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New HI's - Turn a sales call into training


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I just thought I would pass this on to potential HI's and newer HI's or others that just want to learn more but don't have a contact base yet.

When I got my business license, my name and contact info got added to some database somewhere and as a result I have received tons of sales calls from credit card companies, the yellow pages and contractors. I did meet and listen with one credit card guy just to learn how it works and the costs behind it but let them know my client base does not support being able to accept CC's at this time. But I did learn how it works. The yellow pages companies I just tell to go away nicely.

But I have found gold among the contractors. I just got off the phone with yet another contractor that cold called me and asked what it would take for me to refer them if I found a problem they handle. Well most people think money and or referrals back. But I do something else. I actually had this idea when drinking beer with a buddy a few weeks back joking about it. He said, dude, make them take you to about 3 sites to demonstrate their work. It's called FREE training. Since then, I have met with a roofer, a framer and now a foundation company. Each one I have turned into training. I've had two site visits with the roofer, one with the framer and I'm setting up the foundation guy now. This weekend I'm going with the framer again as he says he has a real cool house he's building and would like to show me some new things.

A lot of the things I have read about I have now experienced and was able to ask questions about so I have a far better understanding of things now. These site visits are, IMHO, an awesome way to turn book knowledge into real world experience without putting a customer at risk.

Now I'm straight forward with these people and tell them that if I do find something in an inspection I will pass on their information, but I will also pass out information for other contractors too. I have decided NOT to accept commissions as that 1)brings up ethical issues and 2)prevent me from telling my customers of the 4 roofing companies that I think are good quality. Since they are not paying me for referrals, just showing me what they can do, I haven't had a negative response yet from a contractor.

So if you need more education this is a great way to do it. I know there might be tax issues involved, but even if your still training or just thinking about opening a HI business, go ahead and get your business license now and get in that magical database. Be honest with callers, tell them your not working yet and your still setting up. Again, I haven't had any negative feedback when I say this.

I can't believe I'm going to say this but for the first time in my life I'm happy to receive cold calls.

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Sounds like a neat idea, John.

I don't think I've received one "cold call" in 9 years, though. I guess our state doesn't have that relevant database of which you mention.

Or, maybe its the real estate boom around here. It was so strong for so long, nobody in any of the related businesses needed to market at all; thus, no phone calling.

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