Want to turn your lead carpenters into salespeople and add easy money to already sold projects? Ask Tom Capizzi Jr., president of Capizzi Home Improvement in Cotuit, Mass., how it's done. Last year the Cape Cod home improvement company -- which offers full-service remodeling -- generated an additional $450,000 in volume through change orders initiated by lead carpenters.
Here's how their program works. The company's lead carpenters -- called project managers -- are encouraged to suggest additional work to clients. If clients end up contracting for that work, then the project manager and the salesman who originally sold the job split the 9% commission on the work. In one instance, a simple roofing job grew to include changing out all the windows in the house. Last year Capizzi paid $20,000 in commissions for change order work to its field staff.
Capizzi says a little more than a year ago he sent 17 of his field employees to a three day sales training session run by Certified Contractors Network in Philadelphia. Capizzi says that, like most remodeling companies, "we were notorious for giving away work to the customer," because leads were not writing up changes. Encouraging leads to sell change orders not only cut down on the amount of unpaid work carpenters were doing but it also boosted job size.
Lead carpenters, Capizzi points out, are in an ideal position to add extra volume to a project, because "you're in there and you've already built rapport with the customer. It's no big sales presentation, it's just talking candidly with them about additional work, writing up the proposals, and handing them in."
Previously, change orders were phoned into the office or turned over to salespeople.