Virtual consultations – Are you losing money by not offering them?
Something that is starting to gain traction in the home improvement sector is the ‘virtual consultation’ – a video, facetime or zoom call with the homeowner to discuss their requirements as part of the overall sales consultation process.
Some businesses are already doing this to great effect.
For example, large home improvement companies such as Anglian are already pushing this service via their website and marketing channels.
However, it’s not just large windows and door companies that are using virtual consultations. We know businesses large and small, even one-man-bands already doing it with great success, not as a replacement for a face to face appointment, but as something they do before they meet the customer in person.
There’s no doubt COVID-19 has accelerated this shift in the sales process but we do believe it will become standard practice for the future – so don’t get left behind.
If you are not already, think about how you could add video calls into your sales process.
Potential new 6 step sales process
- Customer makes an enquiry via phone / email / website / social media
- Whichever way they get in contact you aim to speak to them on the phone within an hour to outline basic requirements and to set up a virtual consultation
- You have a 15-30 minute virtual consultation where you can discuss more details about the customer requirements, how you might be able to help and potentially arrange a face to face meeting. You could develop a basic script for this conversation to ensure you can quickly gather enough information to qualify OR disqualify the potential customer.
- Face to face meeting + measuring up
- Phone call or video call to confirm dates for completing the work
- Complete the work
3 main advantages to using this process.
1 – Responsiveness
As you know, responsiveness can be the difference between winning and losing a sale. So, offering virtual consultations can help here.
2 – Qualifying enquiries and saving time
You can qualify or disqualify customers far quicker and more easily. No longer do you have to waste time driving around doing quotes for time wasters. You can now schedule them all in 15-30 minute blocks, working around your usual routine. You then only make face to face visits to the most promising customers.
3 - Stopping the spread of COVID-19 whilst keeping your business going
Arguably the most important - If you happened to have COVID without symptoms and then did five face to face customer visits in day, you could unwittingly be a super spreader of Coronavirus. Even if you don’t have COVID, one of those five customers might.
If you did them all over video calls and then only visited two clients face to face, your risk of catching and / or spreading the virus reduces significantly.
Also, just the fact you are offering virtual consultations as a service will give people confidence that you are a professional business who is clearly taking the situation seriously and has procedures in place to safeguard your customers. This alone could put you ahead of the competition.
The 3 main pushbacks and how to overcome them.
1 - ‘What difference does it make? You can’t do the work virtually’
Hopefully by now you realise this is not a valid question, as we’re not suggesting you use video calls as a replacement to the face to face meeting, but as a supplement to enhance your sales process.
2 - ‘My customers won’t know how to video call’
During lockdown everyone and their dog has been using video calls and zoom chats. Even the older generation, who are often considered less tech savvy were doing it. Joining a video call is simpler than ever. Of course, not everyone will want to do it, but even if someone doesn’t take you up on the offer I’m sure they’ll appreciate what you are doing and how you are trying to be a considerate and forward thinking business.
3 - ‘I’m not comfortable on camera’
We understand this can be an issue for some, but the more you use it the more confident and comfortable you will become. Try organising a few video calls with close friends or family to get a bit of practice in before you host your first customer call.
If you have any questions about adding video calls to your sales process, feel free to get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you out.