Heat Up Your Sales by Asking This Question


When my wife and I bought our house back in 1997, the market was tough for buyers.  Every house, it seemed, had a frenzy of buyers competing with each other… ideal for sellers.

We were a little more careful than most, which meant that – by the time we had our act together and were ready to make a bid – the house had been sold… usually for more than the asking price.

Finally, I found a house for sale by owner.  In November.  Painted in a funky greyish-purple color.  With a steep driveway.  The interior was a study in beige.   The landscaping needed a major overhaul.

The competition was a lot lower for this house.  Plus the owners had already bought a new house and were motivated to sell.

And that’s where I live to this day.

Even before we bought, we had decided that the kitchen needed to be remodeled.   And we started talking to remodelers a few months later.

This was before I got involved in working with contractors, so I was as uninformed as most of your prospects are, and I went about looking for a contractor in the usual way.

Most of the contractors we talked to did some measuring, ask what we had in mind, and went away to put together their proposals.

One contractor, though, named Dave, asked an interesting question…

“May I ask what makes this project a priority for you now?  What triggered that?”

The obvious answer was that we had just bought the house and didn’t like the style of the kitchen, so we wanted to change it.

But I had another comment… I had discovered almost immediately that the two rooms we spent the most time in, the kitchen and the TV room, were on the dark side of the house.

The living room and dining room, where we spent little time, were bright and sunny.

Every contractor came back to us with their ideas about how we could remodel our kitchen.

Dave, though, also showed us an idea to turn the TV room into the dining room, and knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to make a sunny, open, great room.

And, it turned out, that’s exactly what we wanted.  Dave got the job.

What Dave did was to dig a little deeper than the others for the need behind the need.

What I mean is, the obvious need we had was to get proposals so that we could compare remodelers and decide upon one to work with.

By digging a bit, he uncovered something the others didn’t uncover.

Now, I’ll admit that his question didn’t yield an answer he might have been looking for.  He might have expected us to say that we hated the layout of the kitchen, or that we wanted better access to the deck out back, or whatever.

The point is that, when you ask a question intended to get to your prospects’ real reasons for having you in, you’ll often get something that will put you in a position to stand apart from your competitors.

And isn’t that what we all need to do in order to sell more?

I recommend that you commit this question to memory:  “May I ask what makes this project a priority for you now?  What triggered that?”

Ask it often.

Categories: Contractor Sales/Marketing Case Studies, Successful Contractor Sales Methods
Written by Bernie Heer

Bernie is the creator of the Construction Profit Zone System.
You can follow him at Google+

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