Avoiding 6 Key Objections

Address clients' most common remodeling concerns before they arise.

Is there a magic word that turns "No" into "Yes"? There just may be, but it requires that a contractor confront homeowners' fears head-on. If you bring up objections before they've even considered them, you can get potential clients over those molehills before they become mountains.

Closing the sale is just as stressful for a remodeler as for a customer, says Steve Johns, a former remodeler and now president of Steve Johns International, a sales-consulting company in Moore, Okla. The customer's natural inclination is to say no. The remodeler must convince the potential customers that there is no better choice to achieve their true goals.

"You have to understand the importance of the project to them and ensure they know you understand it," Johns says. He suggests asking questions such as the following:

  • What's most important about this project to you?

  • If you could change only one thing about your existing room, what would it be?

  • What do you not want to change?

  • What do you want to accomplish with this project?

"Actively selling goes against all we were taught as children," Johns says. "We're told not to ask for anything, and as adults, that's stored in the back of our minds. But unless you ask for the sale, you aren't going to get it."

Assuring customers that you understand their emotional needs as well as the project specifics helps to generate trust, which must be established for the project to succeed. The salesperson then can lead the customer through the six key areas where objections most often arise and explain why none of them should be a hindrance in this case:

  1. Your ability to deliver on promises, especially regarding scheduling.

  2. Uncertainty about product selections.

  3. Uncertainty about your installation capabilities.

  4. Warranties and long-term reliability.

  5. Service and responsiveness.

  6. Investment and long-term value of the project.

In each area, explain why your company has a solution for any concerns that may arise, Johns advises. After covering each objection, ask if the client's questions have been answered and if that concern can be removed from the list. To generate a positive response, always ask specifically, "Does this answer your question?" or, "May I remove this item from the list?"

Don't continue until you can elicit a positive reply. The list should end with the salesperson asking if there are any other concerns that would prevent the project from going forward.

"In today's world, people buy what they want, not what they need," Johns says. The remodeler's goal must be to learn what's most important in the project and how to develop a trusting relationship with the customer. That requires listening closely and reacting to concerns when they arise.

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