Restoration Sales Success Story
Looking to expand his business, a restoration client of Violand Management hired a new sales rep. The rep spent nine months diligently making route stops on agents and calling on plumbing contractors in a market where $500 to $1,000 referral commissions are not uncommon. He KNEW that the restoration company he worked for is better than most others. They are compassionate, helping those in need who aren’t always able to pay. But while there were a lot of good conversations, there was little new business. In order to help the sales rep get his message out to the community in a more effective way, the client took the initiative to have him work with Violand Business Development Advisor Tom Cline.
As a result of the concepts learned in Violand’s Sales Force Development program, the rep focused his efforts on providing valuable information to the insurance agents on whom he called. He targeted the agencies that are committed to satisfying their customers, those who get involved when claims are filed. There had been a significant issue impacting the sales rep’s market involving changes in FEMA’s subsidizing of flood insurance rates for homeowners. Without Congress taking action, insurance rates would skyrocket for a large number of people. The rep positioned himself and his company as a resource, a source of information on what the situation was, how it would impact property owners and insurance agents, and what was being done to avert the dramatic price hikes.
Agents paid attention. They thanked the sales rep for keeping them informed. He continued the strategy by providing new, valuable information on different topics every time he stopped by the agents’ offices. He told them how his company wanted to partner with them to help the agents retain their customers and be more successful.
Here’s one example of how this sales rep’s success started to snowball: a water loss was referred to him from an insurance agent he had been calling on. The first thing he did was send a small bouquet of flowers to the homeowner with the insurance agent’s business card attached and the note: “Because we care.” The homeowner called the agent’s office and thanked her for the kind gesture. In the meantime, the rep contacted the agent to let her know about the gift. He then brought the agent up to speed on the loss and the steps being taken. He provided the agent with a link to his company’s system where she had access to photos and real-time updates on the job. When the job was complete, he met with the agent to review the customer satisfaction survey results from her customer.
As a result of this experience, and the continued value that he had been providing, one of the account managers at the independent agency sent an email to all of the agents and account managers at the company’s other offices, forwarding the latest piece of information the sales rep had provided, and recommended that they send their customers to the rep’s company when they need restoration services. That note resulted in a “reply to all” response from one of the employees saying that she had used the rep’s company when she worked at a previous insurance agency and stated, “They are a great team.”
Part of the feedback from the customer satisfaction survey—and occasionally a video testimonial by the customer—is an evaluation of the insurance agent and/or insurance company, asking how easy they were to work with, how helpful they were, and so on. That feedback was posted by the sales rep on Facebook as part of his social media efforts. Result: the account manager sent an email to him after she was alerted to the kind words posted on Facebook, thanking him for the post and letting him know that she had distributed his latest information throughout her company with the recommendation that they all refer their customers to him! The note included an invitation for the sales rep to join her and her colleagues at an upcoming social event.
The concepts in Violand’s Sales Force Development program are customized to the restoration industry. They are proven to be effective because they show what works to identify the right targets, open doors, provide value to the customer, and close profitable business that leads to referrals. Sales Force Development has worked for others. It will work for you.