How to Sell $20k Jobs - Spend 3 Hours in the Home

More time in home leads to higher sale average per appointment for in-person sales
Rilla Team
 min read
In research conducted from September 1st, 2023, to March 19th, 2024, we analyzed 23,244 conversations from sales reps in the home remodeling industry. These professionals were responsible for selling big-ticket home remodeling projects, such as windows, retail roofing, and kitchen and bath remodeling. 

RIlla Team
Data Analysis Team

What we discovered was a trend between visit length and sales success, often leading to very big average tickets of $20,000 or more for those who spent more time in the home.

Professionals in the home services industry have a responsibility to their customers: solve the toughest problems in the places they live and work. But these same home services professionals also have to keep sales numbers up — something that may seem at odds with providing truly personalized service.

Fortunately, the data shows that not only is it possible to both serve customers well and boost sales figures, but it should be expected. 

Data Favors Longer Home Visits

Let's break down the numbers to learn more. Here's how large the average sale was for professionals selling high-value home products and services:

  • Those spending 30 minutes or less sold $3,809, on average
  • Spending 3 hours in the home yielded a $17,000 average ticket

The difference is incredible, and yet it isn't always second nature for reps to stay so long on each visit. Their training may have taught them how to conduct detailed and comprehensive visits, but reps may struggle to put it into practice. They may feel that they don't have enough to say or that the customer cuts the sales process short.

However, reps who follow the approved sales process closely — taking time to do discovery and truly understand the unique pain points of every customer — come out far ahead of their colleagues.

The data supports this idea. Here's a graph that shows the various times spent in the home and the resulting sales numbers.

Median Price by Conversation Duration

The Problem with Shorter Visits

When reps have shorter home visits, they are under pressure to get the sale quickly. Price may be one of the best things they have to offer. Unfortunately, this leads reps to discount services so they can finish a deal. They may think it's better to make a sale (any sale) than walk away with nothing at all.

This strategy cuts into their bottom line and gives customers the perception they are dealing with a "budget" company. It displaces the chance to focus on the overall value and expertise the rep can provide. It also sets a bad precedent for future sales since the customer will now expect a price slash with every interaction.

By spending more time in the home, reps have the opportunity to be diligent with their inspection, ask the right questions, and present solutions that customers will be happy to buy at full price. Visits of around 3 hours give the products and services a chance to shine. Offerings stand on their own merit because the customer understands why they are important and what they are getting for the price.

Giving Customers the Upsell They Want

There's another aspect to those $20,000 sales tickets found in longer home visits: upsells.

Reps can conduct thorough inspections and listen to all of a customer's concerns. Not only do they gain the customer's trust during this time, but they can hear what the customer is truly saying. Yes, they may have called in a professional to replace a roof, but what they are really saying is that they couldn't wait for the roof to finally wear out because they didn't like the look or quality of materials in the first place.

The longer home inspection may bring about the chance to not just solve a customer's problem but delight them with a new standard of living through a complete room renovation. Through more thorough conversations, sales reps get to hear the truth of the matter, which often involves much more than what the customer initially called about.

This is when upselling can happen organically and with the full support of the customer.

Taking the Truth to Every Industry

At the end of the conversations with 23,244 professionals, we heard a lot about how the home remodeling industry looked at customer visits. We examined the insights and knew that there was more to it than just one industry. In fact, with any type of home visit sales scenario, there's the potential to spend more time on a call and get to the heart of the problem with a higher-valued customer solution.

This same strategy would work for HVAC replacement comfort advisors with a similar sales process. (That’s just one specific use case.)

How to Make Long (and Profitable) Home Visits 

While we now have some pretty convincing data that shows longer visits are better, time spent in the home may not be enough to improve sales calls alone. Most reps don’t stick to the sales process or carry it out because they don’t get the benefit of ride-alongs, which can point out deficiencies in their delivery or process compliance. It’s not practical to offer more than a now-and-again ridealong, however effective they may be. 

Since ride-alongs are costly, both in time and human resources, businesses are considering another way. Rilla, our virtual ride-along software, brings the sales training to the rep and coaches on an unlimited scale. It highlights the ways reps can extend sales calls and coaches them with natural upsells that boost those sales numbers to their highest limits. Read other customer stories to see how it’s worked for them.


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