Written by Ari Greenbaum, co-founder of conXpros
Every home improvement or home services pro wants to win every homeowner lead they acquire. In more than 12 years in the lead generation business, I have yet to find the “Superman” of contractors that converts every viable lead into a paying customer. When I do, I will commission a statue to be made in their honor outside of the Contractor Hall of Fame. All joking aside, even the most skilled at converting leads to clients will admit that they do not close them all. Regardless of how good you are at your craft, at the end of the day the homeowner controls who they choose to hire, which will not always be you.
When you find yourself on the short end of the stick, there are really only 2 choices of how to proceed; 1) Grumble about how much that lead cost you and lament in the frustration of the job going to one of your competitors, or 2) Use the lead and your experience as an opportunity to be the absolute best you can be. Option 1 has zero benefit or value to your future success. In fact, it likely will factor into more lost deals and increased frustration. On the other hand, option 2 presents a valuable opportunity to gain and improve whose value is impossible to accurately calculate.
So how do you turn a perceived loss into a big win?
I have shared the technique for self-assessment and self-improvement in past articles, but the concept is quite simple. You must get down to the WHY you did not win the job and identify how you can be better with the next opportunity you face. However, before we head down the path to identify the “why”, we must first identify what we did well. If you were legitimately in the running to win the estimate, it is virtually impossible to analyze your process and not find positives to build on. This is the first step; identify what you are doing well so you can practice “rinse-repeat” on future client encounters. This also allows you to approach the analysis with a positive and constructive mindset, which is essential to self-assessment & self-improvement.
Ask yourself “what could I have done better or differently?”
Once we are in the constructive mindset, this is the correct way to analyze one’s self. Notice the question format. It is still in a constructive approach. What we want to avoid is asking ourselves “where did I go wrong?” or “how did I mess up?”. Those are negative and destructive questions to ask ourselves. Take the time to LEARN from the experience and commit to improving on the areas you found to be needing it. Here are a few ideas of what you can examine when performing this analysis:
- Did I stick with my process from the first interaction through the last?
- Was the appointment qualified and set in the best way?
- Did I show up on time?
- Did I connect and build proper report with the homeowner?
- Was my image of a professional that can be trusted and relied upon?
- Did I properly learn and understand the needs of the potential client?
- Was my presentation masterful?
- Did I demonstrate my expert level knowledge?
- Did I instill confidence that I am the absolute best person to help them with the project?
- Was the estimate I provided fair, clear and timely?
- Did I follow up after providing the estimate?
This is a more granular look at yourself and your process. However, there are other areas that one can investigate based off a lead that was “lost”. The questions above are very specific. You can also use the experience and opportunity to work on things on a larger and more global scale. For example:
- Work on your processes and sales techniques.
- Improve your appointment qualification process.
- Improve your communication with potential clients.
- Make adjustments to your estimating process and/or follow up process.
- Explore the other factors that influence a homeowner to choose you such as your online presence, reviews/social proof, company image.
In addition to the self-analysis, there is often a HUGE resource available to us providing we ask. Simply ask the homeowner directly what influenced them to choose someone else for the project. Not every homeowner will oblige, as sometimes it is tough for them to be completely honest in their response. So instead of blatantly lying, they will share meaningless info. However, there are homeowners that will be a wellspring of valuable information. The key is asking in the right way. Human beings typically like helping others. This is the approach to take; share with them that you understand and respect their decision to hire someone else. But you are always looking to improve yourself and would value any feedback they could provide. Again, not all will share relevant info, but the ones that do provide the valuable insights are a goldmine for someone truly seeking how to improve and be the absolute best they can be.
In conclusion, losing a job (especially one that you paid for the lead) can be frustrating. Unless you are the proverbial “superman”, you should not EXPECT to win every estimate you provide. Take the half-full approach. Use the experience as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Even though there is not a direct monetary gain from the lead itself, every thought and action dedicated to improving yourself will pay dividends long into the future.
Losing a job is a disappointment. But you can turn a negative situation into a positive one by evaluating your business and what you could have done differently. Hopefully, by taking some time to reflect, you can improve and win even more jobs in the future.