Six years ago, Gary Delia discovered the ideal conditions to grow a business in Florida. Homes in this fast-growing state are bombarded with violent storms but often lack windows that meet code. Insurance companies offer rebates up to 50% for those who upgrade. But many window companies don’t cater to this audience because of the stringent requirements to be storm-safe. “So we have a great market potential with a limited playing field,” says Delia, the company’s president and CEO.
Using insurance rebates and government upgrade incentive programs such as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to help close deals, Delia has parlayed that potential into one of the largest window and door retrofitting companies in Florida. He has even secured an exclusive manufacturer product that has earned awards from the Energy Department and the National Crime Prevention Council. “Those are two credentials you just can’t pay for,” Delia says.
But the real secret to his success is the massive number of inquiries and leads the company generates. Delia uses the old-fashioned technique of door-to-door canvassing with a modern spin that relies on an app called SalesRabbit. Developed for political campaigns, the app uses geo-location, demographics, and analytics to amp up face-to-face sales. Incentivized customer referrals keep lead generation localized and further save on marketing costs.
“Instead of going for a lead in the next town, we’re going on an appointment in the same area,” Delia says. “We’re getting jobs on the same block, which was really never done before.”
But getting the leads wouldn’t matter unless Delia “trained the heck” out of his salespeople to convert them into customers. That means, for instance, the salespeople understand the home inspection process well enough to explain it to their customers, even going so far as to get certified as energy auditors.
Customer service doesn’t end after the sale, either. “Parts wear out and things happen,” Delia says. “Every time we get a service call, I believe that’s an opportunity to remind [people] why they chose us.”