increases customer confidence, leading to higher conversion rates. It also makes it easier to notice patterns of customer behavior and identify areas for improvement when a pitch doesn’t go as planned. Rather than relying on incidental rapport between a salesperson and a prospect, a universal process empowers your sales team as a whole, inviting a steadier expectation of good news.

Step 1: Warm Up Your Lead

People put their trust in people they feel comfortable with, which means you need to start by creating a genuine connection, rather than pushing hard toward a sale and making the prospect feel … like a prospect.

Arrive on time to indicate your dependability and respect for your customer, and start your conversation with a friendly introduction. Notice specific details in their environment and experience that you can connect to, and offer your own experience in response. Ask open-ended questions that encourage them to share more, so you can begin to get to know each other and establish the foundation for a relationship that’s more than transactional, and therefore more resilient.

Step 2: Determine Wants and Needs

Ask about your customer’s home, how they feel in it, what bothers them, and what they’re hoping to change. Listen attentively and follow up with clarifying questions, to identify and resolve uncertainties and assumptions.

This is the first time you’ll bring up financing, raising awareness that there are multiple options for how to fix what’s wrong and make more of what’s wanted, and letting your customer know they’re not limited to cash on hand or their credit card’s steep interest rates to get it done.

Step 3: Tell Your Company Story

To establish credibility, share the history and mission of your company, and your own background as part of it. Highlight key achievements or awards to substantiate your expertise, and define your unique advantages over competitors.

Connect your company’s story to the particular needs and aspirations of your prospect, highlighting the collective mastery of your team and how your resources and capabilities can benefit them. Demonstrating a track record of positive results for similar clients can help prove your proficiency, so try to integrate relevant customer testimonials or success stories to illustrate the value you provide. Mentioning key industry affiliations or certifications can further validate your reputation, positioning your company as a distinctively trustworthy partner.

Step 4: Clarify Costs

You can make possible pricing more transparent and accessible throughout your conversation, by consistently returning to options for making the project more affordable, from product and installation variations to the ability of monthly payments to break total costs into more manageable differences between packages.

Providing alternatives tailored to a range of budgets caters to more customers, while emphasizing the enduring value of quality can strengthen interest in more significant scopes. Offer the average price of what you’re discussing, as well as what your customer can expect to be quoted by competitors. Flexible payment options or incentives can make any pricing more appealing, and stoke a sense of urgency to start sooner.

Speaking openly about cost and empowering your customer to choose their own way forward, with your guidance, encourages confidence in your integrity and knowledge. Be sure to address any concerns about your estimate and seek feedback and agreement that where you land together feels fair.

Step 5: Present Your Product

Come prepared with a product demonstration kit and samples to help your prospect visualize options and outcomes. Define the unique benefits of your product or service, tailoring the presentation to meet the ideals and pain points of each prospect. Incorporate social proof and case studies where you can to help contextualize your recommendations. This personalized approach will help you inspire your customer’s imagination and secure their interest, edging you closer to working together.

Step 6: Discuss Installation

Describe what’s different about your method of installation, clearly explaining each step of the process and noting any advantages over others. Clarify how your technique ensures a smooth experience and durable, high-quality results. Bring forward your craftsmanship and any public recognition of that craftsmanship, emphasizing your attention to detail and commitment to excellence to build perception of value. Mention any guarantees or warranties, making clear that your company stands behind its work past the last day on the job.

Step 7: Prepare to Close

Recapping the key points you’ve discussed evidences your attention to detail and reinforces the availability of all the options your customer can consider. Include everything you’ve gone over, restating the pros and cons of each way forward, and reminding your customer that financing can reduce the cost difference between good, better and best project scopes to make their most attractive option affordable. Answer any remaining concerns or questions that come up as you summarize, and check in with how the customer is feeling about their choices.

Step 8: Present the Price

Depending on your customer’s readiness to move forward, you may want to lock down your sale with speed, or give them a little more time to arrive at a sense of certainty. If the only remaining question is about cost, compare the retail price to the discounted price to the price they’ll get if they sign on today, and consider together the benefit of a quicker project start. If additional decisions need to be made, invite the customer to meet you at your showroom to finalize the details of the project plan, and complete your conversation then.

Either way, breaking down the total project cost into manageable monthly payments can make a more major job feel surprisingly accessible. Offering flexible pricing and financing options accommodates different budgets and increases your likelihood of closing. Emphasize long-term value and return on investment, and provide transparent itemizations to demystify the price and make it seem less arbitrary. Quiet any price-related objections by emphasizing savings earned through durable materials and expert craftsmanship, using concrete examples rather than promises and generalities to support your advice. Offering a satisfaction guarantee can alleviate any lingering concerns.

Step 9: Overcome Objections and Close

To successfully close a sale, it’s essential to anticipate common objections and prepare persuasive responses. Meeting hesitations with empathy and understanding not only secures trust in the moment, but helps the customer anticipate an attuned, personally invested experience working with you over the course of the upcoming project and beyond. Presenting specific solutions or alternatives to convert obstacles into new possibilities can help overcome any apprehension, while dissolving the deterrent of cost with affordable monthly payments can help your customer arrive at a firm buying decision.

Ask for the sale confidently, showing your conviction in your company’s ability to deliver exactly what your customer wants, through a process you expect to exceed their hopes. Reassure them they’re making the same choice you would, selecting superior quality for a fair price, and share their excitement for work to start.

Step 10: Cool Down

After you reach agreement, don’t rush out the door; you’ll leave your customer concerned they’ve been manipulated after all your effort establishing a connection if you drop it abruptly, and will risk them canceling. Just as you took time to revisit the particulars of the project you’re planning together, take time to revive your personal conversation, circling back to your rapport and commonalities you’ve shared. Spend about 15-30 minutes transitioning enthusiasm for the project into a relaxed and assured mutual familiarity.

Continuing to invest in your closeness with the customer beyond the moment they sign your contract shows that you care about how your collaboration feels, and suggests you’ll stick around for the long haul, remaining a sure source of guidance and gratification. This step is vital for sustaining long-term relationships that can lead to more, and more enjoyable, work over time.

 

Conclusion

Creating an effective and consistent sales process is crucial to any business’ success. With these 10 simple steps, you can turn your prospects’ skepticism and uncertainty into comfort and eagerness, satisfy their wants and needs, welcome them into your company’s exceptionalism and why you’re worth choosing over the competition, surmount objections, make pricing understandable and more ownable with flexible financing options, and turn a sale into an ongoing relationship. Not to mention cohering your sales team, using everyone’s time more efficiently, and revealing more powerful and predictable revenue. Where you take it from there is up to you.

To learn more, book a call with an Acorn Finance Contractor Adviser, and we’ll talk through your process step by step.