This article was originally published on May, 14, 2024 in ProRemodeler. 

Industry advisor Mark Richardson says the most important sales tip in today’s remodeling market is to focus on the right client. On this episode of Remodeling Mastery, he offers 9 other tips to improve your closing rate.

Identifying the right client comes down to understanding if you’re a priority or merely another option.

“You can ask yourself, ‘Am I an option? Or am I a priority?’ If you’re a priority for them, the likelihood of that sale happening is going to be so much greater,” says Richardson.

In addition, to meet clients where they are today, it’s vital to understand the dramatic cost escalations in recent years. Do so by presenting product compromises to fit the budget constraints, and communicate this to solidify your positioning as an educated advisor.

Listen to the full episode

00:14 Intro
4:01 Sales Tip #1: Focus on prioritized clients, not just options.
5:05 Sales Tip #2: Understand cost objections, offer quality compromises. 
5:49 Sales Tip #3: Homeowners prioritize cost over high-end brands. 
7:12 Sales Tip #4: Ask how long clients plan to stay in home with/without project.
8:53 Sales Tip #5: Master questioning, pacing, pauses in conversations.
10:18 Sales Tip #6: Make sale visual through diagrams, sketches, not just talking. 
12:36 Sales Tip #7: Address client fears, ignorance, overwhelm in closing.
17:16 Sales Tip #8: Give clients time to discuss offer among themselves.
17:16 Sales Tip #9: Sell process, not just product.

Mark Richardson: 
Remodeling mastery is a podcast series that’s really designed to take your business to the next level. I try to do it not only with specific strategies and techniques, but also just thought provoking concepts and ideas. You know, at the end of the day, you’ve got to focus on kind of where you’re heading in terms of the vision but also how to get there in terms of the day to day techniques.

One of the areas that I’ve been focusing on for about the last 14-15 months is the whole issue of sales. You know, today more than ever have so we shifted out of COVID. The consumer is really different than they were two or three years ago. So therefore, if the consumer or the client is the ultimate goal, then you got to be better at that sales sales process. And that’s what we’re trying to do.

Now. I’ve titled today’s podcast 2024 sales, techniques and tips. Now, why did I say 2024? I said 2024 In part because I would say about 10% of the tips are and techniques are really very specific to the environment and we’re times we’re in 90% of sales, however, is just ongoing blocking and tackling. It’s very much like the martial arts.

The majority of what you’re doing is about just fundamentals and only 10% about the particular competitor that you’re particularly working with. Very very similar in I think the environment we’re in today. And if you’re off by just one or two degrees, you’re going to miss and if you miss, you’re going to miss that one out of 10. One of the themes that I’ve been talking about over the last month is focused on getting one more out of 10. Now when you look at the average closing rate for a typical home remodeling type sales situation, it’s generally somewhere between 15 and 30%. Well, getting one more out of 10 is going to increase your business potentially 50%.

So don’t focus on what works and doesn’t work 100% of the time because nothing will but if you can just focus on some of these habits, some of these techniques that I’m going to be sharing with you. You’re gonna get one more out of 10 and you’ve get one more out of 10 If not anything else, it’ll counter act or counterbalance some of the challenges in the marketplace, whether it’s lead flow, or whether it’s in fact, clients pushing the pause button.

You know, I was doing a little session yesterday with a group and we were talking about objections and we’re talking about the three most common objections. And what was interesting is we role played and we talked about how to handle some of these objections is that I think in many ways, there are only really three that happened 80% of the time, and if you can be more masterful of those things that happen 80% of the time, then you’re going to be much better. And these tips and techniques we’re gonna be talking about today. certainly be able to help you do that.

Okay, so with all that said and done, as I said, many of these are going to be universal. They’re going to be true 10 years ago, 15 years ago, but there are peppered into these tips and techniques, either words or phrases I’m going to be giving you that are real and more specific to 2024 and the times that we’re in right now. So the number one tip is you got to focus on the right client.

Now I’ve written quite a bit about this subject. I’ve given podcasts on the 10 checklist of items you need to focus on the right clients, but it’s especially important right now why is it important? 
Because one of your number one competitors right now, is the clients overwhelmed and more specifically, you need to focus on the right clients in this environment.

So I read this little phrase or this little adage about four or five months ago that really hit a chord for me and that was don’t make them a priority when you’re an option for them. And you really think about that you get all enthused about a particular client, you’re making them a priority, but then they make you an option.

So what you have to do is you got to be better in terms of really understanding not judging but understanding whether your priority whether the project is a priority. Or whether it’s an option. And I think that overall theme. While it may not be specific and deletes it’s a filter, you can ask yourself, Am I an option? Or am I a priority? If you’re a priority for them, the likelihood of that sale happening is going to be so much greater.

Number two on my list, you know, this whole cost escalation thing that’s happened over the last three years or so that we’ve seen these amazing amount of costs go up and up and up and almost out of control. You know, your clients today want to do a project. They don’t call you because they’re lonely. They want to do a project. The question is, why don’t they proceed? Why is it only two out of 10 Ultimately, end up proceeding?

Well, in large part it’s because of the costs escalating more than what they’re comfortable investing in Cleveland. Research did an interesting little study. And they said you know today which is different than it was 20 years ago, today, homeowners are willing to compromise on the quality of the finish the quality of the brand, over the cost. That is different today than it was in the past. So what what do I mean specifically? In the past, you may have preferred a Marvin or Pella window and you’re willing to compromise to an Andersen today.

You’ve got to not only compromise to an Andersen but you’ve got to consider the builder quality window going into their project. Now I’m not endorsing that quality window but what I am saying is when a homeowner has a bunch of crappy old windows, and you’re putting in a really really nice window in the new kitchen, that may not be the thing to do. Because even the builder quality window is going to be better quality than what they have in the rest of the house. So you’ve got to make out ways to help them save money, not just spend and in the selling process.

If you just think about that, as I’ve talked about in the past, when you go into a restaurant and that server or that waiter is sharing a really good economical tip or very large helping that could be divided for two people. You know, those are ways to save, and it’s going to create a level of trust. I think that’s so important in terms of the relationship…