COVID-19 news and updates change quickly and frequently. Some of the information in this article may soon be out of date. We will do our best to keep details updated during this challenging time. The article below reflects information as of March 30, 2020.
COVID-19 continues to impact the home improvement industry on a global, national, and local level. Businesses are exploring new ways to operate “as normal,” while keeping safety measures in place. For contractors, a significant part of the sales process occurs during face-to-face meetings with homeowners. Now, professional contractors must turn to online tools to engage with homeowners and host virtual demonstrations.
Modernize account managers have been working alongside our contractors to gather and create new, digital materials, and tools. Here are our recommendations as you create and update your digital resources to support your business and run virtual demonstrations:
Select Your Video Conferencing Platform
First, find a video conferencing platform that works best for your company. There are many free resources available to support virtual sales. Some paid platforms are currently waiving fees during this epidemic to help companies of all sizes.
We share all of your virtual toolbox essentials in this recent article.
Pick Your Presentation Platform
Next, you will want to make sure your sales presentation is in an easy-to-share format. Your demo should be easy to present on your video call and have the ability to be “left” with the homeowner afterward.
What To Include In Your Digital Sales Presentation
With your tools above, you are now prepared to create or edit your presentation. Here are important considerations for what to include in your materials.
Introduction: Setting up for success
Your first slide or two should allow time for you to learn more about the homeowner and set the stage for the rest of the meeting.
Introduce yourself and take a few moments to speak about the current situation. Ask questions like: “How is your family adjusting to the stay-at-home situation?” and “Is your immediate and extended family in good health?”. It is important to dedicate time to understanding the homeowner’s current challenges and how you can both relate to this pandemic. Showing compassion at the beginning will help create trust.
Next, be sure to provide context to what the homeowner can expect during this meeting, including how long your questions will take. Try: “Before we can discuss next steps and I can provide a quote, I have about 10 questions regarding your project.” This provides the homeowner with clear expectations when entering this virtual conversation.
You can also provide a slide that has a bulleted agenda, so the homeowner can visually see how the conversation will evolve.
Address Your Updated Procedures and Processes
Include a slide that shares how your company is altering processes during the Coronavirus. Share your virtual and digital offerings, and that you offer a contact-free process. Discuss if you are labeled as an “essential business” during shelter-in-place. Share timelines of installations, if these have been impacted by current events.
Being transparent about how you are protecting both homeowners and your employees will show you are cognizant about safety, and ease homeowner fears.
Share Your Pricing Ranges
It is understandable that you may not want to give a quote during the virtual demonstration, but it is important to share your pricing methods. This provides continued transparency to the homeowner.
Break down your pricing with ranges, instead of exact numbers. Be clear about how you will estimate the work without coming in contact with the homeowner, and maintaining a safe distance.
Offer References and Success Stories
Create a testimonial slide or two. Include a quote, pictures, and star-rating (if applicable). Make sure the testimonial is clear, concise, and is the focus of the slide.
At Modernize, we know homeowners take reviews seriously in their contractor selection. Our recent 2019 survey showed that after price, 26 percent of homeowners said online ratings and reviews were the most important factor in selecting a contractor. Since you are virtual, make sure these references shine over the screen.
Keep Body Language In Mind
Deciphering body language during virtual calls and meetings is one of the biggest challenges we all face. In-person, physical cues help provide trust and attentiveness.
A few helpful posture tips as you begin meeting virtually:
- Don’t sit too close to the screen. Showing more of your shoulders/arms allows homeowners to see more natural body language.
- Be aware of your facial expressions. You may need to smile more during this time.
- Prioritize eye contact with your camera. It will make it appear as if you are keeping eye contact with the homeowner.
During this challenging time, virtual demos can allow you to continue connecting with more homeowners and growing your business. It is important to sharpen your materials to offer a transparent and cohesive sales pitch while addressing the Coronavirus. Feel confident you have set yourself up for success with homeowners in need. Good luck!