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Building a Bullet-Proof Sales Process for Your Moving Company


Bullet-Proof Sales Process

Moving company sales often feel like you're throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks.

Everyone's got a different approach, and sometimes it feels like you're reinventing the wheel every time you meet a new prospect.

What you need is a process -- a tried-and-true, repeatable system for acquiring leads as well as converting those leads into paying (and returning) customers.

That's what you'll learn in this blog post. Stick around to the end, and you'll know:

  1. The biggest challenges moving companies face in sales and marketing (and how to overcome them)
  2. Why the moving industry is different from other industries when it comes to finding and closing deals
  3. How technology and software can help streamline your moving company sales process
  4. How to build a sales process that works every time and that can be repeated

We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's jump right in.

Challenges and Obstacles in Moving Company Sales

Whether you know it or not, you have a sales process. The problem is that it may not be a very good sales process. Or, you're creating a new sales process for every prospect you meet.

This inconsistency makes it nearly impossible to scale your business, requiring reinvention and effort. A good sales process is a proven blueprint you can apply to 90% of the prospects you meet.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before we get into crafting a sales process, we need to first identify the problems blocking your sales growth.

Here are some of the most common ones:

Inconsistent Messaging

Your website has a formal, corporate feel, but your employees communicate with customers like laid-back frat guys. One is not necessarily better than the other, but this lack of consistency makes no sense to prospects.

Whether we're talking about email, SMS, or sales scripts, standardizing messaging across all platforms ensures clear communication and sets a professional tone.

Separated Customer Communication and Activity

Instead of having a streamlined and centralized communication channel, many moving companies operate in separate areas.

This means that one employee may not know what another is communicating to the same client, leading to overlapping or even contradictory information being shared.

Visualization of all sales activities is really helpful for any successful moving company. Software like SmartMoving can help accomplish this -- more on that later.

Lack of Proper Follow-up

A significant drop-off in sales conversions can result from not following up with leads. Many potential customers might be on the fence about choosing a service, and a well-timed follow-up can tip the balance in your favor, like the saying goes “if you’re not first, you’re last”. 

Without a structured follow-up, companies might be leaving money on the table.

Lack of Sales Team Accountability

A sales team without clear roles, responsibilities, and performance metrics can often operate without direction.

Without accountability, there's no motivation to improve or even maintain a performance standard, leading to less booked jobs.

Understanding Sales Team Performance

Beyond accountability, it's important to know how the sales team performs. Metrics like booking ratios can shed light on the effectiveness of the sales process.

Without this data, it becomes challenging to pinpoint where improvements are needed or which strategies are working.

Operational Challenges

Manual/Paper Process: Although almost every modern business is run by software, many moving companies still rely heavily on manual or paper-based processes.

These methods are time-consuming and prone to errors. Such outdated methods can slow down the sales process.

Using Multiple Systems: Some companies might be using a mishmash of different systems for various tasks. This lack of integration can lead to data mix-ups, missed follow-ups, and even lost leads.

No Access to Business Insights/Reporting: Operating without access to business data is like flying blind. You don’t know how well you are actually doing, or how to get better results.

Moving companies that don't utilize reporting tools or business insights might be unaware of business trends, customer preferences, or even areas of concern within their sales process.

The Typical Sales Process for Moving Companies 

While the specifics may vary, most moving companies generally follow a standardized approach in their business development:

  1. Lead Generation: Every sales journey begins with generating potential customers. Lead generation for moving companies might involve online marketing campaigns, local advertisements, referrals, or partnerships with real estate agents.
  2. Initial Contact: Once a potential client reaches out, the company's sales team usually makes the first contact. This can be through a call, email, or even a face-to-face meeting. The primary goal here is to gather preliminary information and understand the client's needs.
  3. Providing Estimates: Based on the initial discussion, the company then provides an estimate. This can be a ballpark range given over the phone or a more detailed quote after an in-person assessment of the items to be moved. Some companies use software like SmartMoving to generate these estimates, while others may rely on manual calculations.
  4. Addressing Objections with Rebuttals: It's not uncommon for potential clients to have reservations, whether it's about the price, the services included, or the timeline. An effective sales process trains representatives to address these concerns with well-prepared answers highlighting the company's value proposition.
  5. Follow-Up: Not every client will immediately agree after receiving an estimate. Therefore, a systematic follow-up process is crucial. This can be a mix of calls, emails, or even promotional offers to entice the client to finalize the deal.
  6. Booking the Move: Once a client agrees, the next step is to lock in the details. This includes finalizing the moving date, understanding any special requirements, and collecting an advance payment or deposit if required.
  7. Pre-Move Touchpoint: A few days before the move, many companies initiate a touchpoint, which could be a call or email. This is to confirm all details, address any last-minute concerns, and ensure that everything is on track.
  8. Post-Move Feedback: After the move is complete, effective sales processes also include a mechanism to gather feedback. This helps in understanding the client's experience and making necessary improvements. It also provides an avenue for securing testimonials or reviews, which can be invaluable for future lead generation.
  9. Referral Programs: Many moving companies have realized the power of word-of-mouth marketing. By setting up referral programs, they incentivize satisfied clients to refer their services to others.
  10. Continuous Training: The sales process doesn't end after a successful move. Companies continuously invest in training their sales teams, ensuring they are updated with the latest industry trends, sales techniques, and company offerings.

Best Practices for Building Your Sales Process

Leverage software - don't try to keep it all in your head

If you're like most moving company business owners, you likely have customer information and conversations on your phone, your email, Facebook Messenger, and more.

You've probably got ongoing text threads, people you need to call back, and you're five messages deep in an email thread with someone you need to get back to... yesterday.

On top of playing the sales representative role, you must be CEO, accountant, and sometimes even pick up a box or two.

Do yourself a favor and offload your brain into a dedicated software platform. You'll feel lighter, and leads and prospects will stop slipping through the cracks for good.

Software like SmartMoving can help you stop carrying these things in your brain and letting leads slip through the cracks. Here's how:

  1. Fast and Consistent Communication: SmartMoving offers email/text scripts & templates, enabling swift communication. You can choose a template, drop it in, and stay connected with your leads seamlessly.
  2. Comprehensive Customer Data: It provides a thorough history of customer interaction, including texts, emails, pictures, calls, and various estimate versions, ensuring that sales reps have all the information they need at their fingertips.
  3. Structured Sales Schedule: With features like the Sales Dashboard, SmartMoving brings predictability and organization to your sales team's day. It prioritizes urgent tasks and provides a clear view of open leads and opportunities, helping reps plan their day efficiently.
  4. Sales Team Accountability: With real-time notifications as leads enter the system, the ability to assign leads based on skill sets, and indicators for stale opportunities, SmartMoving ensures no lead goes unnoticed.
  5. Performance Reporting: From the time taken to contact a lead to the accuracy of estimates, SmartMoving offers comprehensive reporting tools. This ensures that both sales and operations teams can constantly evaluate and improve their performance.
  6. Tailored Day-to-Day Sales Activities: Whether it's reaching out to new leads that came in over the past hour, reviewing accepted estimates, or handling unread customer messages, SmartMoving ensures that sales reps always know their next step.

Remove Funnel Bottlenecks

Are prospects not getting called back in a timely manner? That's a follow-up issue.

Are they expecting things that you can't provide? That may be a lead qualification issue.

These obstacles are called "funnel bottlenecks." They're things that hold up the process and prevent the free flow of leads, often resulting in lost business, lower conversion rates, and poor customer experience.

Moving software like SmartMoving can directly address these bottlenecks in the following ways:

  1. Timely Communication: One of the common bottlenecks in a moving company's sales process is delayed communication. SmartMoving's email and text scripts & templates allow for rapid responses. The "Incoming Lead Indicators" even mark new leads as "HOT" for the first 15 minutes, emphasizing the need for immediate contact.
  2. Structured Follow-Ups: SmartMoving's structured sales schedule, including features like the ability to create follow-ups by day and time, ensures no lead is forgotten or neglected. By prioritizing tasks and setting reminders, sales reps can consistently engage leads at the right times.
  3. Visibility into Stale Opportunities: A bottleneck often arises when leads go cold or are not engaged in a timely manner. SmartMoving provides insights into all opportunities without scheduled communication in the past two days, ensuring that potential customers are re-engaged before they lose interest.
  4. Sales Dashboard Prioritization: SmartMoving's dashboard aids in identifying urgent tasks each day. By providing a clear picture of active leads, estimated revenues, and more, it assists sales reps in addressing potential bottlenecks before they become major issues.
  5. Tailored Assignments: By allowing leads to be assigned based on sales reps' specific skill sets, such as local versus long-distance expertise, SmartMoving ensures that each lead gets the most appropriate attention, reducing the chances of miscommunication or mismatched services.
  6. Real-time Notifications: With immediate email/text notifications when leads enter the system, there's no delay in the initial contact. This minimizes the chance of potential customers looking elsewhere due to waiting times.

Lean into Your Strengths

Are you a wizard on sales calls? Do you win over prospects with great customer service?

Many folks will say your sales process must be cold-calling or you must have an email nurture funnel.

While having a sales process is important, there's no hard and fast rule regarding the specifics within that process.

The key to developing your unique sales process is to tailor it to your team's strengths.

Think Consultative Selling

In his excellent video training on selling moving services, Louis Massaro emphasizes the importance of breaking the sales stigma. Aggressive sales tactics may have worked in Glengarry Glen Ross, but today, it's all about consultative selling.

This is a mindset shift that's all about helping the prospect find the best solution to their problem, even if that solution isn't necessarily your business.

The most successful moving sales professionals are the ones who detach themselves from needing the sale.

This not only helps you come off as much less desperate, but you can engage the prospect without feeling like you need to pressure them into a close.

Stick to the Script

Another insight from Louis (and from our own experience) is that your sales script is your best friend.

Now, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't go off-script once you've built some rapport with the prospect, but having rails to run on is invaluable, especially when you encounter that inevitable lull in conversation or forget how to answer an objection.

Plus, scripts are scalable. We're building a repeatable system here, remember? It's important to document everything you do in your sales process (more on that later), especially your script.

Here are some of the most important elements to include in your sales script. You likely won't need to use all of these on every single sales call, but you'll be glad you have them when you need them:

  1. A 2-3 sentence overview of your USP (unique selling proposition) and the services you provide
  2. A compelling customer story
  3. Rebuttals to common customer objections
  4. Educate on value -- what do you bring to the table that your competitors don't?

Document the Process

As we've mentioned several times throughout this article, you must systematize this process if you want to scale your business, and you must document the process in order to systematize it.

And this is not a one-off document that you write up and stow away somewhere.

Internal documentation must be ever-evolving and changing as your business grows and you find new ways to streamline your sales process.

This is often called a "standard operating procedure," and it's handy because you can hand it to new sales professionals or a sales manager when you eventually hire one, and they can be off to the races in no time.

For further reading and advice, check out this comprehensive guide on documenting your sales process standard operating procedure.

Final Thoughts

In the competitive world of moving services, establishing a streamlined and efficient sales process isn't just an added bonus—it's an absolute necessity.

As the landscape evolves, so too must the strategies and tools companies employ. It's clear that relying on antiquated methods or attempting to juggle countless tasks without assistance isn't sustainable.

Modern challenges require modern solutions.

Adopting best practices, such as leveraging sophisticated software tools and proactively addressing potential funnel bottlenecks, can mean the difference between a thriving enterprise and a struggling one. In today's digital age, customers expect prompt responses, clear communication, and a seamless experience from start to finish.

Enter SmartMoving. With its myriad of features tailored specifically to the needs of moving companies, it stands head and shoulders above other solutions.

Whether it's the structured sales schedule that keeps sales reps on track, the real-time notifications ensuring no lead is left behind, or the comprehensive customer interaction history that offers valuable insights, SmartMoving encapsulates all the essentials and more.

Moving business owners on a quest to craft a robust and repeatable sales process will find no companion more reliable than SmartMoving. It doesn't just offer tools; it offers a pathway to sales excellence.

Learn more about how SmartMoving helps you grow your moving company revenue, or schedule a live demo today.

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