Our company specializes in custom kitchens, master bathrooms and additions. We have 23 team members and complete 80-100 jobs per year with sales of about $6 million. Over the years, Cipriani Remodeling Solutions has grown by constantly improving our processes. One thing we’ve learned is that if you want to hit the target more consistently, you need to dig deep into what your salespeople are doing and create a consistent presentation for them to follow.
I’ve worked with the company for 16 years and in 2016 became the vice president of sales. One question I had was: Why does one salesperson excel while others flounder?
As a design-build firm, we require our remodeling consultants to have a wide variety of skills. They need at least a basic understanding of construction practices, a knack for design, proficiency in the technologies we use, familiarity with building materials, and great personalities. The learning curve is challenging, and the job must be mastered quickly because they are paid on commission. Experienced design-build remodeling consultants are in short supply in our area, so over the past few years we’ve tried to hire salespeople from other industries and train them. A few have flourished, but most have crashed and burned.
When I became the vice president of sales, I set out to learn what made our top salespeople successful. I knew what worked for me out in the field, but I wanted to see what the rest of the team was doing, and how clients reacted. I rode on appointments with each salesperson and took careful notes. I paid close attention to what they were—and were not—communicating, and watched the reactions of each potential client. I then followed through to see who purchased and who didn’t.
Soon, it became clear that each RC was saying and doing things differently, not only compared with each other, but each time they sat with a prospect. There was no consistency. After brainstorming with our marketing manager, Bob Buchan, we developed a new presentation that combined the best points made by our strongest salespeople. It covered information about the company, answered homeowners’ most frequent questions, and branded Cipriani as professional and trustworthy. We trained each RC on the new messaging, and equipped them with laptops to use in the field. Now everyone was presenting the same information consistently. One of the things we included in our presentation was a video clip of our company’s appearance on Rescue My Renovation, a popular show on the DIY Network. Prior to that, only one of our RCs was showing potential clients this powerful endorsement of our professionalism.
We launched a second version of the presentation in June 2017, and by the end of August, we were up $638,000, a 20 percent increase over the same period in 2016. We also have happier RCs, a simplified training program and a tool that’s easy to update if needed down the road. Cipriani Remodeling Solutions will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018.