Remodeling Magazine reports that 15-20% of sales appointments are one-leggers, or sales appointments with only one homeowner present. That percentage is even higher in suburbs and during summer. Rather than losing 20%+ of possible business, you should take steps when setting the appointment and running the sales call to ensure all interested parties are available. Here are 6 proven strategies to convert one-leggers into profitable business.

To avoid one-leggers:

1) Request all decisionmakers’ contact information when setting the appointment. Confirm the appointment with both parties before sending the salesperson out.

2) If customer would prefer to run the demo solo, explain the value of the sales process – you have experts to talk them through their options, and their co-owner will want to see it.

3) If a customer strongly insists that they are empowered to make the purchasing decision, then run the demo.

What you should never, ever ask to establish this information – “is your husband/wife available?” It leads to more 1-star rants on Yelp than you would think.

Instead, start your appointment setting conversation by asking - “are you the sole homeowner?” Completely non-offensive, and leads to the same answer.

To convert one-leggers when they happen:

1) Use a multistage approach. Determine if the 1-leg present is an interested buyer. If yes, proceed with sales demo and go for the close. If no, complete measurements, leave behind sales material, and schedule a subsequent visit with both parties present. Definitely don't allow your sales team burn leads or blow off appointments because they are one-legged.

2) Alternatively, you can deliver the demo, and then rather than pushing for a close, re-set the appointment so that the pricing discussion happens when both parties are present. You might explain that the cost calculation is complicated, not a guesstimate, so the sales person needs to calculate it at the office.

3) Some companies report success in closing a sale by requesting a deposit if the one-leg customer wants to move forward. That way, fewer customers cancel the contract as they are more invested.

So, there you have it. Three tools to avoid one-leggers, and three tips to close them when they happen (and they will happen)! If you are looking for more tips to improve your appointment setting and sales process, read our phone practices guide – it’s packed with tips to improve your sales system!