When you think of a great dining experience, what comes to mind? You probably start thinking about the great food. Then, there is probably a friendly staff offering professional service. The presentation of the food and the ambiance play a part as well.
When you go to a great restaurant, all of these elements combine to create a memorable experience.
It's probably an experience you can't find in a fast-food restaurant. There, everyone is pushed through as quickly as possible. The service usually leaves something to be desired. And the ambiance is often comprised of plastic seats and promotional posters. It's a cheaper experience, and it often leaves you feeling more like a number than a valued customer.
If you had the choice, which would you choose?
I'm betting you'd go with fine dining, and if someone asked you for a restaurant recommendation, you'd recommend one of these places before the fast-food joint on the corner. That's because you value that service and that experience, and you're willing to pay for it.
If that's the experience that sticks out in the mind and that we all prefer, how do you create that fine dining experience with your clients?
1. Don't bring an in-and-out attitude. So often I see salespeople and estimators trying to break the world record for the fastest job quote. They run in the house, look around, scribble some numbers and leave the quote for the job with a smile. Then, they complain when the homeowner chooses another company to put a new roof on their home. Can you blame the homeowner?
If you want to understand homeowners' needs and make a connection with your clients, spend some time with them. In my experience, I would say that it takes an hour or more to really break down the wall between you and your clients and build some rapport. To do that, you have to show an interest in them, their home, and their goals. After that point, they'll have a level of trust in you and your company. The fast-food approach just doesn't work when you're trying to build that rapport.
2. Ask and answer. The best servers in those fancy restaurants know the menu back and forth, and they'll always answer any questions. They also know the right questions to ask to create the perfect dining experience. To be truly memorable, you can use the same philosophy.
When you step into your client's home, come prepared with a few questions to ask them. Find out how old their house is. Ask them what their plans are for their home. They might be planning on moving in a few years, or they might be staying put for longer. Get your clients involved in the process, and take the time to thoroughly answer any questions they may have.
3. Presentation is everything. Half the time, what you pay for at a fancy restaurant is the presentation, but in the end, that's what makes it a memorable experience. Be mindful of the presentation that you bring to the door of your client's home so you can be certain you're creating the right kind of memorable impression. Make sure you look professional, and that your truck portrays a winning image of your company.
4. Go the extra mile. The best servers are the ones that go the extra mile. They make sure that all of your needs are met. Do the same when you're in the client's home. Present them with all of the options available to them and let them choose. Get in their attic and take a look at what is really going on with their roof, rather than simply handing them a bid created from looking at the outside of their home. Show them pictures of previous jobs your company has done that would be comparable to their roof. Going the extra mile is a huge part of creating a dynamite service experience for your clients.
If you focus on the customers and their overall experience with you in their home, you'll find ways to make your visit more memorable and effective. When you provide a fine dining state of mind that caters to the homeowner's needs and concerns, they'll trust you more, and that's what leads to happy referrals and increased sales.
Make them feel like they are your only client, and you'll become their only roofing company.