I often tell our clients that small changes add up to big results. Here’s a great example. Mainstreet Design Build is a full-line remodeling company in Birmingham, Mich. President Steve Ramaekers, his wife, Christine, and the rest of his team run a great business. They’ve won awards, been recognized in the community, and build fantastic projects.

They are always finding ways to improve. When they saw that lead handling was a problem, they took action.

The original process went like this: A call came in, anyone available answered the phone and asked a few basic questions. That person filled out a simple lead sheet and dropped it in a box for Steve.

The problem

  • Steve has many responsibilities, in addition to being the main salesperson. It was sometimes days before he could return the call. Since hot leads cool as time goes by, prospects often had lost interest or hired another company by the time they heard back from Mainstreet Design Build.
  • Information gathered was too basic. It was unclear whether the lead was a good fit.

The Solution

  • First, office manager Kim McDevitt tried to organize the system by creating a binder and reminding Steve about what was due. “That helped a bit, but not enough,” she says.
  • Then Steve, who uses the Sandler Sales System, trained McDevitt to handle more of the first client contact process. She began by listening to the Sandler CDs to learn that approach, and then listened and took notes while Steve handled calls. Next she began taking incoming calls, gathering information, and letting the prospect know that Steve would get back to them the following day.
  • Steve and McDevitt would discuss the project to decide if it was a good fit. McDevitt handled all the follow-up.
  • They added technology into the mix by modifying their lead sheet to correspond with their database, Sage ACT. This captures all the information and is trackable.

Now McDevitt independently handles all the lead intake, making decisions about whether the proposed project is qualified. This allows Steve to run the business and use his selling efforts on the best projects, plus clients have a better experience because they’re not waiting for a response.

—Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage, an organization dedicated to helping remodelers build high-performance, profitable businesses, and home of the industry’s largest peer organization, Remodelers Advantage Roundtables.