This article first appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of ProRemodeler. Written by Mark Richardson.

When it comes to closing remodeling sales, we are in uncertain times. Uncertain is not good or bad… it is just unpredictable. 

Will the phone ring off the hook this week or will it be quiet? Will prospects move forward or push the pause button? This year is a year of uncertainty. 

When the weather is uncertain, you bring an umbrella. When traffic is uncertain, you leave early. When you’re uncertain whether your dog will stay close or not, you put them on a leash. 

While the market may be uncertain, you still need to have the right sales process to generate clients and projects.


Increasing Remodeling Sales

You can take action to increase your remodeling sales just like you would bring an umbrella or use a leash for your dog. 

In baseball, a 250 batting average is considered okay, but if that number drops to 200, then the player is benched or cut from the team. On the other hand, if the batting average rises to 300, the player makes the All-Star team. The difference between 200 and 300 is one hit out of 10 times at bat.

If you can add most or all of these simple tips to your sales process, I guarantee you will close on at least one more client out of 10 prospects.

1) Be faster. Rather than contacting a lead in the next 24 hours, do it today. Rather than visiting a prospect’s home next week, do it this week. Rather than following up with a proposal in 10 days, do it in five. Speed sells.

2) Exceed expectations. Always try to set an expectation with a prospect, then exceed it. If you say you will bring them a couple of concepts, try showing them three rather than two. If you say you’ll get back to them on Friday, then be in touch by Thursday.

If the project is a kitchen remodel, try giving advice on other areas of the house too. For example, a drainage problem or a mold issue. Exceeding expectations is a mindset rather than a specific skill. Do this regularly and you’ll differentiate yourself and create trust, which sells.

3) Sell down. Don’t upsell. When advising a prospect, especially Baby Boomers who want to conserve resources, try to proactively share ways they can spend less. If they select a $1,500 toilet, ask if they might consider one that looks similar for $800.

If you can accomplish their goals by reworking existing space rather than adding on, then don’t keep this insight a secret. Usually, you will end up with the same investment outcome, but following this approach, will create a client, not just a prospect in the process.

4) Don’t corrupt your sales process. If you have a strong process, then don’t alter it or skip steps. For example, make sure to show your sales presentation deck to every prospect since it will build value in working with you. And always walk the prospect through your budgeting exercise step if you have one.

5) Follow up. I teach a nine-step process to remodeling sales teams and I’ve noticed that the easiest, but most skipped, is effective follow up. 

Every prospect should get a follow up call within 24 hours, and the emphasis of the call should be on the potential customer, not you. It can be about the project, the process, or even just a check in. This follow up shows high interest and differentiates you.

These five tips (and I have five more in my podcast) do not require special intelligence or skills. While they are all ideas, they are only effective if you act on them. When practiced consistently, they will become success habits and your close rate will increase.