When a new customer walks into your fencing showroom, what is most important — making a sale or solving a problem?
We believe that customer service is the way to making more sales. Most new potential fencing customers are on a fact-finding mission. Of course, they can search your website and the Internet, but your goal is an in person discussion where you can solve their problem.
By providing them with the answers and other information they need, you can be well on your way to making a sale and perhaps landing a repeat customer and referrals as well.
Sales and customer service are not separate entities. When you follow steps to helping a customer find the best fence for their needs, you provide them with a service. That time and attention to their needs will result in a sale now and in the future.
Secret #1: Ask Questions
Find out why the person wants a fence. Is it for privacy? To keep pets or children contained? To keep intruders out? Or is it to define a property’s boundary lines? Take the time to discuss the customer’s options that fit their purpose.
Next, ask about the location of the fence. Will it be in a front yard or a backyard? Along a driveway or parking area? In the city or in a rural setting?
Ask the customer if they have obtained a bordering neighbor’s input on installing a fence. Sometimes neighbors may wish to make the fencing decision together and even share the cost of the fence. Are there property codes determining the materials used or the height of the fence? Is the new fence replacing an existing fence, or will it be the first time a fence has been built in that location?
Another important initial topic is the overall look of the fence. Are your customers looking for something traditional such as the white picket fence look, or would they prefer something more distinctive in style or color?
Determine if the customer is already “sold” on vinyl fencing or if they are considering other materials. Here are the main points to explain if they are “on the fence” about vinyl.
Secret #2: Stress Vinyl’s Benefits
Durability. NVP fences will not rust, mildew, crack, flake, corrode or curl like other fencing materials. NVP materials contain titanium dioxide (TiO2), premium-grade stabilizers and UV inhibitors that prevent ultraviolet degradation and assure minimal weathering. Vinyl fencing is stronger than wood and stands up better than wood to heavy wind, storms and other severe weather. What’s more, is that NVP fences include an industry-leading Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Environmentally friendly. Additionally, NVP is lowering the environmental impact of vinyl products by utilizing recycled fence materials where possible without any impact to the fence’s strength or weatherability. In fact, the vinyl fence can be recycled if it ever needs to be replaced. Another reason vinyl fencing is good for the environment is that our vinyl is not treated with toxic chemicals for either water-resistance or insect-resistance.
Maintenance. Explain to the new customer that once their NVP fence is installed, they never have to stain or paint it, and they do not have to worry about their fence rotting or degrading. It is easy to keep NVP fences looking great. In most cases, just spraying an NVP fence with a garden hose will remove dirt and grime. For more stubborn stains, customers can clean their fence with a mixture of mild detergent and water and a soft rag or a brush. Pressure wash equipment that you would use to clean the siding of a house will work to remove most algae, mildew or mold stains, as long as you are careful with how much pressure is used.
Beauty. One of the biggest selling features is the attractiveness of a vinyl fence. Explain to your new customer that vinyl fencing comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes. Standard NVP colors are White, Tan, Clay and Slate Grey. The Timberland Series includes Weathered Aspen, Driftwood, Dark Walnut, Coastal Cedar, Dark Sequoia, Textured Tan, Textured Clay, Textured Driftwood, and Textured Dark Sequoia. They can choose woodgrain finishes, details and textures that are hard to differentiate from their wood counterparts. NVP vinyl can even be fabricated to resemble shapes associated with wrought iron fences.
Examples. Show the customer a variety of showroom and outdoor fence samples that illustrate the different color and texture choices they have with NVP. You also might want to suggest they drive by some fences you have installed in their community. There is nothing like seeing a beautiful fence on another property to help them imagine how it will look in their own location. Another idea is to use computer software to place images of a vinyl fence into a photo of their property.
Skip the high-pressure sales pitch. Let your customers take their time in making the best decision they can for their fence.
Do your fencing customers want to be sold, or do they want to be served? How do you feel when you walk into a store yourself? Every customer wants service before making an expensive purchase. Therefore, sales result from providing that service. Asking the right questions and listening to your customers’ responses helps you know what they need and how you can best serve them.
The most successful fencing companies train their sales staff in sales and more importantly in service. Your team may be selling and installing fences, but you are not just in the fencing business. You are first and foremost in the people business. Help them find the best fence for their needs.