Navigating Your Way to a Successful in-Home ConsultationJuly 5th, 2023 by Erik Devash
In last month’s article, we laid the foundation for making your mark in residential window tinting, focusing on how to set the stage for an initial in-home consultation and best practices for initial communication. Now that you’ve set up the consultation, you’re a third of the way there. The next step, delivering a successful consultation, is just as crucial to securing the job. This article aims to guide you through this important phase, from the essential steps of preparation all the way through the consultation itself.
Presentation Matters: Dress to Impress
Every detail matters; your physical presentation should be considered an integral part of your consultation strategy. It sets the stage for positive and productive interaction, helping put clients at ease and leaving them with a favorable impression of you and your business.
Consider wearing a crisp, clean polo shirt embroidered with your company logo paired with neat jeans or long pants. Your shoes should be clean and professional, showing that you pay attention to even the smallest details. By showing up well-dressed, clean and with a friendly demeanor, you’ll be setting a high standard that clients will appreciate and remember.
The Courtesy Call: Communicating with Care
Continuing this journey to a successful consultation, we now move to the journey itself. As you go to the client’s home, remember the importance of clear and courteous communication. Providing the client with an estimated arrival time through a courtesy call is an often-overlooked step that can set you apart. If the client doesn’t answer, take the time to leave a polite voicemail and send a text message. These gestures show your respect for their time and further establish your professionalism.
Arrival Etiquette: The First Steps
Upon arrival, aim to use street parking, not the customer’s driveway. This simple act prevents any potential inconvenience to the client, and if your vehicle carries your company branding, it gives your business prime visibility to neighbors.
When you step inside the client’s home, either remove your shoes or put on booties. Regardless of the client’s reassurances, this act of respect goes a long way in demonstrating your professionalism and care for their home. It’s an unspoken way of saying, “I respect your space,” and leaves a lasting impression.
Lastly, greet each client with a warm, inviting smile. This level of attentiveness to your personal presentation communicates your professionalism and shows respect for the client, their home and the task at hand.
Every aspect of your consultation, from your personal presentation to your arrival etiquette, communicates your professionalism, care and respect for the client. These key elements lay the groundwork for a successful consultation and set the stage for an effective dialogue with the client.
The Client Conversation: Understand to Deliver
Once you’ve made a positive first impression, it’s time to get down to the heart of the matter – understanding the client’s needs. As the client guides you to the windows in question, use this opportunity to engage them in conversation. This is your chance to dive deeper into their needs and expectations for the window film. Are they looking for privacy, solar control, security enhancement, or perhaps a decorative touch? The more you understand their desires, the better equipped you’ll be to tailor a proposal that goes beyond their expectations.
Building Bridges: Connect on a Human Level
Throughout your interaction, remember that the most successful consultations build connections on a human level. This isn’t just about selling a product or service, it’s about building a relationship of trust and respect. Compliment the client’s space, express admiration for their decor or unique features, or perhaps point out how the sunlight beautifully illuminates their living area. These genuine compliments can subtly demonstrate how your product can further enhance their home.
Moreover, sharing your experiences of handling similar projects in the area can help build confidence and establish you as an expert. Have a folder prepared with film samples, completed project case studies, and your W9 and insurance. Visuals can be powerful tools to demonstrate the quality of your work and stimulate the client’s imagination and open their mind to possibilities they hadn’t previously considered.
The Proposal: Showcasing Your Expertise
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, including measurements and photos, the next step is to create a proposal. Your proposal should clearly outline the recommended films based on the client’s needs. Presenting an on-the-spot proposal is crucial, as it allows immediate clarification of any queries and allows the client to schedule the installation right away.
Using a digital platform to generate a detailed and professional proposal on-the-spot can further underscore your expertise. You’ll not only impress the customer with your efficiency but it also provides transparency, showing the client that your price quote is well-calculated and justified.
Pricing Strategy: Making the Sale
As you present the proposal, be observant and responsive to the client’s reactions. Some consultants choose to adhere strictly to a fixed pricing strategy, which can work in some cases. However, more often than not, leaving room for negotiation can be beneficial. It’s wise to build a buffer into your initial quote, which can allow you to adjust the pricing during the discussion if needed.
Specialized discounts, such as those for military personnel, law enforcement, or senior citizens, can serve as valuable tools during the negotiation process. Offering these discounts demonstrates your understanding and appreciation of the client’s circumstances and can often be the decisive factor in clinching the sale.
Securing the Deal: “When Would You Like to Get This Done?”
One of the pivotal moments in your consultation comes when you transition from discussing the proposal to discussing the actual execution. To smoothly bridge this gap, you can gently ask the client, “When would you like to get this done?” This question is subtly powerful; it not only prompts the client to visualize the completion of the project but also nudges them toward committing to a schedule.
Remember, your goal isn’t just to provide a service, it’s also about guiding the client through the process. This includes not leaving them with unanswered questions and an open-ended situation after the consultation. As a professional, you should lead the conversation toward a conclusion. This approach encourages the client to act decisively, reducing the chances of your consultation becoming one of the many tabs open in their mental browser.
However, while steering the conversation toward a commitment, it’s important always to maintain an air of patience and respect. You’re not pushing them to make a decision, you’re offering them an opportunity to seize the moment. Being assertive but considerate makes you more likely to secure a successful sale and leave the client feeling positive about their decision.
Here’s a Recap:
1. Presentation Matters: Dress to Impress – Your appearance and demeanor set the tone for the consultation. Maintain a professional appearance, and greet each client with a friendly, respectful attitude.
2. The Courtesy Call: Communicating with Care – Provide an ETA to the client through a courtesy call, voicemail, or text message. Consistent, respectful communication emphasizes professionalism.
3. Arrival Etiquette: The First Steps – Upon arrival, park on the street to avoid inconveniencing the client and offer your company visibility. Show respect for the client’s home by removing shoes or wearing booties.
4. The Client Conversation: Understand to Deliver – Engage with the client to fully grasp their needs and aspirations for the window tinting project. Your understanding forms the basis for a proposal that will meet, and hopefully exceed, their expectations.
5. Building Bridges: Connect on a Human Level – Build a relationship of trust and respect with the client. Compliment their space, share your experiences, and present a folder filled with film samples and case studies to stimulate their imagination and open their mind to possibilities.
6. The Proposal: Showcasing Your Expertise – Create a clear proposal outlining the recommended films and provide a price on the spot. Use a digital platform to create a detailed, professional proposal on the spot, further emphasizing your expertise.
7. Pricing Strategy: Making the Sale – Maintain a flexible pricing strategy and be open to negotiation. Offer tailored discounts to finalize the sale potentially.
8. Guide Customers Through Proposal and Schedule the Installation – Make sure all questions are answered and aim to secure a commitment for the installation before you leave.
Remember, every consultation is an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with your client. Your thoroughness, attention to detail, and genuine care for the client’s needs will not only improve your chances of securing the job but also pave the way for future opportunities.