It’s easy to overlook the small stuff. However, change in living conditions is listed in the Top 25 list of life stressors on the Social Readjustment Rating scale, and let’s face it, remodeling a home is a big change in living conditions—both before and after.
Take a page from Almar Building & Remodeling’s playbook—make the experience easier by giving your new clients a welcome kit.
For the past nine years, the company has had an informal process for welcoming new clients to the Almar family, but within the last five months, the company has formalized the process.
Each welcome kit is sent in a folder and contains the following:
- A welcome letter. This letter first thanks the client again for choosing Almar as well as outlining what Almar is doing to prepare for the project. Some of those steps include pulling permits, so Almar outlines the process and requirements needed to acquire these. This puts the client at ease in that time period where they’re anxious to start the project, yet nothing is happening.
- A new customer survey. This survey resembles the one sent out once a project is completed, but at the beginning of the project, when the clients are still in the glow of what will be, it’s somewhat easier to get the background information you’re looking for, such as birthdays, jobs and other biographical information, says Allison Guido, Almar’s general manager. The survey also focuses on finding out why the homeowner chose Almar for their project. Guido says about 25 percent return these surveys, although oftentimes, she finds out verbally from them later why they chose her company.
- Instructions on preparing for the project. This next part includes things the homeowner needs to do before Almar comes in to start the project. For instance, according to Guido, many homeowners don’t consider when they have a siding project that items on the other side of the wall, such a pictures or breakable items on shelves, might move because of hammering or other disturbances. Other items easily overlooked by a homeowner, Guido says, include how the company is going to access the house (will they be given a key or will they be using a lock box? Are the bushes they need to walk through to replace the siding the homeowner’s prize rose bushes?).
- Another copy of the scope of work and payment schedule. Guido says that no matter how many times you give this to your client ahead of time, they can never find it.
- A list of selections they need to make and dates they need to be made by. Also included is a list of where to go to make selections. Guido includes the list of vendors even if the homeowner doesn’t have selections to make so if somewhere down the line they need to purchase a product, she can help drive business to her suppliers.
- A copy of the referral rewards program.
- Contact information sheet for Almar. Again, the client already has this, so this sheet is just in case they lost one.
- A copy of Almar’s last newsletter.
- A branded reusable shopping bag and clip, which Guido thinks might be more popular than the kit itself.
Although technically not a sales tool, Guido does discuss the welcome kit in the sales presentation; not the initial call but during the conversation that’s trying to close the lead. Several customers have mentioned that they appreciate receiving the welcome kit, including one recent client who signed on for a window and siding job. Guido describes this client as very detail-oriented, so when closing the sale, Guido mentioned that after the contract is signed, he would receive a welcome kit that will probably address any questions he may have. His response? Since this is his first remodeling experience, he realized he didn’t even know what he didn’t know and was glad that he would have a resource that took care of that.
At the project’s completion, those sheets are transferred into a binder that Almar gives the client at the completion of the project with warranty and other information.
What tools have you added to your arsenal to help you close the sale? E-mail ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.