Closing in the home - Why it works.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Strike while the iron is hot.” The idea that retailers should seize available opportunities is most apparent during the in-home stage of the sell. Picture this. Your associate is in the home of the customer, showing samples and discussing the benefits of the product. It is at this stage that the customer is most convinced the product will work in their environment, and closing at this time seems like a no-brainer.

But, you may ask, “What about the price quote? How do we provide accurate quotes when measuring is such an art?” Granted, measuring complex projects like intricate bathrooms, kitchens or backsplashes can be quite involved and I always advise associates to approach these projects with great care. However, standard projects using common products such as carpet and tile can be measured effectively and quoted immediately to generate on-the-spot closings. Simply take length by width and multiply by 110%. It’s a system that has worked well for many shop-at-home companies and can work for you, too.

So, what are the benefits of on-the-spot closings? For starters, you provide the customer with immediate service and close the sale before they change their mind or shop around for what they perceive to be a “better deal.” Closing the sale when the customer is most excited about the project seizes the momentum and keeps the process moving forward.

And, of course, the financial benefits speak for themselves. We conducted a three-year survey with several hundred flooring retailers and found that in-home closings using this technique generated the following:

  • $398,966 more in annual sales
  • $182 higher average ticket
  • Owners earning $13,856 more in annual wages
  • Close rates at 62%

Sure, you may be nervous about having your sales associates close in the home. And yes, mistakes will be made. The interesting point is that though gross profits were nearly one point lower in our survey group, the net income was actually 0.63% greater, meaning the benefits far outweigh the negatives. And, I am confident, that with enough practice and experience, your sales associates will get better at measuring and providing quotes in the home. In fact, technology has come a long way in the last decade. Many successful companies are using laser devices coupled with the latest measuring and estimating software to provide the most accurate in-home quotes possible. One of my favorites, the Leica DISTO laser, is touted to be accurate to 1/16 of an inch. And at less than $150, it can pay for itself in just one sale. Using a Bluetooth enabled laser with measuring software such as RFMS Measure or FloorRight by Pacific Solutions enables you to measure and draw-to-scale, resulting in immediate and accurate estimates right then and there.

Providing in-home quotes and closing the sale at the moment when the customer is most invested in the process is a win-win for everyone. Not only will you experience an increase in sales volume, your customers will perceive your company as incredibly responsive and dedicated to superior service. Plus, let’s face it…lasers are really, really fun.

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