• Duane C. Barney

Remodeling Sales in the age of COVID

Let’s begin by getting a few things out of the way

1. People buy from people

2. You compete on price because you allow price to be the deciding factor

3. Sales calls are meant to produce a sale.

What is the essential sales step you can be doing? Right now, it is item one people buy from people they know and trust; this is especially true in remodeling. They are scared; they are hiring someone to work on their home, their most significant asset, where they live and raise their family. It is personal and expensive. Now is the time to act, connect with your people, you have time.

People Buy from People

1. Go thought every resource you have and collect the email address of past and current clients. Look in your accounting system, Facebook, old emails. Find them.

2. Send an email, but do not sell anything!

a. Catchy title – The subject line has to be attention-grabbing

b. Body – Something simple and, if possible relevant to your relationship. I.E., Ron, I want to drop you a note since we have not spoken since I ran into you at your son’s soccer game……

c. Let them know you are available if you can be of any help.

That is it; make the connection; if they reply in any way, make sure you do the same and keep the conversation going. Repeat this monthly; eventually, a CRM will be needed to speed thing up, but it is great to start here. People to People.

Sales based on Price

1. The only reason that a deal comes down to a price is that you allow it to go there. You are providing a service, assembling thousands of part to create a product, focus on what that is and make a list of two or three things you do that is different from your competitors

2. The price of the job is absolutely no more than the client is willing to pay, that is it no more, and so the cost of the job is up to them and their scope of work. Have a phrase in your repertoire to address this, such as: ‘None of my projects has cost more than my clients were willing to spend.’ Find your own phrase so it is natural, and follow up with how much were you thinking of spending? This is a negotiation of sorts, so let them open with a number. Either way, the next step is to use your experience and give them a range: $20k-$40K.

3. Two things here, THIS IS THEIR FREE ESTIMATE I can’t emphasize that enough. Second, they will hear $20k, period so never give a low number that can’t be achieved in some way.


1. This is my biggest personal failure, I neglect to walk away with a sale, I walk away with an estimate to work on with no deal, be prepared to leave with a check and a commitment.

2. You provided the free estimate, item 3. Above, so if they would like you to prepare a detailed cost analysis, the commitment is $_____. You can offer a % back if they sign up, you decide. It is your objective to walk away with a commitment.

As a business, you provide two services no one else can, Construction pricing and Construction services, do not work for free. The industry does not permit you enough mark-up to work for free; retail shops mark up enough to cover their showroom and inventory. Preparing a detailed estimate can cost $1,000 or more, if you do this 20x a year and have money to throw around then just send me the check and you will have more free time.

Finally, learn to use video. Zoom works excellent; it is free and cuts you off at 40 min. Perfect, a deadline. If you are working on sales now and for the short future, you will need to sell without going to their house. If you do this, you will have a considerable advantage over everyone who cannot, which is most of your competition. A few steps to consider:

1. Ask them for as much information as they can provide:

a. Plans

b. Video of the approach and working area in the house

c. Mechanicals

d. Budget

Think about everything you want to see when you went to homes in the old days. Make them part of the process. Have a list ready and send it over, so they call do their homework and send it all back to you a day before the scheduled video call.

2. Schedule the call after adequate time to review and prepare a list of any questions you have.

a. Engage them in conversation as to why they want to do this project. Let them talk! If you have a question or they pause, repeat the last three words they said, they will start talking again. You want them to speak and feel the project and feel your interest.

b. Be prepared with a few questions and the few things that make you stand out from your competitors. Keep it short; this is not sales; it is gather, and provide information. The FREE estimate should be provided at some point; see #3 price.

c. The objective is not to sell but to allow them the opportunity to purchase your services. You are not selling a kitchen or addition; you are providing construction services to create these things. Ask them, “Do you think this is something we could help you with” if yes, then explain the pricing process the fee for pricing and request their signature and credit card payment. ( be prepared to take payment) Say little else at this point, no matter how hard it is not to talk. Let it be there; it is their decision, not yours. If they say no, then thank them for the opportunity, etc., etc. If they do not respect your time to prepare a price, then they don’t respect any of the services you are providing.

Practice, practice, practice: this has to flow and be natural and be presented with confidence. You are confident in your ability to perform the work, so this is the time to display that confidence. Practice on video with your spouse or a friend; think about it; if you can sell via video, you could do this all day long in person, and in the long run, you may only do it this way.

The most significant benefit is you will now have a sales process that can be tweaked to perfection, and when the time comes, you will have a sales process in place for your first salesman.

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