The majority of New View Construction’s leads come from two home shows in its Brunswick, Ohio, market, so the company uses a customer interest form to capture information from attendees that it uses to follow-up with homeowners. “A home show is four days of fury,” owner Mike Crossman says. “You think you will remember everything you talked about with each person, but you won’t.”

One show, run by a local remodeler’s association, takes place over four days in mid-January; the other show is a three-day home and flower show in October.

Instead of just leaving the form out for booth visitors to fill in, Crossman and his staff are more focused in gathering information. They talk to booth visitors, and if they determine that the person and project fit NVC’s sweet spot, they will bring out the form and start collecting information. “It’s a process of elimination,” Crossman says. “We’re qualifying leads and making our time worthwhile.”

NVC staff fill out another section of the form based on the conversation they had with the potential client. Crossman transfers data from the forms to a spreadsheet where he rates the leads to prioritize follow-up.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.

A. The Basics

A New View Construction staff member collects basic contact information from the potential client, including name, address, phone numbers, and e-mail.

B. Project Type

NVC staff ask prospects if the project is an addition or is within the existing footprint of the house and whether the customer will need the company’s design services. NVC asks clients to sign a design agreement, so the answer to this question determines the sales process.

E. Staff Notes

After speaking to the potential client, the NVC employee immediately fills out the notes section, circling the day/time they spoke to the person and adding information gleaned from the conversation about the client’s family, job, and project goals. The employee then rates if the lead is a good fit for NVC: 5 is a high-priority lead, and NVC will follow up quickly and aggressively.

F. Grading the Project

The employee also grades the project based on NVC’s interest level, taking into account type of project, geographic location, design services needed, bank loan approval, etc. For example, a second-story addition would get a higher rating than a window replacement job.

C. Appointments

The NVC employee asks the prospect when they would be available for a meeting. The time slots are during the day, with an “other” — could be an evening appointment. “It makes the homeowner feel like you’re doing them a favor coming out after their work hours,” owner Mike Crossman says, and shows that you’re a professional whose time should be valued.

D. Time Frame

NVC also asks for a time frame for project completion, including a box for “yesterday,” which both sets a humourous tone and also indicates urgency.