Until recently, my salespeople and I haven't been wired for success. Sure, my team has always been successful at communicating the benefits of a new roof to our consumers and getting them involved with our company, but we weren't operating at top speed. We weren't connected.
Until recently, I wasn't very savvy when it came to computers and technology. I admit it. We operated just fine the way we'd always done things. But now that I've seen the wireless light, I don't think I could ever go back to operating the same old way we always did. It would have benefited my company greatly if we'd become connected contractors 10 years ago.
Anytime you think about making a change in your business, it's best to ask if it comes with a win-win-win outcome. Do my clients win? Do my employees win? If you can answer yes to both of those questions, you and the company will ultimately win, too.
That's where technology comes into play. Sure, all of my sales team had cell phones for years, and we even upgraded to the nifty walkie-talkie type so that we could connect with someone at the push of a button. But recently, we've taken it a step further. For some of you, you're probably light years beyond me, but I'm willing to bet for every tech-savvy roofer out there, there is another guy who, like me, isn't up on the latest gadgets.
So, I just want to let those contractors know the benefits of becoming a connected contractor. Now, in our company, every salesperson has a laptop with a wireless network card that they take with them at all times. Plus, they all have a printer in their vehicle. Add to that the digital cameras that everyone has, and we've got our own mini office in each vehicle.
The Client WinsNow we can offer our clients even better service than in the past. With our laptops and printers, we can type up complete proposals and contracts while we're in the client's home.
With the wireless network, we can e-mail our clients throughout the day. This is a more important benefit that you might even realize. Every situation is obviously different, but if you want your clientele to be professional, you need to cater to the professional client. Today, many people are able to check their e-mail at work throughout the day and prefer e-mails to phone calls. Many of our clients appreciate the continued contact and updates via e-mail, and we can confirm appointments that way during the day.
The biggest benefit comes when our clients want to see photos of past jobs. With our setup, we can instantly pull up photos from past jobs on our laptops. If one of our salespeople is in the home and needs a photo that they don't have, our office can simply email it to them. Then, if the client wants to a see a photo later on, we can quickly email it to them rather than dropping it in the mail or stopping by their home.
The Employee WinsWhen our employees are able to provide top-notch service to professional clients, they win, and they become more professional in the process. Being connected allows the office to communicate with sales, sales to communicate with production, and most importantly, everyone to communicate with the customer.
All in all, being connected allows our employees to provide better service and close more sales, which means they earn more, too.
The Company WinsWith more sales, it's easy to see how the company wins, but there are subtler ways in which the company also wins. We're able to archive everything much easier now. After a job is complete, we can compile an electronic file of all of the documents and photos, and it's much easier to store on a CD or a hard drive than in a cabinet full of folders. Plus, it makes for easy reference later on.
The days of strictly using the phone to stay in touch with your customers are over. Brief and precise emails are the way to go. With all of the technological leaps we've taken this year, my company is now connected for success, and I urge you to do the same for your clients and your employees.