It does not matter how many folks visit your showroom or check out your fencing products. It does not matter how many people receive your newsletter via email or print. And it does not matter how many people see and respond to your social media posts.
Yes, all those things are useful marketing tools. But what really matters to the success of your fencing business is your close rate. If your close rate is not high, then all those other efforts are not making it to the finish line. This article offers ideas to increase this important metric.
What is a close rate?
A close rate, also called a closing ratio, measures how many leads have become customers. This percentage is the key indicator of determining the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts.
To calculate your close rate, divide your total number of closed deals by the total number of leads you had during that time. Next, multiply that number by 100 to obtain a percentage. For example, if you closed 10 deals out of the 50 leads, your close rate is 20 percent.
You can calculate your close rate for any length of time, but a period longer than three months tends to give you the most accurate results.
What is a good close rate?
There is no one-size-fits-all close rate. The right close rate percentage depends on many factors, some of which you cannot control.
According to research published by HubSpot, average close rates range between 15 and 30 percent. However, results can vary even within the same sector, depending on location, customer differences, regional variances, and other factors.
Knowing your closing ratio allows you to align your marketing and sales efforts better. You will be able to see when your efforts are working. Improving your close rate is a way to help both aspects of your business focus better on the same goal: selling more fences.
Suggestions to improve your close rate
Here are some ideas your fencing business can take to boost your close rate.
1. KNOW YOUR PRODUCT, BUT SELL YOURSELF FIRST
Your sales team should be walking encyclopedias on the pros and cons of all the types of fences you offer. They also should know the colors and styles you carry and how long it will take them to get their fence delivered and installed. And they should know the pricing options, including financing.
Equip your team with all the studies, facts, and figures they need to convince customers that your vinyl fences are the best choice for their home or business. Teach your sales team to be advocates for your product in every sense of the word.
Product knowledge is important. But there is an old saying in sales: sell yourself, then your company, then your product. Knowing your product is good, but remember that people buy from people... people they trust.
2. Become storytellers
You have probably heard about the value of storytelling in business. You may wonder how can stories sell fences? Fences solve problems, and problem-solving makes for great stories. The right stories reveal the value of your product in ways your customers can relate to and understand.
Share real customer stories of how your vinyl fences helped neighbors solve disputes or how they increased the value of their home, boosted the curb appeal of a home for sale and created a private backyard oasis. Explain the challenges a business faced with their busy street location and how their new vinyl fence solved the problem.
3. Get to know your prospects
Along with knowing your products, you need to learn more about the people who buy it. Analyze your sales data to find out who your typical customer is, including where they live and work and what challenges they face.
When you need to fill in the blanks, ask prospects relevant questions to understand their needs better. Do they have a fence now that they are replacing? What kind of fence is it? Are they new property owners? What do they already know about vinyl fences? How did they hear about your company? Ask questions. Knowledge is power.
4. Improve communication
How and when your team follows up on a lead is crucial to landing the sale. What communication channels are you using? Are they working?
Some people will ignore phone calls and voicemails, but they will respond to a text. Others will never open your email, but a colorful postcard may catch their eye. Ask them what method of communication they prefer, and be ready to contact them that way. The main thing is to not miss out on the opportunity to close a deal by staying quiet.
When it comes to following up, there is a fine line between being a professional and a nuisance. Make sure you do not cross that line.
5. Make things simple
Today’s customers seek transparency in pricing and ease in getting the product information they need.
The easier it is for your customers to get the details they want to make decisions about your vinyl fencing, the better your chances of closing the deal.
Look at your website and social media pages from a customer’s perspective. Do you have plenty of current photos? Are the photos up-to-date and of high quality? Is pricing clear? What about your contact information? Do not make them hunt for it. Remember, your competitor is only a click away.
6. Use reviews, testimonials, and referrals Customer reviews and ratings help convert leads into buyers by helping to build trust in your business. According to a 2022 survey by Dimensional Research, 90 percent of U.S. consumers said that online reviews influence their buying decision.
You need to ask for positive reviews. Even if your customer is satisfied, many will not leave a review without being asked. So, ask. Make it simple and convenient for new customers to share their reviews on your website and social media channels. Consider offering incentives for referrals.
Also, be ready to ask the difficult questions. If a prospect tells you in a follow-up call that they bought a fence from your competitor, ask what led them to that decision. The answers you get may help you improve your sales efforts in ways you had not yet considered.
7. Offer Financing Options
Some buyers can pay in full, but there is a significant percentage who will shudder at the sight of the project price. Some can only pay in affordable monthly payments. Financing makes your business more approachable and appealing. Financing increases sales. You will attract customers that you would not otherwise have reached. It also increases what customers will pay. Financing options allow your business to grow.