We all know the problem posed by internet pool leads that come without a valid phone number. Your ability to get past the "email only" stage will significantly increase the number of jobs that you are able to sell.
Why does the potential customer only want to communicate with you via email? By answering this question we will learn how to overcome this barrier to the sales process.
1. To Avoid Pushy Sales Agents - The #1 reason that we hear why prospects use email, is to avoid uncomfortable conversation with pushy sales agents.
2. For Convenience - This is why I prefer email over phone conversations. Incoming phone calls are unplanned distractions in our busy schedules. Email allows us to have a conversation on our own schedule.
3. To Self Pre-qualify - Many people simply have no idea how much a swimming pool or service costs. They may not want to get your hopes up or waste your time. The prospect is just trying to see if they can afford a pool, or what kind of pool they can afford.
Follow these tips to navigate past the "email only" stage.
(1)Solution to #1 - Never pressure the sale by requesting a phone number. Offer your number, welcome them to call you, but never say that you will only discuss matters on the phone or in person.
(2)Solution to #1 - Inject some personality, I call it typing with a smile. Using the words "I" or "We" can help you lead to wording that conveys your personality. You need to convey that you are a helpful resource, not an obnoxious sales agent.
(3)Solution to #1 - Become a helpful resource. Mention some of the factors that can dramatically affect the initial price or save money in the long run. Providing helpful tips and answers builds trust and your reputation as an expert.
(4)Solution to #2 - You can't sell a major job via email, but you can lose one. Respond promptly, and give the impression that you always have time for them by phone or email. If they are busy, and you appear to be busy too, then you're only justifying the need for "email only" discussion.
(5)Solution to #2 - Offer a short visit to survey their property. Keyword is short. Using words like appointment and consultation can be construed as, "you won't leave until you get a sale".
Saying that you can "swing by for real quick look" or "stop by for a few minutes to see the lot" is less aggressive. It can turn into an appointment, if the clients chooses, but you are just looking for the chance to introduce yourself.
(6)Solution to #3 - Never refuse online price estimates. It's likely that the buyer has contacted other builders and they will be offering estimates. If you don't, it raises fears associated with #1 and lowers the chance for future correspondence.
(7)Solution to #3 - Never give just one estimate. The best practice is to offer a likely price range. This range should include low end and high end prices based on your previously completed jobs. Accuracy in pricing at this point is probably impossible, you are just providing a ballpark figure.
Create the Perfect Response for "Email Only" Pool Leads
To save time, create an email template for first time contacts and save it in your email account or as a text document on your computer. When you receive future requests, you will only need to make minor adjustments to personalize each message.
Get help. Your reply doesn't need to be written by an English professor, but it should not be peppered with poor grammar either. If writing is not something you are good at, then ask someone for help. I have seen hundreds of email replies to prospects, and the quality of the first reply is a huge factor in whether the conversation continues.
About The Author: Stan Stephens - I'm the owner of DigTime Pools. We develop and manage complete internet marketing solutions for pool industry professionals. To learn more, connect with me on LinkedIn, or follow my blog.