We received a ton of great feedback in the aftermath of last week’s home improvement webinar entitled “Did You Lose the Sale When You Said Hello?”. Thank you for all your kind responses, your submissions of the items you would like us to cover next time, and as always your excellent questions. We will address many of these below:
Q: How do you know when you’re overselling?
A: Overselling might mean too much talking, too little listening, or it might mean an overzealous attempt to get an order quickly before the prospect’s needs are fulfilled. Overselling might also mean inundating the prospect with anecdotes or personal war stories that have little to do with their personal needs or values.
Scientific selling includes having an awareness that your responsibility is to do a great needs assessment (inspection of the project) and discover needs beyond the prospects’ wants then present to those needs.
Q: How do we know when the competition is out of the game?
A: There is always competition. If it’s not specifically for a product or service of similar nature, or something which appears to do what your product does, competition can come from the prospect’s perception of “spendable dollars” – and/or – where their dollars are best used, whether it be for their needs or their wants.
Great presentations take all of these into consideration and cover them in almost every presentation. As a suggestion, at no cost, listen to “The 7 Myths of In-Home Selling”.
Q: How do I sell against the competition without sounding like a weasel?
A: Your primary role as a salesperson is to uncover “needs”. As an example, a roofing product with a 30-35 year projected life and warranty is really the best option for someone who is going to live in their home for a protracted period of time. If the warranty is transferable, it is great for people who will live in the house for a shorter period of time. Think of the competition as being an alternative or option to which yours is superior.
Your reference to the word ‘weasel’ may mean that you are disparaging the person or the company, and if you feel that way, you probably are. You can respond to competition without making demeaning or reprehensible remarks about either the company or the owners. If you in fact represent a superior product which is installed in a superior manner utilizing superior customer satisfaction protocols, first determine needs through an inspection or walk-around. Next examine the values of your prospects and present to those factors. Think – feel – believe that what you are offering is the best solution to the prospect’s needs, and it is the best solution of any offers in your market.
Q: We have a favorable number of leads; our closing rate is the problem. We have a seasoned team but we lose a lot over price. There are just so many smaller, quality remodelers now, people getting multiple bids, it’s tough to compete.
A: Congratulations on having a favorable number of leads. However, I do not concur that you are not selling the appropriate number because of price. It’s usually a matter of “value”. Did you, prior to presenting the price, establish value through presenting a project in such a way as to have perceived value? Was there inclusive in the presentation the issues of your worker’s compensation, licensing and credibility? You may think your salespeople are presenting those issues – usually they’re not. Download March’s home improvement webinar and also request our newsletter from May of this year by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Both will give you factual data (at no cost) for your next meeting.
Q: We used to do a “one call close” back in the day but now currently do not put as much “pressure” on the buyer. My issue is how to teach my sales reps to try to close the deal (regardless of price, etc.) and still secure a – “be back”.
A: Unfortunately, yours is a typical mistake connecting a one call close with pressure. In fact, if you are using pressure, prospects will determine that quickly and it may cost you the sale – or once you get the sale, it may later be cancelled.
A one call close is based on attitude irrespective of what you sell or to whom. Many remodeling contractors have to make one or two calls before they have a clear picture of the project and how it can be completed. In that example, it is only when the entire project is presented together with an accurate written proposal (price) that the close is attempted.
If the salesperson/presenter has done their job correctly, the price is presented based on how the product/service fits the customer’s needs better than other similar products.
Your question implies that the salesperson has to leave “an opening” enabling them to “be back”.
In our opinion (backed up by abundant research and customer surveys) a price delivered with some degree of urgency is not high-pressure. If the presentation is made along the lines of scientific selling, all sales which are not closed can be rehashed and covered by another salesperson, thus ensuring the original salesperson has done their job correctly and at least “attempted” to close the sale (ask for the order in some way).
The concept of asking for the order or attempting to get the sale on a first call being high-pressure is based on a “lack of understanding” of the principles of selling and/or the recognition of a prospect’s intent and purpose in contacting your company to begin with. Our most successful clients, many of whom are large volume producers, effect a one call close and maintain customer satisfaction surveys of 95% and higher.
We will answer more of your questions in a subsequent blog posting.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who participated in making this program come to fruition, particularly our sponsors and business partners: Marketsharp, GE Capital, Socius Marketing and Qualified Remodeler.