Finding new leads as a contractor can be a tricky business. There are many ways you can up your marketing game during the search process, but the best way to secure a sale is by making a great first impression. The first appointment you have with potential leads will set the stage for your business relationship, so making sure to wow new clients during this meeting is a must. Here are 9 of our top tips to help you up your appointment game for a more likely sale.
Get your ethos straight
The number one rule of marketing is knowing your business inside out. If you can pinpoint and communicate the key aspects of your company to potential clients, your confidence will rub off on them and they will be more likely to strike a deal with you.
Create a memorable brand
Quality branding is essential for any business, regardless of industry or specialty, because a memorable brand will stick in the minds of potential clients. Before reaching out to new clients, make sure you are happy with your logo and tagline – and make sure they are memorable for the right reasons.
Once you have decided on an impactful and quality logo, invest a bit of time and money into business cards, stationery, and pamphlets that clearly showcase your brand in the best possible light. Don’t forget to bring along these materials to an initial appointment with new clients – they will be impressed by your preparedness and the quality of your brand.
Keep it clear
When quoting prices and filling out information for flyers, make sure that your information is correct and current. In particular, check that your marketing materials all have an updated pricing structure and current contact information, list your most recent qualifications and projects. Don’t forget to include links to any website or social media accounts for your business – these are a fantastic marketing and communication tool for any 21st century business.
When the date for your first appointment with a client finally rolls around, make sure you come to the meeting prepared. Having all your materials sorted, collated, and ready to go will help create that fantastic first impression you should be striving for. Remembering the little things like a calculator, scrap paper, and extra pens and pencils will help with your organization and save you from getting flustered during your appointment.
Stick to a schedule
As any business owner knows, client meetings can easily get off track and run on – wasting both your time and the time of your clients. By staying focused and keeping to a predetermined schedule, you can avoid too many off-topic discussions and tangents. Wear a watch or discreetly check your phone to keep things moving along, but try not to appear aloof or uninterested in your clients’ questions and concerns. After all, the customer is always right!
Be a professional
While this point is certainly true for initial appointments with potential leads, we always recommend keeping a positive and professional relationship with your clients. This means never badmouthing other companies, even if a client initiates the conversation or asks your personal opinion about a particular professional or business. You can politely deflect these kinds of interactions by referring back to your own skills and avoid any ill-will with other pros in the future.
Perhaps one of the most important points to remember during your first meeting with potential clients is to stay positive. Of course, this is often easier said than done for passionate business owners who are the first to point out their own faults. By highlighting your best traits and trying not to self-deprecate, you will come across as confident and self-assured.
Above all, be honest
Positivity goes a long way towards securing a sale, but honesty is even more valuable to many clients. If you have made mistakes in the past that get brought up in your appointments, don’t lie about them. Instead, think of them as learning experiences: how have you grown since then? What aspects of your business have you changed to prevent these mistakes from happening again? If you can answer these kinds of questions, you will be prepared for just about anything with any future sales you make.