Ever get that phone call or email enquiring about your service that sounds really exciting and lucrative?
Have you then gone on and signed them up and regretted it?
The chances are you have not properly qualified them, and your decision was in haste.
It’s easy for us as business owners to get excited when new leads come into the business, of course, its why we’re here, we want to grow, we want more customers, and we want to accelerate our business forward.
Years ago, I starting getting some business coaching, as I stumbled in to my business and had no previous experience. In one of our early calls, my coach was asking me what was going on in the business. At the time I was pulling my teeth out with a really annoying client so I expressed my stresses to him. He asked what the problems where. I described the problem as the customer wanting something we can’t provide, that goes against our ethos. I actually said, “it’s not a good marriage and was destined to fail’. I was stressed, the client was frustrated, and it was going on and on.
My coach said: Can you talk me through your sales process from step 1 (once the lead is received). At the time, it was pretty basic, they would either call in, or email, and we would meet, if they were happy, we were happy, we signed them up.
Coach says: How do you qualify them, that they are a suitable client?
I did not know that was a thing, I did not really know what a sales process was. I had no previous sales training, I was a newbie, and in a whole new sphere.
I never realised people did that, so I soon learned.
Most businesses are so keen to grow, they will take on any client, because revenue is revenue rite? Wrong!
The wrong revenue can cost your business more, frustrate your staff, you, the client and it can be counter-productive.
I ask 3 questions now when filtering potential clients:
1: How did you find us? (so I can either thank or know our marketing activities are working)
2. What’s the top 3 things you don’t like about your current management?
3. What’s the top 3 things you want from a NEW managing agent?
This provides valuable insights into where the customer is, where they want to go, and assess if we are the rite type of company to provide the solution. It’s not the only question I ask, but at the initial stage, it helps me decide if I want to move forward, before I invest anymore of my time.
Sometimes I get potential customers say they want to pay less, get more, and screw down all the contractors on price. I ask if they are happy with the performance of the contractors and they say yes. I zone out, as this client is not for me. I would not be happy working with that client. I’m not criticising anyone who does, but it’s not for me.
Equally if you’re a Management company appointing an agent, don’t just waste time and ask pointless questions. Any question you ask, you have to know why you want to know the answer. Ask yourself WHY?
I often get sent the 35 questions or so which was downloaded from the leasehold advisory service, but some of the questions in my view, are pointless and irrelevant. Get clear on what you want to understand, and you will find the process of appointing becomes easier, and it help you determine which agent is the ‘Rite’ agent for your block.
And fellow agents, I must encourage you to stop taking on ‘ANY’ client. It’s a massive mistake, we have all done it, I’m not immune.
If you don’t have a clear sales process, or a filtering process, invest time to create one, so you can start taking on clients that our rite for you and your business.
Everyone wants a happy marriage, not a messy divorce!