An Excerpt From Session 3 - The Initial Consultation

How to conduct the initial consultation

This is an excerpt from Scientific Remodeling System‘s 3rd Session, Sales – The Initial Consultation. Listen to the audio or read the transcript below.

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I talk to a lot of remodelers, and the common thread is that leads are more scarce than they used to be and getting the actual job is harder than ever.  This shortage may cause some to get desperate and follow every lead they get, without really pre-qualifying the prospective client. They start to think that if they don’t follow-up every lead, whether it sounds promising or not, it will be their downfall.  They need work, and they need it now.

You may have a similar mindset right now.  The phone rings, you have a lead, finally, and you run out to their home and give it a shot.  At least you are staying busy and doing something.  Busy?  Yes.  Productive?  Not necessarily.

Hammering the Point Home – Everyone on the planet gets 24 hours each day. How they use it is what makes the difference!

Everyone, whether they are rich or poor, gets 24 hours each day.  That’s an unwavering truth.  Millionaires make a ton of money each day, and poor people make hardly anything during their day.  Same 24 hours, huge difference in results.

Here is an example, somewhat exaggerated, of how a remodeler’s time is used: Tom works 40-60 hours a week.  And he has a lot to do in that time.  He may be answering the phone, running out to sales calls, checking jobs, paying bills, estimating jobs, and picking up materials for his crew. He can barely get it all done, and he never seems to get ahead.  (Does this sound familiar?)  Each day he says, “There aren’t enough hours in the day”. And he goes home in the evening and starts all over the next day.  Kind of like “Groundhog Day’, if you’ve ever seen that Bill Murray movie.  Each day’s the same, in an unending procession. Where does it all end?

It ends when you start to work smarter, not harder.  When you get more accomplished in the same amount of time.  This is what you have to do to move ahead and grow.  I know you’ve heard the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ a lot.  The difference here is that I’m going to show you how to work smarter.

If you haven’t read “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss, you should.  I don’t think that you can run your company, at least not right now, by working 4 hours each week, but you’ll learn his no-nonsense methods of saving time and maximizing outcomes.  Besides that, he’s quite an entertaining writer and has had some incredible accomplishments.  Timothy is ruthless when it comes to making the most of each day. He values his time.  And so should you.  When you start valuing your time, you’ll get more done, and you’ll begin to see some real change and growth in your company.

Okay, what does this have to do with the initial consultation?  What’s my point?  As an old carpenter used to always say to me, “I said all that to say this”.  There is a potential for huge time saving (and money saving) when it comes to setting up you initial consultation.  You have two choices:

  1. Go to their home and see the project.
  2. Ask them to come to your home or office, or a meeting place (such as a borrowed room at your Homebuilders Association or NARI chapter) and go over the project with them there.

Your first thought will probably be, “How can I price a job I have never looked at?”  And that’s a good point.  But if you have some experience, you know the basic costs of common projects.  You may have remodeled five kitchens or renovated ten bathrooms in the past few years.  With each of these projects you gained more knowledge of the average cost of each.  In my case, I know that I haven’t remodeled a bathroom for less than $13,000 in ages, so that is a starting point that I would ask them about on our initial call.  If that isn’t within their price range then they may have to try some other companies.  It’s not that we can’t remodel a bathroom for a lot less, it’s that bathrooms in that price range are not our specialty.

Using these project historic averages, you can give them a pretty decent ball park of what their project would cost.  For example, if a good quality master bathroom starts at $13,000, and they come in and tell me that they want a 5’ x 4’ custom shower with multiple shower heads, separate water closets, custom vanities, skylights, heated tile floor, and fancy windows, I know that the cost will be considerably more, and with a little thought I can then give them a rough estimate without visiting their home.  Remember that the objective is not to nail the price, but to be within a reasonable range and get an OK on a design or a firm estimate.  Let’s move on..”

This has been an excerpt from Session 3 of Scientific Remodeling System. Learn more about the Scientific Remodeling System and sign up to receive all 12 sessions and access to all the bonus downloads and videos. This course is guaranteed to improve your business and simplify your life. Learn more here.

PS The entire course is in PDF form and audio (so you can discover ways to improve your business even when you are driving).

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