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Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide: Part 4

Marketing your home improvement business in 2021 

So far throughout this blog series, we’ve looked back at what we can learn from 2020, we’ve planned our 2021 business and sales strategy, and now it’s the turn of marketing.

Marketing is all about ensuring you get seen by your customers: not just any impression, but the right impression.

The Marketing RACE

Marketing activities can be broken down into these four key components:

  1. Reach
  2. Act
  3. Convert
  4. Engage

Together they make a handy mnemonic: RACE. Remember, you’ve got to RACE to get ahead. 

Reach

To reach customers you have to build brand awareness. Brand awareness means customers know about your company – who you are, what you do, what you stand for, as well as your products and services.

You need to make sure you have the right:

  • Branding
  • Value Proposition
  • Messaging
  • Tone of Voice

And that you can be seen in the right places. You can do this through a mixture of owned, earned and paid media.

‘Owned’ is anything belonging to your brand. For example, your website, social media profiles, store, vans and marketing materials like brochures.

‘Earned’ is your publicity and PR – from newspaper features to word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews from customers on social media sites.

‘Paid’ includes marketing like sponsored ads, TV campaigns, influencers, print advertising. 

Act

The Act stage is all about getting your potential customers to interact with your brand – browsing your website, liking your social media posts, making enquiries. This is where online presence really comes into play because customers are more likely to reach out if you are active on social media. 

Content marketing is useful for building a regular online presence and building your brand’s reputation by sharing relevant content tailored to your target audience. For the home improvement market, for example, this could be decorating trends or maintenance tips. 

Convert

This is where the magic happens – getting customers to convert (buy). Whether online or offline, there’s no point boosting traffic to your store if, when they get there, they don’t purchase anything.

 You can help boost conversion by providing:

  • Clear CTAs (calls to action) – make it easy for your customers to do what you want.
  • Convenience – your products should be easy to find, easy to research, easy to buy.
  • Choice – this applies to your product selection, but also to things like payment options and point-of-sale finance

Engage

Turn first-time buyers into repeat customers by continuing to engage with them. Don’t neglect them.

There are numerous ways to market to existing customers including customer satisfaction surveys after purchase, newsletter subscriptions, social media presence. But remember, your aim is to build brand loyalty, not spam your customers.  

Key Takeaways 

  • 2020 was rubbish, but it’s over now.  
  • 2021 is your chance to refresh your brand and come back stronger!
  • Plan – use this guide to create a robust business strategy for 2021.
  • Diversify your product offering, your services, your sales channels and your marketing.
  • Be open to new ideas. 
  • Keep up-to-date with what your customers need e.g. flexible payment options.
  • Make sure your business is agile and responsive.
  • Make positive changes to grow your business in 2021.   
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Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide: Part 3

Supercharge your sales strategy in 2021  

Once you’ve crafted your business strategy, your next step is to home in on your sales strategy. How are you going to get the edge over your competitors in 2021? Find out how to set your home improvement business apart from the crowd.

Diversify! 

One key way to beat the competition is to diversify: this could be product diversification, diversifying your sales channels, or both.

Finding new products that solve your customers’ problems will give you an advantage. As a retailer, you need to be in touch with emerging trends, new product developments and – perhaps most importantly of all – your customers’ needs.

  • Read industry-related news, blogs and thought leadership. 
  • Research new products, technologies and innovations.
  • Keep abreast of your competitors. 
  • Talk to your customers.  
  • Be open to change. 

New partnerships

A new partnership is a great way of diversifying your offering and bringing together natural-fit businesses and services to deliver better value to your customers. New partnerships provide an opportunity to pool your resources, expertise and customer-base. The right partnership is a win-win solution for both businesses and customers. 

A new partnership should:

  • Complement your current offering, not compete with it
  • Add value
  • Share your company’s vision
  • Enable you to reach new markets
  •  Help you achieve growth / scale

Post-COVID Customer Behaviour

COVID-19 has changed all our lives. While some of these changes will only be temporary, others are likely to stick for some time. It’s crucial to be mindful of how COVID has transformed your customers’ expectations and needs.

In 2021, we predict customers will continue to:

  • Be hygiene-conscious
  • Browse or shop online
  • Choose home delivery or click-and-collect options
  • Opt for digital payments over cash
  • Spend less time / make fewer visits in-store
  • Use social media to engage with businesses
  • Demand flexible finance solutions like Buy Now, Pay Later 
  • Pay attention to brands’ social and environmental policies

You need to have your finger on the pulse of all these factors and be proactive.

  • Keep your stores and staff COVID-secure with measures like distancing, strict cleaning protocols, hand sanitiser stations and one-way systems.
  • Invest in your website. Make it easy for your customers to find your site with SEO and make it seamless to browse and buy.
  • Leverage technology.
  •  Become a Shermin retailer to offer a range of consumer credit products.

E-commerce

Almost a third of all retail sales were made online in May 2020. If you’re not selling online you could be missing out on a significant percentage of sales!

Use:

  • Your own website – platforms like Shopify make it simple to create an online shop
  • Third-party marketplaces like eBay and Amazon
  •  Social media – Facebook and Instagram shops launched in May 2020

Building e-commerce into your sales strategy is a smart move, as people shop increasingly online, favouring the convenience of 24/7 shopping on whatever device they have to hand, whenever they choose.

Don’t be dissuaded if you’ve got a product that isn’t traditionally sold online e.g. boilers – this is the perfect time to be among the first to offer such a service. Being an early-adopter demonstrates that your brand is modern, tech-savvy and relevant, and will put you ahead of the game. 

Look out for part 4 of our 2021 Business Recovery Guide where we discuss the final pillar of your 2021 plan – marketing strategy!

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Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide: Part 2

How to create a robust business strategy for 2021

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected! How can you create a solid business plan for your home improvement business in a climate of uncertainty? Your business strategy lays out your vision, your goals and an action plan to achieve them. We’ve got some helpful tips for you below.

  1. Assess the damage

Businesses spent much of 2020 reactively navigating new restrictions, new working practices, new operating models and staffing issues (due to working from home, furlough, self-isolation, childcare problems, or illness).

In survival mode, business leaders have little choice but to think on their feet. The new year is an ideal time to evaluate your business. Consider your financial position, as well as your brand, your reputation, your market and your morale. It’s crucial to take a holistic approach as each aspect is intertwined. 

Before you can plan for 2021, you need to assess your current position.   

  1. SWOT up!

Do a SWOT analysis. Identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. COVID-19 may have exposed a few already.

  • Strengths – consider the things your business does well. Use these core competencies to your advantage.
  • Weaknesses – identify areas for improvement. These could be processes, marketing, customer journey, etc.
  • Opportunities – what new areas could you explore? Consider new partnerships, products, technologies etc.
  • Threats – what external factors could negatively affect your business? These could be competitors, tier restrictions, or market conditions, for example?

How to conduct a SWOT analysis:

  • Invite a cross-section of employees to contribute, to get a better view of your company’s performance.
  • Each write your ideas on post-it notes / digital whiteboards to avoid group-think.
  • Bring the ideas together and group similar points into each of the four categories. 

Use the SWOT analysis to inform your strategy.

  1. Lean Methodologies 

Originally devised for manufacturing, Lean principles have been appropriated for businesses across all sectors as a way of reducing operational inefficiencies.

The five core Lean principles are:

Define value. 

What do your customers want? How much are they willing to pay for it? This is your value. Do your research: use surveys, analytics, interviews and data to learn as much as you can about your customers. 

Map the value stream.

Map all the processes involved in delivering that value to the end customer. Divide these into necessary and unnecessary. Scrap anything unnecessary – this is waste. 

Create flow. 

Get the necessary processes to flow smoothly so you can deliver value to the customer promptly. 

Establish pull. 

Pull is all about ensuring you have ‘just enough’ to deliver your flow, for example, just enough stock to fulfil orders without holding too much inventory. 

Pursue perfection. 

Repeat steps 1-4 ad infinitum. Nurture a workplace culture that encourages continuous development, innovation and creative thinking. 

Apply Lean principles to deliver better value for your customers and reduce inefficiencies. 

  1. Goals

Goal-setting is one of the most fundamental parts of your business plan. Formalise your goals. These could be a percentage increase in growth, improved customer service, sustainability, new target demographics, and so on. 

What do you want to achieve and when? How will you measure your progress?

Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

Set SMART goals. Measure your progress. Revisit your plan.

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Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide: Part 1

Kick 2020 to the curb and kickstart your business in 2021 

2020 was a tumultuous year. The global pandemic disrupted our business and personal lives on an unprecedented scale. As Quarter 4 draws to a close, it’s time to take stock and start planning for a brighter, better 2021. Over this 4-part blog series, we’ll be bringing you a series of actionable steps you can take to help your home improvement or renewables business bounce back.

During the first national lockdown back in March, a strange thing happened: stuck at home, and with several workplaces closed, people turned their hands to gardening and DIY. This trend helped people fill their time productively, as well as repurposing rooms to meet new needs such as home offices, home-classrooms, home gyms… even home bars!

How COVID-19 affected home improvement businesses in 2020

Non-essential retailers were forced to close, but home improvement and hardware stores were classed as essential. The majority were allowed to remain open because they stock materials and equipment needed to help keep homes safe, warm, and powered.

However, open doesn’t necessarily mean busy. Footfall dropped considerably, and high streets and trading estates up and down the country were eerily deserted.

Generally, the home improvement sector fared pretty well throughout 2020, benefitting from the lockdown surge in DIY, but it is important to note that every business is different. For tradespeople and sales representatives who operate in people’s homes, the pandemic paused their work for a significant chunk of the year.

The impact of COVID-19 is widespread and varied. Reflect on 2020, but don’t dwell on it.  

Adapting to the ‘new normal’

Restrictions-permitting, savvy businesses adapted quickly to make premises and practices COVID-secure, as well as introducing e-commerce, home delivery, and click and collect to meet the changing shopping habits of their customers.

COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation,catalysing 6 years of progress in just a few short weeks.

Businesses shifted to omni-channel communications in order to stay connected with their customers.

Cash-only businesses sought out digital payment technology for the first time.

Look how much you’ve achieved already. Sometimes it takes a crisis for us to innovate.

Purpose & Mission

So, how does your company’s original purpose stack up in the ‘new normal’?

Think about your company’s raison d’être – has it changed? In a hyper-competitive market, have you changed focus from ‘great value prices’ to ‘superior quality’? Have you shifted from ‘local retailer’ to ‘supplying nationwide’? Or perhaps you are more environmentally-conscious? 

Redefine your purpose and mission to bring it up-to-date. Then, communicate it to your people.

People Power

From senior managers to checkout operators, your staff are the everyday heroes who have helped your business survive, all while dealing with their own personal circumstances.

Your people are vital to your business – they drive growth.

After this difficult year, you can improve engagement and productivity by:

  • Aligning your staff to your company’s purpose
  • Introducing employee wellbeing initiatives
  • Encouraging two-way feedback

Recognise the value of your staff. Look after your people and they will look after your customers.  

Looking Forward

New vaccines and better COVID-19 treatments mean 2021 is looking up. Part two of our blog series looks at how to plan for success in 2021.

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How Access to Consumer Finance is Fuelling the Green Revolution

The Green Revolution is here. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals call for climate action, affordable and clean energy, and sustainable cities and communities by 2030. In addition, the UK government has committed to achieving its Net Zero target by 2050, and people everywhere are waking up to the need to protect our planet. Yet, for many, the choice to go green isn’t a simple one. While small swaps like plastic toothbrushes to bamboo are relatively cheap and easy to achieve, installing renewable energy at home, for example, can be prohibitively expensive. For customers who want to reduce their carbon footprint, access to finance is a gamechanger.

Green Energy and Renewables

Around 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions comes from our homes, according to the Energy Savings Trust. With average dual-fuel energy bills coming in at £1,100 per year, homeowners are keen to leverage the cost-saving benefits of renewable energy, as well as doing their bit for the environment. 

Several types of green energy solutions can be installed in residential properties. They include:

  • Solar panels/solar heating systems
  •  Biomass boilers
  •  Air source heat pumps
  • Wind turbines
  • Energy (or battery) storage system

The Cost of Installing Renewables

The majority of people would agree that the initial financial outlay of renewables is a worthwhile investment, but that doesn’t mean they want to (or can afford to) pay upfront.

A mid-range solar panel installation on the roof of the average UK home costs around £5,000, a domestic biomass boiler about the same, and an air source heat pump can be double that. Figures from HIES indicate that domestic wind turbines range from £3,000 for a small roof-mounted turbine to nearer £20,000 for a freestanding version.

Off-setting the costs

Despite the initial expense, the domestic market for renewables is growing. This is because there are ways to off-set the costs of green energy, including:

  •  Green Homes Grant  – a government voucher for up to £5,000 that covers up to two-thirds of the cost of energy-efficient home improvements (or £10,000 and 100% of costs for homeowners in receipt of certain benefits)
  •  Access to finance – empowering customers to buy now, pay later or spread the cost
  • Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) – which allows you to sell excess energy to the National Grid

 Access to Finance

Having access to finance helps people to meet their green goals. Without it, upgrading to low carbon alternatives must be paid for with a lump sum from personal savings, which deters people from reaching a purchasing decision.

Spreading the cost of green home improvements and renewables is a popular choice because, once installed, homeowners see cost-savings on their monthly heating/ energy bills. The alternative is paying for installation upfront, then waiting years for a return on investment.

Types of finance available include:

  • Buy now pay later
  • Interest-free
  • Interest-bearing 

Providing your customers with access to finance enables them to press ‘go’ on going green. 

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The Power of Buy Now, Pay Later

Buy Today’s Products at Today’s Prices with Tomorrow’s Money

Buy Now, Pay Later is an increasingly popular payment choice for customers. Buy now, pay later was originally designed for big-ticket items like computers, white goods and furniture, but its usage to fund all manner of other purchases has surged in recent years.

The History of Buy Now, Pay Later

Personal credit is not new: in fact, credit is as old as commerce itself. Here’s a fascinating look at the early history of Buy Now, Pay Later. The modern forms of credit we are all familiar with, however – like credit cards, store cards, and Buy Now, Pay Later schemes – developed over the latter half of the 20th Century. Thanks to strong marketing, BNPL became a staple of the furniture sector. In 1996, here at Shermin, we adapted Buy Now, Pay Later for the Home Improvements market with great results. 

A rising trend

It’s at the turn of the 21st Century, though, that Buy Now, Pay Later really flew. Now that smartphones are ubiquitous, consumers have become accustomed to having everything on demand. Consumers today expect fast delivery, optimal customer service and complete choice.  

The FinTech boom following the financial crash ion 2009 pushed a whole generation towards digital banking. Millennials and Gen Z no longer manage their finances in physical branches like their parents, but from their mobiles. At the same time, there has been a shift from the physical credit card to Buy Now, Pay Later online payments services.

New opportunities

These digital-only services revolutionised the BNPL market, making it possible to buy clothes, gadgets and even handmade crafts without paying a penny upfront. The popularity of BNPL for these little luxuries is fuelling the demand – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The rise in demand means businesses must adapt to meet customers’ expectations, or risk losing out to their competition. Whatever you sell, BNPL is a desirable payment option for your customers. 

BNPL for boilers

It’s that time of the year when we turn our heating back on, sometimes for the first time since spring. Lockdowns this year mean some people haven’t booked their annual boiler service and for a few, their boiler might be kaput.

Boilers are an ideal candidate for Buy Now, Pay Later. Imagine you’re left without heating/ hot water now, just as the winter starts – could you really wait while you save to get it replaced? Combi boiler prices start at around £1,000 for a small 1-2 bedroom home, but boiler types and prices vary significantly. Buy Now, Pay Later allows customers to get the working boiler they need, now. 

Key takeaways

  • Buy Now, Pay Later is a growing trend
  • Customers are looking for BNPL options on a wider variety of products
  • Customers shouldn’t have to delay new boiler purchases
  • BNPL enables customers to get the boiler they need, now
  • BNPL enables you to upsell, giving the customer a better product to meet their needs (more efficient, better output, longer warranty etc)
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The Effect of COVID-19 on Customer Finances

Why Offering Alternative Payment Methods is Essential in the Current Environment

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic this year has been far-reaching. Beyond the immediate health crisis, we’ve seen national and regional lockdowns, temporary closure of non-essential businesses, furloughs and widespread economic uncertainty. The combination of all these resulted in the GfK’s UK Consumer ConfidenceBarometer dipping down to -31 in October. When consumer confidence is low, alternative payment methods build trust and revive sales.

Impact of COVID-19

The pressures of the pandemic are personal – some face redundancy, others the loss of their business or entire industry, whilst caregivers and parents face tough choices as to whether to reduce hours. In a period of economic uncertainty, though, even those whose finances are not directly impacted can feel unsure about making big purchases.

Here are a few of the reasons people feel wary of spending right now:

  • Fear of redundancy
  • Lack of savings
  • Desire to preserve savings
  • Uncertainty about the future/financial planning

Alternative payment methods

Providing your customers with access to finance shows that you recognize that individual circumstances vary, without compromising on the service you deliver. To become a trusted brand and stay competitive, you need to give your customers a great experience. In this day and age, that means providing flexibility – from the way customers engage with you (via webchat, social media, phone or email) to the way they pay.

A tailored approach

There are many different products available to help customers. They include:

  • Buy Now Pay Later
  • Interest-free
  • Interest-bearing 

Here at Shermin, we identified the need for customers to have quick and easy access to the various finance options and developed Trade-Quote

Trade-Quote 

Trade-Quote is our payment options and quoting tool web-app. Sales representatives can use Trade-Quote to explore personalised payment options for their customers at the point-of-sale. 

Easy to use and mobile- and desktop-friendly, Trade-Quote will calculate finance repayment figures, email a full list of payment options to customers for further consideration, or, if they prefer, link directly to the chosen lender to complete the finance journey there and then. 

The Benefits

There are several benefits of offering alternative payment options to both you (the retailer) and your customers. It’s win-win.   

Benefits to retailers

  • Boosts sales
  • Increases brand loyalty
  • Builds trust
  • Gives you a competitive advantage

Benefits to your customers

  • Greater choice
  • Flexibility
  • Total transparency
  • Increased customer satisfaction 

The biggest win (aside from all that new business)? Trade-Quote is completely FREE for Shermin retailers. 

Key Takeaways

  • COVID-19 has negatively impacted consumer confidence
  • When people feel uncertain about their finances and the economy, they are often reluctant to make big/non-essential purchases
  • Offering alternative payment methods empowers customers to buy what they want now
  • Choice of payment options enables customers to pay when and how suits them best
  • Trade-Quote point-of-sale web-app is an innovative solution for retailers 
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Don’t Move, Improve!

The Rising Popularity of Home Improvements Over Moving House

The Don’t Move, Improve trend has been gaining traction for some time, but 2020 has caused a boom, in part because house moves were interrupted by COVID, but also because people turned to home improvement as a lockdown hobby.

Housing market

During the first lockdown, the government advised that moving house be suspended. Moving house when you can’t physically view a property, while a swathe of businesses operated exclusively remotely or not at all, made moving a logistical nightmare.

When restrictions eased, to get the market – and people – moving again, the government introduced a stamp duty holiday.

So why are so many choosing to stay put?

Reasons NOT to move

Moving house is one of the most stressful life experiences you can have. Can you blame anyone for not wanting to undertake a house move in this of all years? 2020 has thrown enough at us already!

And moving is expensive: buying a house is usually the biggest purchase you will make. Add to this anxiety over job security, personal finances and the economy, and a big commitment like a mortgage might not feel like the best option… if it even is an option.  

Young people in particular struggle to get on the property ladder, grappling with high rents, lack of savings for a deposit and rising house prices that massively outpace wage increases.

Millennials

The influx of millennials into the property market has had a huge impact on the home improvement sector. Having saved long and hard to get on the property ladder, first-time buyers often choose cheaper homes that require modernisation or renovation. Millennials are also the first generation to grow up with the internet, putting DIY inspiration and tutorials at their fingertips. And then there’s social media…

Home influencers    

Social media has opened doors for people to make a living sharing the insides of their homes with the world. We’re a nosy society; we love seeing how the other half live. For every celebrity influencer giving us a peek into their luxury pad, there are hundreds of accounts showing us how to replicate the designer look for less, if only we had the time…

But of course, lockdown changed everything! Suddenly, forced to stay home, all those put-off jobs were right there in our faces, all day, every day! Armed with YouTube guides and fuelled by changing demands from our properties (home office/ school/ gym), we set about transforming our surroundings.

Home improvement market

Spending on home improvement is up 26% in September 2020, compared with September last year. The home improvement market is growing, so now is an exciting time for home improvement retailers to strengthen their brand, increase customer loyalty and win repeat business. Providing access to finance  is one way to achieve continued growth, even in these uncertain times.  

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Rebranding: 5 Easy Changes to Refresh Your Brand Image

Experience is undoubtedly a USP: years of service, expertise and long-standing reputation are a proud achievement for any home improvement business. A dated image, however, will do you no favours. Facilitating home transformations is your bread and butter, but when was the last time you refreshed your brand?

Why rebrand?

Rebranding is frequently put off by business-owners. Yet, even the biggest retailers – globally recognised brands – overhaul their image from time-to-time.

Rebranding allows you to:

  • Modernise
  • Attract new customers
  • Reflect new business offerings
  • Target different demographics
  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Align businesses following merger or acquisition

Quick ways to rebrand and refresh your business

1.      Consider your target customers

Thinking about why you’re rebranding and what you hope to achieve is vital. You don’t want to invest time and money building a new brand identity that doesn’t work. Think about your current customers:

  • Who are they?
  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their income?
  • What do they want?

Then ask the same questions about your ideal customer. Here’s a great guide from HubSpot on finding your target audience.

There are loads of tools you can utilise to do the hard work for you, like Google Analytics. It’s worth exploring which tools will benefit you most, as well as assessing your reasons for rebranding. What’s not working?

The better understanding you have, the more successfully you can navigate the next steps.

2.      Evaluate your mission

Evaluate your mission statement. Is it still reflective of your core purpose? Does it define what you do for your customers?

Businesses evolve and your mission statement might need updating if you’re no longer aligned to it. Here are some great tips for writing a mission statement in 5 easy steps:

3.      Redesign your logo

Your visual image might be outdated. Design trends have moved on considerably over the last few years – has your business’s logo moved with the times? A picture is worth a thousand words. A great logo is unique and instantly recognisable.

A graphic designer will craft you a sleek and considered logo, but if you’ve got design skills, you can do it yourself. Canva is an absolute game-changer for businesses, making professional-looking design accessible to all.

4.      Update your website

Everyone is online today, including your customers. If your website is old-fashioned, it won’t convert into sales. Web design used to be a dark art, but sites like Squarespace and Wix make it easy. Here are three tips for your website:

Keep it simple – don’t bombard your customers with too many words or images.

Clear CTAs – tell your customers what you want them to do. Buy now, get a quote, register here or get in touch. Don’t add too many though! Decision paralysis leads to inaction, and customers leave.

Optimise – SEO is important. There’s no point having an amazing site if it never gets seen. Most website builders come with SEO tools – use them. 

5.      Get social

More than half of the world uses social media. Your customers are on social media so you should be too!

Leverage social media to reach your customers by being searchable and present. Sharing relevant content, testimonials and products can improve your brand image and engagement.

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The Changing Nature of Face-to-Face Sales in a Post-COVID Environment

Face-to-face sales are central to many sectors, particularly Home Improvements. Customers purchase large-ticket products, and buy the holistic experience – reputation, quality, expertise and, very often, a lifestyle.

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has proved it is possible to do almost anything virtually, we are still social beings – we like human contact. That’s why the face-to-face sales technique is so effective. Cold-calling and cold-emailing leaves people cold for a reason, and both are easy to ignore.

The benefits of face-to-face

Face-to-face sales are personal. Sales representatives are experts in their field and can deliver presentations while answering any questions the customer has. This expertise provides reassurance and builds confidence in your brand that results in sales.

Selling face-to-face:

  • Reassures customers
  • Builds brand trust
  • Boosts buying confidence
  • Improves customer experience
  • Increases sales

Face-to-face sales post-COVID

The pandemic pressed pause on face-to-face sales earlier this year, but, with the correct measures in place, it can now resume. Be sensitive to the uncertain climate caused by COVID-19 and the anxiety your customers might feel.

Safeguarding your sales reps and customers

  • Before making and attending an appointment in your customer’s home, it is important to check local COVID-19 restrictions. You can check the Local COVID Alert Level using your customer’s postcode here.
  • Ask your customers whether they, or any other members of their household, have tested positive for COVID-19, are awaiting COVID test results, or have any symptoms. If they have, rearrange the visit for a date after the end of their isolation period.
  • Provide your customer with an explanation of the measures you will take to protect them and how to expect their appointment to go.

At the appointment

On arrival, your sales reps should reiterate that the customer and members of their household do not have, or suspect they have, COVID-19.

  • Use hand sanitiser before entering a customer’s home
  • Maintain a safe distance in the customer’s home
  • Limit contact with surfaces by letting customers open doors for you, for example
  • Try to sit side-on to customers, rather than opposite them
  • Use technology to process sales at arm’s length

How Shermin’s Trade-Quote App can help

In these days of constant change, it’s crucial to demonstrate to customers that you are innovative and able to reimagine the sales process to meet their needs, despite the difficult circumstances.

Here at Shermin, we developed our Trade-Quote app to provide a frictionless purchasing journey. Trade-Quote is a payment-options and quoting tool web-app – both mobile and desktop-friendly so you can bring it to the customer’s home.

Trade-Quote allows you to calculate finance repayment figures at the touch of a button, and email a full list of payment options to the customer and automatically to yourself.

Trade-Quote:

  • Increases chances of a purchasing decision
  • Increase transparency and trust
  • Emails clean and professional quotes
  • Is simple to use

Register here: https://www.sherminfinance.co.uk/sign-up/

Key takeaways

  • Face-to-face sales are pivotal in the home improvement market, but safety is paramount.
  • Taking precautions to protect your staff and customers will build trust in your brand.
  • Leveraging technology not only helps maintain a safe distance from customers; it also shows you are innovative, modern and customer-centric. 

Get in touch with Shermin to discuss how our Trade-Quote app can help your business adapt to the post-COVID selling environment.