Business sales strategy

Danni interviews Amanda Chisholm, one of the Directors at Qualitas Builders in Auckland, about sales. We discuss:

  • Hours per week dedicated to gaining enquiries

  • Daily routine to focus on sales

  • Sales activities that work - 8 top tips!

  • Managing tyre kickers - attracting the right leads

  • Sales advice for business owners

  • Marketing support for sales

  • Future steps for Qualitas Builders

  • Outsourcing tasks

Are you selling your business short?

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory

Lets talk about sales

  1. How many hours a week did you spend actively chasing enquiries during the first few years of trading? “As we were getting established, we spent several hours a week connecting with potential clients.”

  1. How did you focus your time? “We established a routine with set times daily to follow up recommendations, referrals and encourage enquiries. We didn’t wait for people to find us, we set aside time to look for prospects within our community.”

  1. In your experience, which sales activities get good leads? “We spend time across many activities implementing tactics that might give us quality leads each week, then we focus on converting them.”

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory

Amanda's 8 top tips:

  • Networking with other business owners is a powerful way to build rapport and credibility.

  • Join industry organisations and leverage from your membership regularly.

  • Let friends and family know you are launching your own business and ask them to recommend you to their own networks.

  • Share details on community Facebook groups but make sure to check the rules of the group first.

  • Have a professional design your brand and invest in strong site and vehicle signage.

  • Maildrop in each area you work in. You can always delegate by asking someone you know to put printed DL cards in letterboxes, especially if they usually walk their dog or head to the park with their kids.

  • Find a few friends who are social media warriors to help engage with your posts and respond to community posts asking for recommendations. It’s more valuable and trustworthy when a third party recommends and tags you before you respond yourself.

  • Email people with introductions.

  1. How do you manage the tyre kickers? “At first we had so many people who had small jobs, when actually we wanted large size renovations. Respond to each enquiry even when it isn’t suitable; I always recommend other trusted trades who could do the work. Especially if we are tagged on Facebook groups, people see we are helpful. Always remember today's tyre kicker could be tomorrow's referrer or a future client when they have a suitable project.”

Amanda explains what changes were made to attract the right enquiries:

  • We upgraded our website to host our own projects as case studies showing the true results of our work. This attracted people looking for the type of work we wanted.

  • Our enquiry form changed to a questionnaire that focused clearly on explaining the type of projects we were accepting.

  • We charge for detailed quotes to find out who is truly committed.

  1. What advice would you give business owners about sales? “Every business owner is a salesperson. Embrace the mindset that it’s important to spend time every week actively gaining leads. We started Qualitas in 2010, shortly after the GFC so we wanted to ensure that we future-proofed ourselves so our sales funnel could cope with a downturn in prospective clients. Now we have established a robust reputation we can be efficient with our sales activities. The years of effort have paid off and we now benefit from strong community word of mouth. I now share my knowledge and help other builders through my business, My Smart Office.”

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory
  1. What marketing supports sales effectively? “A strong brand identity, professional signage and printed materials. We update our website regularly and include relevant blog articles for SEO. We invest in professional photography of our finished work and ask for testimonials from our clients. Every business should build a customer database with automated email responses to website leads. Social media extends your reach to more people and strengthens your brand message. List on digital profiles like Houzz and Neighbourly, as well as paid networks like Archipro and update them regularly.”

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory
  1. What’s the next sales step for Qualitas Builders? “In the future, we aim to do more email marketing to reconnect with past clients, industry professionals and enquiries who were not ready to start their project.”

  1. Any final words of advice? “There is enough to do running a building project and while some sales activities need a personal approach, it’s worthwhile getting assistance for everything else. If marketing isn’t on your radar, in your skills set or you just can’t fit it in your schedule, hire help. You can’t possibly be a guru at everything and I highly recommend outsourcing to professionals for those tasks that need to be done but that can be done by someone other than yourself. We have been working with Buzz Marketing since the beginning and we can say yes to new opportunities because Danni and Michelle implement many tasks for us.”