How would a 40% or more overnight sales growth benefit your showroom? What if you didn’t have to sell ANY additional fixtures to get it?
Last week’s post was about uncommon ways to reduce shipping, and one of the points was to get clients in earlier in the build process. Not only can that reduce your freight costs dramatically (consolidating PO’s is usually the best way to hit freight-paid, and not having to rush PO’s is key) but when you’re working with homeowners, getting them in to pick lights and confirm their order earlier can lead to a big increase in sales.
Every homeowner overspends their budget. If you wait until the end of the build to pick out lights, you’ve waited until the budget is all but gone. How many times have you had a homeowner come in and pick out a nice order, only to come back a few weeks later to cut the order down because they needed to save budget?
When it comes to order size, our biggest competitor is not the lighting store down the street. It’s the cabinet people, and the flooring company and the window people etc. because that’s who will drain the budget before we confirm the lighting order… if we let them.
Here are two ways to get homeowners in sooner and capture more of that budget (Note: at Hansen Lighting we increased our average order size by 43% by getting people in sooner and getting orders confirmed faster):
- TRACK BUILDING PERMITS
There is a service called the “Construction Monitor” that we use to pull information on all of the building permits in our service area. It’s a service available in many areas throughout N. America. Each week a report comes out with all of the new building permits and we scan to find any pulled by our existing accounts.
Put those permits into a tracking program (use a free CRM like Hubspot or just use Google Calendar which is also free) to schedule a reminder to call that account at the end of the next month and ask for homeowner information etc. on the full list of new permits pulled so that we can stay on the ball and do the walk-through early plus get lights picked out and ordered in plenty of time to avoid construction delays.
Contractors love proactive “consider it done” service because it’s one less thing they need to worry about.
We do it for more than just great service, though. We want more of the budget! Getting customers in earlier lets them overspend with us before everyone else. If possible, work to get a walk-through done before insulation starts going in but after rough electrical so it’s less likely to miss electrical boxes that were “buried” by insulation and Sheetrock.
- MONTHLY CHECK-IN CALLS
If the Construction Monitor (or similar) isn’t available in your area, consider setting up a reminder to call each of your key accounts once per month to get information on all new upcoming projects. Many times the best bet is to make “friends” with a receptionist who is happy to give you that information and you don’t need to bother project managers, etc. to get it.
Being proactive like this (consistently) makes it much tougher for competitors to steal your accounts away, and you’ll start seeing larger orders because you’re at the front of the budget meal-line!
Jason Petersen owns Hansen Lighting Inc. a lighting company with multiple showrooms in Utah.
Jason acquired Hansen Lighting out of near-bankruptcy in 2004 and turned the company around by implementing outside-the-box systems and ideas. The company is now one of the fastest growing companies in America (#3087 on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list) and has been recognized as one of the most profitable privately-owned retailers in North America.
Jason is also the co-founder of XOLogic and Lit Living Inc.