Remodeling's Marisa Mendez presents the top-ten tips for how to get started in sales from Paul Winans, a Remodeling columnist, veteran remodeler, and small business consultant, and Rick Matus, senior vice president at Case Design in this article.

Here are a few highlights:

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice: Both Winans and Matus agree that honing your skills and practicing at every opportunity will help you improve. “If you are not good at sales, you will sell at a lower margin,” Winans says, “which means you have to do more work and you will work for people who don’t deserve you and your company, which gets old really fast.”
  2. Timing is Key: Especially true when you’re just starting in sales, being on time or early to appointments is essential. If you will be late, call your prospective client and let them know, advises Winans. “Being regarded as dependable gives you an advantage when selling,” he says.
  3. Think Fast: Flexibility is a key quality to have during the sales process, Matus says. “Be a quick thinker, light afoot, and adjust on the fly.”
  4. Question Everything: Asking the right questions can make the sales better, especially if your client is solely focused on cost. Getting to the emotional issues behind your potential client’s decision will help to soothe their fear of the bottom line. “When the prospect admits to embarrassment or shame or guilt or fear as the true driving reason for wanting the project done, then the importance of price drops,” Winans says.

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