As green industry professionals, we operate in one of the most seasonal businesses within the home services industry. To compete at our highest level, it is imperative that we maximize time in the peak demand seasons of spring and fall. Maximizing time starts by creating sales team efficiency to connect with and provide pricing to qualified buyers. Time is money, and if we waste time with the wrong prospects there is less time with qualified buyers. As seasonal demand ends, qualified customers are not supported, and revenue for that year is lost.

If you and your sales team are not properly screening sales leads, you are immediately falling short as a company by not setting the proper expectations for the sales prospect on the other end of the line. This can cause unnecessary frustration for not only you but also for the potential customer that is inquiring about services. A great example of this happened to me when I was on the buying side of the sales process last month when I tried to do some renovations in my home. I find that when I am buying services from other contractors, I compare our company’s sales practices to the vendor’s practices. When I am the consumer, I understand what we do right as a company as well as where we need to improve.

I called the home contracting company to inquire about some interior painting and touch-up work at my home. One of the major weaknesses I encountered while asking for a quote was when I was not greeted by someone who would screen me as a qualified buyer. I should have been asked my name and all necessary contact information such as best phone number to reach the prospect and their email address, have you used this service in the past, what exactly do you need and what are your goals for the project, what is your timing and what is your budget for this project.

These may sound like basic questions but it helps the salesman understand the customer needs. By getting your sales team trained to consistently use these screening questions, it will filter out all sales leads that are not a match for your company. This saves time so that you and your team can focus on qualified leads. For example, if a prospect calls looking to have a walkway or patio installed at a price that is not compatible with company pricing parameters, don’t waste your time but suggest that the client go elsewhere. The screening of leads can be done in just a few minutes, keeping you and your sales team from wasting time on prospects that aren’t good fits for your company.

PHOTO: OLIVIER LE MOAL/ISTOCKPHOTO

Quickly screening and eliminating prospects that don’t fit your “best customer profile” will give your team more time to focus on selling to more qualified prospects. Screening sales leads takes discipline and practice, but once you become proficient with it, you will win more quality sales from qualified clients.

Let your competitors waste their time chasing the unqualified buyers while you sell to the qualified ones!

Chris Noon is the owner of Noon Turf Care and Green Light Sales Consulting. Contact him at cnoon@noonturfcare.com.