Tips for Closing the Sale

The process of turning a potential customer into a paying customer can often be complex, especially for larger purchases like outdoor living projects. Here are a few techniques and tools that can help you convert more of those leads and proposals into purchases.

Tip #1: Make a Good First Impression

A negative first impression can kill a sale before you even walk in the door. The first impression that people form of you is based on both verbal and nonverbal factors. When the customer opens their door to greet you, they should see a clean and professional-looking vehicle and a nicely groomed representative in a shirt with a company logo. They should be greeted with a warm smile and a firm handshake. Posture, tone of voice, eye contact, and facial expressions will all play a crucial role. Ask lots of questions and listen intently to the answers.

Tip #2: Don't Over Sell

Your best sales tool is your expertise. Don't push or "sell" products to your homeowners, educate them on solutions that will meet, or even exceed, their needs. But in order to do that, you first need to listen and get to know your customers so that you can understand their needs in detail. Learn about how they expect to live in their new outdoor space and present ideas that will add to the value of their home, both in terms of monetary value and in functionality according to their lifestyle.

Tip #3: Know Your Products

Once you know what motivates the homeowner in terms of needs and desires, help them learn which of your products will provide solutions for those needs. Don't assume the homeowner knows as much as you. Explain the features (physical characteristics) and benefits (advantages) of different options, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

Tip #4: The Right Question Can Overcome an Objection

Possible responses to typical objections:

  • That's more than I wanted to spend. How much were you thinking of spending? Have your heard about our same-as-cash financing program?
  • I'm not ready to make a decision. What additional information would be helpful to you?
  • I'm not sure this product is right for us. What features are you looking for?
  • I'd like to shop around some more. What other brands are you considering?
  • I'm too busy to make a decision right now. When can we get together when you have more time?
Sometimes in asking the question, you learn it's better to walk away. You may find the customer truly cannot afford the project or has strong ties to another vendor.

Tip #5: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Most people have trouble visualizing what an outdoor living design will look like, even with a sketch or product samples. However, research indicates that designs using 3-D imaging dramatically increases closure rates because the homeowner can imagine not only how their yard will look, but how they will live in the new space. Visit the Belgard Design Studio for information on our free library of designs and affordable custom design services.

Tip #6: The Sale is not Over with the Installation

After-the-sale follow-up is a process that could continue indefinitely if you value referrals and repeat business. First, a hand-written thank you note shows a personal interest and indicates that you value their business. If the situation arises, respond to any post-construction complaints quickly and resolve them efficiently. To create an opportunity for referrals, offer to help host a thank-you gathering for any neighbors inconvenienced by the project. To generate repeat business, keep a record of your previous installations and periodically reach out to each customer regarding maintenance or new product offerings.