With a nod to John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing, consultant Kyle Hunt, owner of Remodel Your Marketing, in Howell, Mich., often helps remodelers create a repeatable sales process and highlights the importance of building a “know, like, and trust” relationship with clients. “It’s really important to get to know their needs, wants, desires, and expectations,” he says. “Remodelers who make this effort have an advantage.”

Hunt suggests that remodelers not jump into design mode too quickly. They need to pause and make sure that a homeowner is a good fit for the company. “There should be a step between the phone call and an appointment, so you have the opportunity to qualify the lead and understand the project in more depth,” he says. “Maybe you’ll go on six out of 10 leads instead of chasing 10 out of 10.”

He also suggests that the designer/salesperson be the one to do a pre-meeting call before setting a follow-up appointment. He developed the Client Worthiness Index to help remodelers clarify what they might feel in their gut and to determine whether a prospect and project are a good fit for their company. If they aren’t, he says, remodelers should take action to make sure they’re not wasting their time.

“Remodelers need to protect their time, especially in this environment where many of them are wearing more hats,” Hunt says.

1. TRIAL RUN To test the index, answer the questions for a client you turned down in the last six months; they might score between 40 and 60. Then fill it out for a client who you felt was great; they should rate an 80 to 90. Testing the index against known quantities will show you how it works and will build confidence in the results.
2. GETTING A SENSE The designer/salesperson should call the prospect before meeting with them. The goal is to get a sense of whether you’ll get along. Remember, someone who seems unreasonable or “crazy” gets a “1,” not a “5.” Prospects who don’t want to share a lot about their project beforehand might be fishing, or it could be that they just don’t “know, like, and trust” you enough yet.
3. PROFIT OR LOSS? After the meeting, compare scores for the client against those for the project. A sweet-spot job scoring the maximum of 25 might be trumped by potential difficulties that your gut is telling you could arise with the clients. Or you might take on a less-than-perfect job for what you feel will be an ideal client.
4. DECISIONS, DECISIONS The bottom line score is your total CWI. “If it’s 80 or above,” says consultant Kyle Hunt, “chances are this is a good project for you. If it’s below 80, there’s some kind of concern.” If they’re great people and it’s a great project, but it’s not your forte, have a protocol in place for referring prospects to a strategic partner.
1. TRIAL RUN To test the index, answer the questions for a client you turned down in the last six months; they might score between 40 and 60. Then fill it out for a client who you felt was great; they should rate an 80 to 90. Testing the index against known quantities will show you how it works and will build confidence in the results. 2. GETTING A SENSE The designer/salesperson should call the prospect before meeting with them. The goal is to get a sense of whether you’ll get along. Remember, someone who seems unreasonable or “crazy” gets a “1,” not a “5.” Prospects who don’t want to share a lot about their project beforehand might be fishing, or it could be that they just don’t “know, like, and trust” you enough yet. 3. PROFIT OR LOSS? After the meeting, compare scores for the client against those for the project. A sweet-spot job scoring the maximum of 25 might be trumped by potential difficulties that your gut is telling you could arise with the clients. Or you might take on a less-than-perfect job for what you feel will be an ideal client. 4. DECISIONS, DECISIONS The bottom line score is your total CWI. “If it’s 80 or above,” says consultant Kyle Hunt, “chances are this is a good project for you. If it’s below 80, there’s some kind of concern.” If they’re great people and it’s a great project, but it’s not your forte, have a protocol in place for referring prospects to a strategic partner.