Ken Kelly is president of Kelly Roofing in Naples, Fla. He’s also a Wing Commander with Angel Flights Southeast, and he coordinates and flies missions to help people in need of emergency medical assistance. After surviving the first few years of the recession fairly well, his business was suddenly in financial trouble, and Kelly knew he had to make changes quickly before it was on life support.
“In January of 2011, work just stopped,” he said. “The leads were just not coming in.” Kelly’s website (www.kellyroofing.com) wasn’t bringing in customers like it used to, and the company was losing money. When tracking the leads, the company found that almost no one mentioned the website when asked where they heard about the company. But in follow-up questions they determined that most had visited it at some point. The company just wasn’t closing the deals. Customers were asking salesmen to e-mail them a quote and making their decisions based solely on price. Now what?
Kelly went to work to find out why his company was losing out on sales. He turned to “the Bible” — that is, Jeffrey Gittomer’s Sales Bible. Kelly was familiar with Gittomer’s work, including The Little Red Book of Sales, whose motto is “People don’t like being sold, but they love to buy.”
Kelly had always been a bit puzzled by that statement, but he had an “aha moment” one day at Home Depot. He found himself avoiding the contractor counter and using the self-checkout line to avoid being pressured by salespeople. He thought to himself, “I like to do it myself. Maybe my customers did, too.”
He realized why his website wasn’t generating leads and his salesmen were getting fewer face-to-face meetings with customers. “We are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way society communicates — and it’s not just the younger generation. Without a chance to explain why our price was higher, we were losing the battle. We needed to figure out a way to communicate in this new language.
Kelly knew he needed to fix the website and then find a way to communicate with customers when salesmen didn’t get the chance to give their presentation. He researched ways to improve his website, optimize it for mobile devices and keep it at the top of key search engines.
The website also has a survey that customers can use to determine their optimal roof system. Kelly also developed a step-by-step process that customers can use to design their roof system online. He calls it “the Decider.”
Now leads from the website are better than ever and sales are up 29 percent over last year. “Now when a customer asks, ‘Can you just e-mail me a quote?’ We send them the Decider and say, ‘Pick out the roof you want and we will provide pricing.’” Kelly said. “The Decider becomes the silent salesman.”