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Turning prospects into customers can, for some, be a confusing challenge. Many fall into the trap of feeling the need to offer the lowest price, but price alone is rarely the deciding factor.

No matter what we buy, we always want to feel we have made the right decision; one which will give us value for money, quality, reliability and, of course, no problems once we've made the purchase.

Think about your own business. What do you do or what kinds of things are you able to offer which sets you apart from your competition? What unique selling points do you and your company have? Is it your level of skill, expertise, or maybe your years of experience? Do you provide something that others in the same geographical location don’t? Maybe you are able to offer guarantees or a fit and finish which can’t be matched. Whatever it is, don't be afraid to meet and show or explain this to your potential new customer in order to try and win the business. Remember, you'll make more money if you try and sell yourself a little more and rely on people buying from you a little less! Be proud of what you do and the way you do it - get out there and tell people!

Try and put yourself in the shoes of your potential new customer. Can you rely on them to fully imagine what you are selling, or perhaps what you are capable of, or can you, in some way, show them? Perhaps you have some good quality photographs to show customers of the work you've done in the past or better still, a list of existing customers who are prepared to act as testimonials for the quality of your work and your overall reliability. Whatever it is, you need to make sure your prospective customer is aware of the reasons they should buy from you.

Be aware also, that people buy from people so, unless you're selling a tangible product and someone is after an exact comparison price on a like-for-like item, giving a quick price over the phone will almost always fail. OK, it might be quicker and cheaper to offer your price over the phone and driving out to see someone in their home does come at a cost, but the customer is always much more likely to buy from you if they are able to look you in the eye, so take the plunge and always try to arrange to go and visit your prospective customer in their home. After all, they need to be able to trust you to do the right thing and improve their home and lifestyle. Without eye contact, rapport building and the subconscious feedback gleaned from body language, people are unlikely to feel as comfortable when it comes to buying something from you.

Finally, don't feel that, in order to make more sales, you have to drop your prices. You don't. Of course, it's important to offer a product, solution or a service which is both affordable and competitively priced, but it's rare, certainly when it comes to tradesmen services in and around the home, that people actually want to buy the very cheapest of something. Instead, they'll buy whichever they feel is the one which offers the best value for money or the one which is most suited to doing the job the best - more of that to come in a future blog post, so watch this space.

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Dave Jones - Roof Care Nottingham

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