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Episode 81: Sales Strategies for Contractors with Mike Claudio

Are you struggling with wasting time on the wrong prospects? You're not alone. In this episode, Mike Claudio of WinRate Consulting gives us his best sales tips and strategies he's developed throughout his career.

What's Your Next Step in Sales?

Putting your best foot forward and taking the reins in the sales process is critical towards retaining clients and making sure their every need is met. Mike's pro tips to establish a healthy and transparent relationship is one of his many suggested methods for creating more sales opportunities for your business. "Don't be afraid to be transparent and vulnerable," he says.

Learn all about it here on Builder Funnel Radio.

 

 

  • 0:40 Episode overview
  • 3:57 Common mistakes in the sales world
  • 7:33 Elevating your chances of closing a deal
  • 12:39 Following up with your leads
  • 15:21 Transparency and loyalty to clients
  • 19:50 Builder Funnel Academy is open for enrollment
  • 21:52 Navigating through objections with leads
  • 30:43 Creating a meaningful message
  • 33:29 "Never a quick seven grand"
  • 34:37 How to connect with Mike
  • 35:38 Fast Five
  • 38:05 Spencer's takeaways

 

Resources

Schedule a Free Demo with Spencer
 

 

Full Episode Transcription

Note: this podcast was transcribed automatically and may contain minor grammatical errors and missed words.

 

Spencer Powell 0:08
Welcome to Builder Funnel radio here you'll learn about how to grow your homebuilding remodeling or contracting business. If you're not growing, you're moving backwards. So we want you to always be in growth mode. This podcast has really turned into a movement and community of people who want to grow personally and professionally. Here we bring you some of the best marketing sales and business minds in the industry so you can elevate your business.

Alright, let's dive into the show.

Hey guys, welcome back to Builder Funnel radio. This is Episode 81. And in this episode I bring on Mike Claudio to have a conversation about sales. Now Mike runs a consulting business WinRate Consulting and he and I connected a little ways back and got to talk in and he brings some really fresh ideas and some great strategies, things that we haven't heard here in the past from other guests that have talked about the sales topics. So I think you'll really enjoy this episode again, this is Episode 81. with Mike, Claudio.

Hey, Mike, glad to have you on the show today.

Mike Claudio 1:14
Appreciate it, man excited to be here.

Spencer Powell 1:16
Yeah, I'm excited to because we're going to dive into sales, which is always an exciting topic. And as they say, you know, nothing happens until something gets sold. So but yeah, before we get too deep in the weeds, maybe for our audience, they may or may not know of you yet, you know, how did you get into the construction world? And then now that you're helping people on the sales front, like why did you decide to stay in the industry?

Mike Claudio 1:42
Yeah, so I guess very long story short, I was Microsoft in corporate America and I kind of did all types of sales environments from retail to retail management and b2b world. A really good friend of mine was a remodeler in the Charlotte market where I live and was struggling to kind of scale his business. He had real estate from DC, it was like just didn't know what to do next. I was like, I have sales. I know how to go find people. But I don't know anything about the industry outside of when I was in the b2b world, I support the construction vertical. So I sold to construction company. So I understood a little bit about the business and how it's run and that sort of thing. But as far as like, selling remodels, as everybody knows, I mean, there's 1000 different variables. And I was like, I don't know if I can do this, but I believe I can and he was struggling enough. And I was done with corporate America. So I transitioned. Like, 2013 I transitioned to his business, and that's kind of where it started. So he was a small scale remodeler addition guy. When I joined them, he was doing a couple hundred K a year in business and then when I left he was doing a couple million and did the same thing for another business helped them scale at a similar rate. And in that process, people were just like Mike how, what should I do? Like they're kind of seeing the success and asking a lot of questions and I was like, really enjoying the coaching Leadership side of it. And you know, I had been in sales for sales leadership for most 15 years. And it just kind of like, I was like, this seems like a good transition for me. Like, I enjoy the coaching, I enjoy helping businesses. And I really fell in love with the industry and the stories and the people. And that's kind of why I stayed because when I made the last transition to I was vice president of a roofing company, I had some opportunity to go back to corporate America where I spent the majority of my life like I love the story, the family, the people in this industry. And there's a lot of phenomenal operators, who just don't know how to go out and business develop and sales and close deals and follow up and market themselves. And it's like, I have every bit of that, that I can teach people. Because I don't like seeing really good people like good people and the people who are good at their jobs fail is they just don't know how to go out and find clients. And so that's kind of why I fell in love with and then stayed within this industry.

Spencer Powell 3:57
Yeah, yeah, that's awesome. And you do see that In the this industry is just a lot of people that are so good at their craft and you know, that's, you know, and then they can they start getting some referrals. And then that's how the business grows. And then suddenly they're in management and sales and leadership and they're gone. Oh, you know, and that's new territory. So I guess diving into the sales world, just what are you seeing in terms of common mistakes that people are making, you know, when they're transitioning into that having to put their sales hat on a lot more often, you know, then maybe they're comfortable doing

Mike Claudio 4:31
at a high level, because there's a lot of tactical things within the process that I see consistent, but I would say the biggest thing is just a lack of a consistent experience. You know, and the reason that's so important is having a consistent client and a consistent sales process is when one neighbor refers you to the other neighbor, they have a certain expectation that's being set because you might have been slow, right? So you ever give that first client all your attention, and then well, you got referred to six months later, we're not slow anymore. Now the new person doesn't get The same intention, or the same process, and the experience expectations are set, right? Because the neighbors like you gotta call Mike man he's got he's got it figured out, he did this, this, this and this and the neighbors like, that's what we want and then you don't deliver on that. Well, not only do you potentially lose that opportunity new person will die, that person who loved you isn't going to be comfortable referring you anymore because they don't know which version of you they're referring out. And I think at a high level, like a big picture is you want to have a consistent experience on how you manage somebody through the process or what the steps in the process look like. Because it cannot be an emotional thing I see a lot of contractors make estimating decisions and marketing decisions and sales decisions on how they feel that day. Yeah, and that might get you to a million dollars in revenue. But it's not going to keep you there and it's obviously not going to get you further than that. So it's got to be structured and accountability, focus and expectation, especially as you're hiring potentially a sales staff. They're not gotta know what's up here. What's between your ears, right? And a lot of people always say, like, I know what to do there. Yeah. But did they know how you want them to do? They're right? Like, no, it's up here. Right? Well, that's the between the ears coach and a business owner is one of the biggest hurdles I see. Cuz they don't have a documented process on why their decision tree or how they make decisions is made. And you got to get a consistent process built out. Because if you don't, it's going to be very difficult for your referral partners and previous clients to really just have faith and have trust in referring you out.

Spencer Powell 6:31
Yeah, yeah, I think that's, that's key. And it's interesting, too, because as you document the process, you start and you have to teach it, you actually get better yourself too, because you have to think through all those steps and use the guide. Why was I doing that? Or Yeah, you see some gaps, or why did I stop doing

Mike Claudio 6:47
that? That's a really big one here. I would say 80% of what I teach isn't something that my clients haven't heard before, but usually didn't appreciate the importance of it or didn't realize they had stopped doing it. And then That's where you really get the gaps, right is like, I did that or I used to do that and they look at like, like their sales guy or some of the room, I'll be in these newsletters. And they're like, why did we stop doing that? I don't know. Great. Well, let's get that going again. Right,

Spencer Powell 7:12
or that back up again.

Mike Claudio 7:14
Yeah, those little things, man, it's there isn't one major, major thing that I think makes a massive tick up I think it's little things done well consistently. That really is a differentiating factor specifically in the selling a homeowner world because, man, that's a tough that's just a whole different beast.

Spencer Powell 7:33
Yeah, yeah. Well, let's maybe dive into a couple of little things. Let's just use an example. Let's say you made it into the home you've got that like first appointment. Are there a couple of things in that that conversation that you found really elevate your chances of, you know, eventually closing the deal or depending on the size of the project closing the deal right then and there?

Mike Claudio 7:56
Yeah, so I guess I want to be fair to your audience like I've never been away. Call clothes guide when I was at the roofing company, I was in the consultative ama put my best foot forward, you're gonna make your decision, your timeframe. So I don't want to be fair to the audience, like, I've never been a big one call close guy, but some best practices there are for sure. So the first thing when you walk into the house is really kicking off the meeting, both in a positive and authoritative way. And everybody's a little different on that some people are very, you know, I don't wanna say insecure but very introverted, and they're not good at speaking with people. But a really easy way to start the meeting, is to ask a question, give a compliment, and then set an agenda for that meeting. And I think we've all been there where you walk in and you're just like, okay, let's, let's see what you got going on here. Then 45 minutes talking about something completely unrelated. And you're sitting there just waiting for them to get to the point. What that does is it makes the client like they have to control the conversation. And guess what happens? They're never gonna let go especially They want, they're going to hire you. And they're going to try and control every decision and control when and when you are there when you're not there when they feel like paying when they don't feel like paying. And is that an exaggerated example, but it's real. And so I think when you start off that, specifically that first meeting, they're meeting you in person for the first time, something simple like, Man, this weather is great, isn't it and has a really great picture your family, when was that taken? And like getting to talk about themselves for a few minutes. And then like letting them know that like, there's a hard stop to the meeting you don't have all day and how you're going to walk them through that meeting. I'm not saying it's been 30 minutes describing your process, but something simple on lines of like, Hey, I do have a hard stop in 45 minutes so I can get to my next meeting. What today's gonna look like is I'm gonna walk you around the space and understand your priorities. I'm gonna take some measurements and some pictures, and then we'll reconvene at the end of discussing next steps in price and decision timelines. Great. Do you have any questions with that? Big Big thing here is always getting their permission on what the agenda you announced is we're going to talk about Talk about permission based selling a lot in the process. But that's a really strong way to start the meeting. Because it redirects their mindset to there is a hard stop to the meeting. So it gets them into their mode of, Okay, he's here for a reason. And then gives them an opportunity to understand your process before you get into it and express any concerns or changes they want to see. And then allows you to really hold them accountable to that agenda. Because we've all been there where that client will spend 30 minutes talking about that last contract, or that last project or their kids teacher, and you're like, this does not bring any value to my process and accomplishing the goal here. You do want to create some person ability and report you can do that with giving a compliment and asking the question, but then you got to like redirect them back to there's a purpose that you're there. It's a really great way to start a meeting.

Spencer Powell 10:49
Yeah, I think that's good advice. And I mean, most people, you know, they just, they don't know the process. So just that simple agenda, like you said, can just add so much like comfort to them to just go Oh, Okay, great, this is how it works. We're gonna do these three things in this meeting. I know what the timeframe is. Okay, now I feel better about this whole situation, and it just elevates your credibility. I think those are really good tactical things.

Mike Claudio 11:12
Because they're here, right? Yeah. Typically, I mean, there's, there's a certain, you know, historic and current image that they should be scared, which I don't always agree with, but it doesn't change the fact that's reality. But on the other side is, is they might have the wrong expectations. And they're likely that they'll be waiting for you to do that thing they're expecting you to do and you had no intention of doing anything that they weren't expecting. But you wouldn't know that without setting that agenda at the beginning. They will, aren't you gonna want to do this? Or Aren't you going to look at that, and then you can either redirect their expectations. And again, this puts you in an authoritative role of, I hired a professional, he's here for a reason. I need to listen to him because that you can hold on to that for the whole transaction. Maybe you just you are running a much more efficient way. soiled machine of a business then being incredibly reactive to your environment, which I noticed, I know you've seen with your clients I know I've seen with mine and with the businesses I've worked for, and it just makes so much better from a experience perspective.

Spencer Powell 12:15
Yeah, yeah, I agree. And you mentioned that you're not really a one call clothes or one meeting clothes kind of guy. And I would say probably most of our audiences not either, you know, a lot of them are design build. So there's, you know, multiple layers to the sales process that your

Mike Claudio 12:28
clients want the permission to make the decisions in their timeline on there, for sure. You know, with their own little nuances to their process and timelines, all other stuff.

Spencer Powell 12:39
Yeah. So that that leads us into, you know, follow up. And I guess I'm curious, you know, I don't know if you have data on this or just intuition, but, you know, how many opportunities do you think are lost from just a lack of follow up? And I see you posting a lot on Instagram about kind of like follow up Friday, and I think it's awesome because You tend to do this one meeting and you're like, great, they'll just get back to me whenever it's like, No, probably not.

Mike Claudio 13:07
So I look back at one point, because this question came up a lot and kind of before I got into the actual coaching consulting world, and I equated 42% of my sales over a two year period directly to follow. What I've closed them anyway, I don't know. Sure. I know for a fact, every one of those happened post a follow up. And we're talking about in that course of two years, I had $4.5 million dollars in sales. You're talking about $2 million in close business that I equated directly to follow up processes. So what I've closed some of those likely when I close all of them, absolutely not. So I don't have a strict number to that. But I do know for a fact that 85% of sales happen within the fifth to seventh touch. So like that is an industry that's not me that is an industry standard. And almost all of my sales practices and teachings and curriculum around a multi touch approach, and follow up is one or two of those touches and it's going to take five to seven. So the follow ups the easy one, the other ones are harder, right getting in front of them on social media, finding that referral partner getting through the gatekeeper. Those are the tough ones. The easy ones once you've already met with them, you have those follow up opportunities and you know, follow Friday is a big thing. I made it a big thing for my Instagram from pretty much the day I started it because it's funny, though, because all people follow me like Hey, Mike, it's Friday, you reminded me to follow up. So here's your follow up. like should I wasn't ready to make that decision. Yeah, for sure. But, but follow up is, I think, probably one of the largest things I've seen within the industry that doesn't happen consistently. So we talked about earlier like one of the biggest things I think follow up mostly because the guys don't have the time. Yeah, you do. Right. It's a lot of those I sent him a proposal. They're gonna hire me if they want. No, that's not that's not how people operate. That's not how it works because people get distracted. even look at AWS people lose information like I can't tell you how many times I follow up and they're like, Thank God you called. I couldn't find your card anywhere. Yeah, which

Spencer Powell 15:18
is wild. Right? But I mean, it happens it happens.

Mike Claudio 15:21
Yeah, it happened enough for me to care enough to follow up every week with every open opportunity. Yeah, and I and a big part of that is is you know, the common misconception is we don't want to bug them I don't want to be overbearing, I don't want to be pushy. The easiest way to avoid that and I posted a video about it this week is simply ask for permission before ending the meeting. I have this rule with every employee I've had every business owner I've had, every every person I've coached I have this rule. You are not allowed to end any conversation in business without a defined next step in day. So define next episode deadline, we'll call it because every conversation has some sort of follow up to it, whether it's a Hey, I'll call you in six months. Like every Congress sales is so much about timing. Sales is so much about the immediate needs specifically in this industry. If you're in the smaller, you know, restoration handyman world, it's extremely who do I remember when I have the problem? A little less on the design bill, because it's larger decision process, but in that reactive world, who am I remember? And so I have a strict rule, you are not allowed to enter conversation without a defined next step in depth. And what that looks like in the tactical world in the meeting is you end that meeting with Hey, I'm going to take this next step. And if I don't hear back from you, I'm going to call you or email you on this day. Does that work for you? That's the key does that work for you? And now that they've given you permission, this gives this is two things. It avoids the anxiety of do they want to hear from me cuz they've already told you they do and allows you to defer Enjoy yourself by accomplishing the task in the identify a time. Look, as we all see this industry like you are winning right now as a contractor if you're answering the phone. Yeah, the bar is low for sure the bar is low, but then, okay, so do you want to beat the worst? Or do you want to beat the best in the market with the best in the markets also answering the phone, but they might be going out and their salesperson may not be sending back the proposal on time? Well, if you set those expectations and those next steps with the deadline, not only are you helping guide the client through your sales process, which does need to have some sort of structure to it, but then you're also wowing them with how attentive to detail and how on time you are, and they begin to grow trust with you, which allows you to manage their expectations and the process of the actual production of the project differently. Because if they had a follow up with you about pay, When am I going to get that proposal? What happens when like The painter doesn't show up that day or the countertops are delayed, they're not gonna believe you. They're gonna think that you just don't you're not a good steward of your time and you're not organized. But when you show that organization, you show that you're appreciative of their time by asking for their permission to do so. And if they say no, okay, when would you like me to follow up? Hey, Monday will be better. Don't call me Friday got beanies all day. Call me Monday. Now. They're saying like, man, Mike appreciate. Mike sees me for what I'm going through. And he actually delivered on what he said he was going to do. Just simple phone call this I'm not sending them a gold nugget. Right, but they feel taken care of differently strictly by you setting the next step with a deadline. Yeah, and I think that's a huge best practice that's so easy to implement. And literally, it's something that no one can get upset with you about. But there's so many things about business development sales where sometimes you have to be a little strong fisted. Sometimes you have to be a little pushy. This is one of those things where you used to be an awesome person and just be a good steward of your business. Say, Hey, I'm gonna follow up with you next Friday. Does that work for you? And they say, yes, you have no problem following up, they should be expecting.

Spencer Powell 19:06
Yeah, yeah. I love that. And it just reminded me too, as you're talking just the consistency and you said, you know, you start to build this trust. And I think part of it is because you outline, hey, this is what I said I was going to do you agreed to it. And then I actually did it on the timeline that we both agreed to. But we were at a keynote in Boston at the inbound conference, I forget the the keynote speaker, but I think there's some science behind it. They're talking about how you earn trust. And consistency was one of those top things and so even if you're just following up consistently, people can see like, wow, this person's really on the ball. They're really on top of things. And especially like you said, Nobody else is doing it and so you're always top of mind.

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Let's dive into this a little bit deeper. So you you make that agreement, you follow up the one time and maybe no response or they're like, oh, not, you know, not ready to take the next step or not ready to make the decision. How do you follow up on a consistent basis without it just being? Hey, I'm just checking in and kind of just that vague, blah, follow up. How do you follow up with valid with a purpose, but also not being pushy.

Mike Claudio 21:03
So in that first follow up, so you've sent the proposal, right, and you have that additional follow up schedule, and you call them and we're not ready to make a decision yet. I always ask, Well, what will it take for you to be comfortable hiring me? And they're going to give you one of probably two or three answers, right? More time or information, less money. I have these other quotes coming in whatever right? So now you're understanding where they're at in their decision process. And then I would just say at that point, when would you like me to follow up with you again? And then you now you know exactly what they're feeling that they need? And when they want you to fall off? So the fall be Hey, were you able to get those other quotes that you said you were gonna get? Oh, man, that's a shame they didn't deliver on that. I'm here delivering again on what I said I was gonna do you don't say it that way. But that sure.

Spencer Powell 21:50
Yeah. No, no, that's great.

Mike Claudio 21:52
So if they're not giving you a decision, like Hey, thank you for calling up. We have we're not through with our decision making process yet. Great. What else needs to happen? In for you to be comfortable hiring me. And you can even say something along the lines of and the first meeting, if I'm able to deliver on this, are you prepared to hire me? Because if I can deliver on the timeline, within the timeframe within the budget, what's stopping you from hiring me? And it might be a relationship, hey, my wife's boss, his brother's got a business and we really, it'd be tough for us not hire them, but we're getting some competitive bids. That gives you some a lot of information to write, how much time should you put into that estimate? Or if you're kicking tires, trying to get a secondary, but I can give you that right now. Like, I need your range right now to accomplish that for you. I don't spend five hours on it. So but during that first follow up, right, so you ask the question, what needs to happen between now and your decision for you to feel comfortable hiring me. Now you understand? You can set the next day and then you're following up on did that action item happen? And if so, where are you in the process? Yeah, yeah. If they don't, if they don't answer right they ghost you this happens a lot. I am incredibly firm believer that if you follow the process and I was taught I teach a very specific curriculum. So I say if you follow my process could cater to your industry. But if you follow a process and you've delivered what you said you would on time, you've earned the right for an answer. And depending on the feel you got from them, the personality type how well you know them, you can push that differently at that point. But I would fall every week until I got an answer. And by on this six week, it's always I've always done this. It's six follow ups. I don't know why I came up with that number, but that's the number I use. But the six week is always pay. I don't care if you went another direction or you're not moving forward with the project. I'm going to keep following up until I get an answer. So if you're not interested, let me know if I can take you off my follow up list. And this is worth two Say Mike I'm so sorry. This is their this my dad this my mom this, we're still interested just give us a little more time because they don't want to lose you right because here's another like, I don't theory that I have. And I think it's true but I don't have any stats around but I believe there are significantly more good clients then good contractors to support them. So a client like that, who sees the value in you and something happens in their life that pulls them away from the decision process of the project you're working on. They don't want to lose you as a contractor either because they've heard the horror stories or the good things about you and why they need to hire you. So I think if you look if you should bet and show up late don't do the proposal on time. I'm not surprised you're getting ghosted, like but if you've done Are you showed up to the meeting on time you professional, you built rapport, you ask good questions, you manage their expectations, you set proper next steps and you delivered. You've earned the right for an answer yes or no. And I think I will drag that It Out forever.

Spencer Powell 25:01
Yeah, no, I love that. And I, it's interesting you use that on the sixth email. I don't I don't have a specific number, but I use a similar email just in the

Mike Claudio 25:12
break up email. Yeah.

Well, because if you don't want anywhere we just spinning our wheels.

Spencer Powell 25:16
Totally. Yeah. And mine is similar, but it just goes along the lines of you know, hey, you know, I haven't heard from you in a while. So that makes me think one of the few things you know, one, either you just been busy, too. You just don't like me or three, you fallen and you can't get up and I should call for help. And you know, it's kind of cheesy, but, But to your point like that gets a response. You're like, Oh, I'm so sorry. Like, I have just been busy and it gives them like, you almost give them the excuse, and then they can accept it and that just feels better.

Mike Claudio 25:45
In here. Here's where I'm at to is that until they give me a decision. It doesn't hurt me to keep following up. Totally. Yeah, like it can't get worse than being ghosted. Like I'm not gonna report you to the police and saying I'm filing a restraining order on a salesperson for following up too much. Yeah, I don't go knocking on their door in the middle of the night. But like, you know, a follow up phone call text message or email. Why not? In my opinion, like not only do I think I deserve it, I have nothing to lose. Because we have a no, you have a Yes, in my opinion. Yeah. And there's no reason to not continue to differentiate yourself throughout that process. I will say though, I like the email that you just outlined. I have gotten in trouble by making assumptions like that. Sure. If it is something serious, like you're gonna rub them the wrong way. So I don't hate your email.

Spencer Powell 26:31
Yeah, that's okay. You know,

Mike Claudio 26:33
yeah, I think that would be is I don't like making too many assumptions like that. Because, like, if you email me like, Hey, Mike, I guess you've been busy. Like, my dog just died. Like, this motherfucker is not seeing. Sorry. Yeah, for sure. You're not seeing me, right? You're not understanding my pains or my problems or my issues. And now I'm kind of turned off by you. So I try to not make assumptions about what's going on. I'm just gonna tell them what I have control over and you're gonna keep hearing from me. It's like get an answer.

Spencer Powell 26:58
Yeah. Yeah, I've made. I've been fortunate that I haven't gotten one back yet.

Mike Claudio 27:04
So I learned that one the hard way I everything that I that I've implemented is a best practice or a curriculum point is something I learned that either made my job easier for me better, better closing rates or avoided confrontation. Yeah. And yeah, that

Spencer Powell 27:21
comes out of mistakes. Right. You know,

Mike Claudio 27:24
I learned them all the hard way to like doing it the wrong way.


Spencer Powell 27:27
Yeah, no, it's all good. No, that I think it's great. And And last question, we've been hitting follow up a lot, but I think it is an important topic, I guess. Do you You said you'll just do that forever. Do you hit a point where you're like, Man, I've got so many people in my follow up hopper that some people start to fall off after a certain timeframe or is it just dependent?

Mike Claudio 27:47
I based on a few kind of intangibles like how much I liked the person how likely if a project is it, you know, how good of a project was it right, cuz lately, I'm really big on identifying an ideal client and project well, that person, check All the boxes. That's way That's way better word usage in my time. But if it was like, man, I didn't get a good feel from them. They weren't really cooperative. They weren't transparent. They were difficult and rude, like, okay, they're gonna fall off a little bit sooner. So it really comes down to, I guess, the health of my pipeline. Right. And that's a big part of this, you know, if you have a healthy pipeline, you know, maybe you only fall up at the top 30% of projects that are really ideal. If you don't, you have no choice, but to follow up with all of them. So I think, you know, pipeline health is one of them. I think client type and project are another one, just how well does it fit who you are and what your business is looking for? And then how did I get the referral? Right, because I think I track my referral sources, I think it's really important to do that is you're going to find that one real estate agent is always sending you crap. And this one's always sending you gold. Well, who sent me that referral? And I might follow up, I mean, I hit Week Six, right. I'll follow up with the referral partner if it's a good referral partner say hey, I kind of just stopped hearing back from so and so do you have anything about that? Oh, I don't really follow up with them and then like, they're going to get you some information as well. So that's another important part. If it's an Angie's List lead, like we all know, those are not going to be ideal. If it's from a key if it's from a key relationship in your network or your for like, you don't want to let them down so you can kind of utilize them to get involved with the process as well. So having tangibles there but I mean, I would say probably eight to 10 weeks before like, I'd kind of just like exhaust all options. Yeah, I'm looking at it from like a strategic, tangible perspective. But I literally I always asked, When would you like me to follow up? So sometimes, but hey, give us three months great. It's going in my calendar for three months, you're getting a call on that day. So sometimes, like the follow ups gets spread out, depending on also pipeline health referral type referral partner relationship. So it's not always every week, it's typically six or eight attempts, depending on when they told me they'd like to hear back from.

Spencer Powell 29:54
Yeah, yeah, I think that's good advice. I mean, going running through that criteria, you can kind of figure out pretty quickly Which ones can fall off? In? Which Yeah, I mean, a little more effort into

Mike Claudio 30:03
there's plenty, plenty of projects you walk in the minute you get in there, you're like, this ain't for me. Yeah, you don't want to follow the rest of that meeting or less a week later. So, there's a lot of, I guess, intangible criteria that goes into that. And you're trying to keep it broad for the audience. It really just comes down to a few intangibles.

Spencer Powell 30:22
Yeah, yeah. So Mike, I got a few more questions for you. But is there is there something else that you feel like that you see often, whether that be in the the first meeting the follow up, or maybe even the pre qualification before they get there that you feel like, you want to share by like, Man, I'm always seeing this and this is something that we got to correct.

Mike Claudio 30:43
probably the number one thing I helped the business I work with on is creating a meaningful message. And being able to articulate who they are and what they do and what they're looking for very succinctly in a way that drives the right type of traffic and if you have a really good message Write that can bleed into. And this is a pre qualification side, it bleeds into your marketing, it bleeds into the stories you're telling on social media, it bleeds into the type of content you're delivering the educational, the engagement, because the worst thing you can say is I'm a flooring company and everybody wood floors is a good referral for me like that is not a good message. And I'm, I guarantee somebody listening, I was doing that it's okay, but it's not great. And what it does is having a very meaningful message about who you are and what you do and what you're looking for, and a blend of that. It allows your market, your network and your referral partners to truly understand what a good referral for you is or what a good client for you is. And that does two things. It allows somebody to see themself as a character in your story, which is really, really good. But it also allows people to realize they're not the right character for your story and qualify themselves out without you spending time realizing too late, it was a bad referral. And some people are so afraid like it's super great. annular with this part of the process, and all it does is open up the floodgates for tire kickers and allows a super specific type of people to be unsure. Like, I don't know what you're doing because every week the message is changing. And I think that is a really important part, I'm actually gonna write a book next year that that I think, is going to be about creating a message that matters. Because that that cross platforms in everything it cross platforms and how you present yourself in a bi in cross border, how you present yourself at associations, what your messaging what your website, what your qualification, what, you're the person who answers the phone, what are they asking, it all has to come back to that message about who you are, what you do and what you're looking for. And so many people are so afraid to miss a good opportunity, they'll take on five bad ones. And that's just so time consuming and labor is a big issue, right? And I'm really big on capitalizing on the man hours you have access to. You can't do that with the wrong types of projects and you can't do that if you're a roofer gutters gather, hey, we're gonna do fences. This week, I got an opportunity to make five grand. That dilutes your brand so badly. It is not worth the amount of money you're making doing. And I feel really strongly about that.

Spencer Powell 33:11
Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, I don't think I expected you to go that route. I don't know. I didn't have anything in mind. But that's I think it's really valid because a lot of people they end up just kind of spreading it out. And oh, yeah, that could be an interesting project or Oh, that's it because it's the opportunity in front of them. So

Mike Claudio 33:29
yeah, like usually you'll want to design build firms, right? Obviously, you guys will will take on that countertop replaced because it's quick, seven grand. Nothing ever goes right when you do that. Never a quick seven grand, because you're not putting the right attention on it. Your subs aren't putting the right attention on it and the clients expecting the real you? Well, there's no way you can give that to a $7,000 countertop replacement. you're chasing six figure projects. And it absolutely It makes no sense. Yeah, I would say so. Like my curriculum. My process is built into four main categories. Identify Target qualifying acquire. And I always start with identifying, identifying what an ideal client and an ideal project looks like for you. So we can create that message. Because every decision in the targeting every decision that qualify and how you acquire those people all comes down to that avatar or that description of what an ideal client and project looks like. And if you don't know the answer to that, you don't know how to qualify people correctly. And you're driving two hours for a $500 job because you didn't ask enough questions over the phone. And that's where people start to spin their wheels and lose money and lose opportunities. And it's just, man I hate seeing pass rates.

Spencer Powell 34:37
Yeah, yeah, no, that's that's awesome. And Mike, I've got one last segment of the show coming up. But before we get to that, if people want to learn more about what you're up to how you can help, you know, what's the good place to find you online or connect with you?

Mike Claudio 34:50
So the name of business I'm not sure we said earlier is Win Rate Consulting, WinRate Consulting, Instagram surprise, the best content I put out of the most content. I put out I also have two podcasts that I host I hope to have you on one day so I have remodeling the Carolinas is one that's more of an interview style library on experts than the other ones big stud sales. It's kind of funny, but it's a play on words. And you know, it's big such sales nailing construction, selling

Spencer Powell 35:17
love, again,

Mike Claudio 35:18
cheesy lines allow my father that domain for no reason two years ago. This is the name of the podcast, but that's more of a rant style. We're meeting a co host. He's a marketing guy. I'm a sales guy. We basically just talk about best practices and things to do so at win rate, consulting on Instagram, and then big sales and remodeling Carolina to the to podcast, I host.

Spencer Powell 35:38
Cool, cool. And we'll make sure to add some links in the show notes to make it easy for people but yeah, let's move on to the Fast Five. So I'm gonna hit you with five rapid fire questions and just say what comes to mind. So, first one, what's your favorite business book and why?

Mike Claudio 35:55
I really like unstoppable by Tim Grover. It's more I read Like 50 books last year, so it's hard to narrow him down but unstoppable by Tim Grover was one of the best mindset books for a competitive style business owner. That is awesome.

Spencer Powell 36:09
Yeah, I think is that was relentless the same, or is he ever covered?

Mike Claudio 36:14
Yeah, I think it might be like both on the title. I think it was okay. unstoppable but yeah,

Tim is the man. He's an awesome dude. And

yeah, I you got to be a competitor if you're gonna read that book relentless. I might have said it wrong might be relentless. But if you're not a competitor, it's hard to understand that book and his mindset.

Spencer Powell 36:33
Yeah, yeah. Very cool. All right, who is the most inspirational person in your life?

Mike Claudio 36:42
Andy Priscilla

right. I'm the mF CEO his his world he's bribing the person I bought into the most on a big picture and then yeah, I'd say is I did 75 hard if you know what that is. And he hosts the mF CEO and just started the real AF podcast. He's for the first time pay attention to them.

Spencer Powell 37:01
Yeah, yeah. If you're not following him. Yeah, he's Yes. Amazing stuff.

Mike Claudio 37:06
Amazing stuff. What's up? 75 hard if you're listening, you know, 75 heart is I did that this year with my wife and it is an absolute life changing experience.

Spencer Powell 37:14
Very cool. Yeah. All right. If you could have one superpower, what would that be?

Mike Claudio 37:21
I would read minds. read minds.

Nice. I would avoid objections

by understanding them ahead of time. Perfect. Yeah, I like it. I'm actually always playing my favorite, but reading minds is what I'd like to do.

Spencer Powell 37:32
Yeah, that's a good one. All right. Describe yourself in three words.

Mike Claudio 37:37
Big stuff sales.

Spencer Powell 37:40
Nice. I like it. I'll take that there were three words. I was perfect. Yeah.

All right. Last question is if you could leave our listeners with one piece of advice. What would that be?

Mike Claudio 37:51
Don't be afraid to be transparent and vulnerable. I think it's the greatest sales tactic in the world. Awesome. I love

Spencer Powell 37:58
it. Well, Mike, this has been awesome. Thanks so much for joining me today.

Mike Claudio 38:01
Appreciate it, man. Thank you so much.

Spencer Powell 38:05
Hey, guys, I hope you enjoy that episode with Mike. And again, like I said in the beginning, I think he brings some really fresh ideas to the sales conversation. And there were some great takeaways and strategies from this conversation. Again, I know you're on the go. So let's pull out a few takeaways. I had three big ones from today's conversation. The first one was I loved his approach to how to go into that first meeting on site with a homeowner. So those couple of easy steps that you can do right within the first few minutes, which is a ask your question, give a compliment, and then set the agenda and set the tone for the rest of that meeting. And that really puts you in a great spot. The person knows what to expect, you come off as confident, and he's really seeing that as having a really positive impact on those initial meetings with the homeowner. The second takeaway was follow up and so if you follow me on Instagram, WinRate consulting He does a post, I think every single Friday, and it's centered around follow up Friday. And he always has either reminder, something helpful there. But I liked his example that over a two year span 42% of his sales, about $2 million in sales came from follow up him following up with prospects that had kind of disappeared, not gotten back to him. And his point was, hey, maybe some of those would have closed anyway, but he knows for sure many of them wouldn't. And follow up is an extremely powerful way to increase your sales, it might take two it might take 10 touches. But either way, if you could increase your sales by you know, 30 40% that would be a huge lift, and it's not super difficult. It does take a little bit of time to craft those emails or log those phone calls. But again, if you could have that sort of a sales lift, it seems well worth it. And then the final takeaway, which I think was a great one, and something that still work on and don't have nailed 100% of the time, which is leave every single meeting business conversation with defined next steps so that everybody knows what they're doing. They know what the deadlines are. And I know whenever I end meetings that way, then things always flow better after that, you know, everyone knows what they're doing. You don't have to check in as often ago, where did we leave that meeting? You know, you've got clear next steps, everyone knows what they are, and stuff starts to get done. So again, those were my takeaways from today's episode. I hope you guys enjoyed this one. And we will see you next time on builder funnel radio.

Thanks again for listening everybody. And as a quick reminder, text Radio 233777 for some free goodies as a thank you for listening to the show. And if you got some value from today's episode, I just ask that you leave us a quick review on iTunes it really helps us spread the word and grow this awesome community of people who are working to improve their lives and their businesses. Thanks again and we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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