How to close sales over the phone for home service businesses

Customer interactions happen in many different ways: your online presence, your physical in-person presence, and your telephone presence. All of these interactions work together to help you receive more leads, close those leads like a pro, and make more money.

What's unique to home services?

As a home service pro, you likely spend a lot of your time in the field and not doing door-to-door in-person marketing. You may have an online presence with Facebook profiles or third-party lead generation sites, and those often direct customers to call you.

All of this means that you end up receiving a lot of your leads through phone calls. Having a professional telephone presence and refining your over your phone sales call toolkit can help you close more leads and book more jobs.

Here are eight tips to increase your lead to job conversion rate:

1. The faster you respond, the better

Speed is the name of the game when it comes to closing homeowner leads. If a homeowner reaches a pro's voicemail, they are likely to continue to dial the list of "local painters" in Google until they do reach someone who can schedule them relatively quickly. Providing a top-quality customer experience from the beginning can go a long way as 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Part of sales is a numbers game, so the more calls you answer or respond to via text the more leads you are likely to close.

2. Avoid filler words

Make sure you speak in layman's terms when talking to a homeowner. You're an incredibly knowledgeable service pro with years of experience in your profession, and oftentimes, the average homeowner may not know all of your industry-specific terms. As much as possible, try to ask questions and explain things in plain language.

The other side of this tip is to speak directly and to the point. Homeowners will respect that you're not wasting their time. You may find some homeowners speak more than others, so focus on patience and productively directing the conversation. As you hone these skills, you will spend less time on the phone and more time on the job while achieving the same or better results.

3. Smile while you speak

I'll admit that this one sounds pretty ridiculous. But there's actually some science behind this tip as smiling can increase endorphins and elevate your mood. So even though the homeowner can't see you, smiling will brighten your tone. The old saying of it's not what you say it's how you say it, captures how your brighter tone can transfer to a more pleasant experience for your potential clients even over the phone.

4. Listen more than you talk

People love to talk about themselves, and as a home service pro, it's important that you learn about a prospect's needs. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to build rapport with your potential clients and to pick up on clues for what's most important to them. Rather than asking "does your washing machine make a banging noise?" to which a homeowner could answer yes or no, ask them "can you describe the sound that your washing machine makes?" to which they'll likely respond with more helpful detail.

5. Prove your worth

Many homeowners don't understand all the work and specialization that goes into your trade. It's important to tactfully convey your passion and worth so that at the end of the phone call the prospective clients feel like they're going to receive quality service for a fair purchasing price.

There are plenty of ways to do this, but here's an example. Kindly explain some of the big steps that you'll do for them. If you refinish floors, explain that you'll strip any remaining finish, use specialty equipment to sand the floor, refinish the floors, and buff them so they're good as new. Homeowners will takeaway that you're doing a lot more than just "refinishing" the floors.

6. Leave your competitors out of it

You might be tempted to convince your prospective clients that you're the best of the best, much better than all your competitors. However, focusing too much on your competition shows a lack of professionalism that may turn into a deal breaker. Instead, implement the tip above by proving your worth. For instance, it's okay and helpful to speak generically about the market statistics and reasons why you are priced above or below that rate for your area.

7. Be consistent, sort of

Creating an effective sales process is a skill that needs to develop, and it takes a lot of trial and error to learn what resonates most with homeowners. The only way to learn what's working and what's not is to pick a starting point, make small incremental changes to your sales pitch and script, and measure the outcome. You want to avoid too much variability between your calls or amongst members of your team because it'll be hard to tell what's working and what's not. Customers may have a negative reaction to the varied experiences. So coach your sales team to follow the same sales techniques you're using yourself.

8. Track your numbers

Measuring outcomes is the only way to tell how your best sales tactics are working. It's hard to track how many calls you took and how many of those converted to a booked job. One way to track this is to ask some of your customers for feedback and what they liked about your sales interaction. Another way to gain more insight is to obtain a business phone number through ProPhone so that you can start tracking calls and messages by client!

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