What better way to start off the new year getting more business and in turn making more money? You’ve done the hard part. You've started the initial conversations with your customer, reviewed your pricing and vision for the job. You've almost landed the gig and the dreaded, "I have to think about it" comes to the table. What now? How do you close the lead?

This issue of being unable to convert leads into sales on the spot is something every refinisher has dealt with at some point, from the newcomer to the master, and it is even one that we have written about before. In this past blog, we covered a variety of questions you might consider asking your customers to help them take their finger off the pause button and convert them from refinishing lead to refinishing job. But in this new era of COVID-19, this issue has become even more frustrating as there are new customer concerns to juggle on top of new operating complications. Here, we're going to add some other and more timely things you might address the next time you hear hesitations in your leads' voices:

Are there COVID-19 concerns or precautions I can address?

The pandemic has put everyone on edge and has irrevocably changed how we do business. We have   entered a new era and one in which a significant portion of the population is going to be more cautious and concerned. If you run into a lead that you can tell might be a bit put off by the process of having people in their home, then ask them directly about concerns they might have. Be proactive by having a safety plan ready to show potential clients. Be clear about who will be in the home on your team, for how long, and the precautions each person will be taking. You've always had to wear PPE to every job, so this is standard for you, express that to them.

Is it that you are unable to visualize the final product?

contractor talking to homeownerA lot of homeowners can have issues with visualizing how the final product might turn out so they keep pushing the job back or dropping it altogether. There are two things that you the refinisher can do to help prevent this type of lead loss.

First, in order to try and avoid this situation altogether, we recommend that you carry physical samples such as tiles and cabinet front doors with various coating options already applied to them. Show them these live examples in person.

Additionally, a long term solution for this is having a solid portfolio of before and after photos of all of your work. We've addressed this before in previous blogs and stressed the importance, but the more before and after photos you take of jobs, the more you will be able to accurately respond to customers' concerns of what the final product could look like. The more work you have to show, the more you will be able to show leads examples close to their own.

Your portfolio can be a traditional printed portfolio, but even better (and easier to update), is making it digital and carrying a tablet with you on jobs. If your website is up-to-date, show them that. You can also choose a platform where you can easily organize and store photos, like Google Photos or something similar. This online portfolio will make it possible for you to either reach quickly for your tablet to flip exactly to the past example you want or you can also easily send them a link.

As a summary, just remember that by addressing customers' concerns ahead of time on the job, it's showing them you're proactive and willing to work with them whatever their needs are to get the job done. Be prepared for any situation that may arise when in the sales stage of your business by using our tips for converting leads to sales.