At long last, we're at the end of the "7 Crucial Marketing Secrets Every Pool Builder Should Know."
I think it's fitting that we're now talking about "converting prospects into buyers," because ultimately, if these marketing efforts don't eventually result in CASH IN YOUR POCKET, then we've all been wasting our time. So let's talk about some relatively small yet powerful things you can do that will have a definite positive impact on your closing ratios. Let's talk about:
Marketing Secret #7: Tools and tactics that will improve your closing ratios and convert more of your prospects into buyers.
When it comes to converting more of your prospects into pool buyers, there are really just three areas you need to focus on: photographs, sales tools and selling skills. So let's talk about each of these.
Sales Tool/Tactic #1: PHOTOGRAPHS
If a picture ever did "speak 1,000 words," it was probably a photo from the pool industry. Because by contrast, I don't think photographs will play a crucial role in selling a new car. Or a TV. Or a piano. Or new living room furniture. Or a fur coat.
Oh sure, photographs will help. But you would almost never buy a car without driving it first. Or a TV without watching it. Or a piano without playing it. Or living room furniture without sitting on it. Or a fur coat without touching it and trying it on.
But that's not happening with a new pool. You can't touch it, smell it or drive it. You have little choice other than to look at the photographs, and then try to imagine what that's going to look like in your backyard.
So if you're counting on photographs to help sell your product – and you are – then don't skimp on the quality of your photos. The single most straight-forward thing you could do to improve your closing ratios is to take better photographs.
I can prove it. Just take a look at some of these incredible photographs from our friends over at Lewis Aquatech. Then tell me whether you think (1) the potential pool buyer is still concerned about their ability to build a great product and (2) whether his clients ever ask him for a $5,000 discount. Yes, I'll bet Don Gwiz spends more than you do to get a good photograph. But what an investment! Just imagine how much easier your sales process would be if the next time you sat down with a homeowner, you could whip out some beautiful 8 x 10 color glossy photographs like those from Lewis Aquatech.
(Would you like some tips on how to take better pool photographs yourself? Check out my blog post with plenty of advice on that here.)
Sales Tool/Tactic #2: A GREAT STORY
You may recall that in Secret #2, I pointed out that to the average homeowner, you look like everyone else. And thus, until you clearly articulate how you are unique and different and better than your competition, you will be doomed to perpetual price competition with everyone else. That's why you need to have a great story.
On my website, I refer to this as "Your Master Story." Here's the essence of the idea:
You have to communicate to your prospects that YOU are the superior choice and say it in a way that is interesting, believable and compelling.
Once you've created your master story, you'll then find it very easy to produce any and all of the following sales tools:
- A brochure.
- A DVD script
- An "on hold" message
- A compelling elevator pitch
- A "10 reasons people love us" insert
- And a ton of good content to go on your website
(Did you notice that the brochure, the DVD and your website will all benefit from BOTH of the 2 sales tools/tactics we talked about so far? When done right, they combine a compelling story and great photographs into one very powerful sales tool.)
Sales Tool/Tactic #3: SALES TRAINING
Sorry to disappoint you if you were looking for something cooler and more exciting than sales training. But as much as I might like to believe that marketing rules the world, the truth is that a ton of great marketing strategies, tactics and sales tools can all still be destroyed in one fell swoop by crappy salesmanship. So I highly recommend that sales training be an ongoing part of any pool builder's overall marketing plan – especially if you're not happy with your current closing ratios.
There are lots of different sales training opportunities out there, from both inside and outside our industry. And it's been my experience that none of them are perfect for everyone, yet all of them will provide you with at least some new insights or inspiration, even if you've been through the training class before.
I do have one small recommendation that might in fact be perfect for everyone. Of all the sales classes I've taken and all the sales books I've read, there is one that I believe provides solid foundational value and inspiration for all salespeople, no matter what you sell: Socratic Selling by Kevin Daley. Less than $20 through Amazon, and available at most any other decent bookstore.
So there you have it, my three major tactics for improving your closing ratios: Get some sales training, make sure you've got a good story to tell and make sure you've got some killer photographs that really communicate how awesome your company is.
When you combine these closing secrets with the six other "Crucial Marketing Secrets Every Pool Builder Should Know," you should be soundly on the path of running a highly successful pool construction business. And with that, I wish you the utmost success in your endeavors, and I hope you sell a lot of pools!