Let’s continue to look at some of the great questions that were submitted during our recent webinar, “The Science of Successful In-Home Selling”.
If you did not have the opportunity to read the first Q&A posting from the webinar, make sure to do so by reading the post below this one.
Q: What are your impressions of salespeople who are convinced that the only reason they lose a sale is because of price?
A: Our theory is that these salespeople need better training on how to present the product so it equals the value of the price being quoted.
Q: At what time in the presentation process do you recommend using your permission statement?
A: It is usually presented twice – – first after a “walk-around” (needs assessment) when you are presenting your company story prior to your product presentation. Later, it is repeated prior to a trial close or final close.
Q: Why do you use the words “want” and “need” in the same sentence when an appointment is set or the salesperson goes to the home?
A: Because these words are often used interchangeably and they have different meanings. As an example, the customer frequently says, “I just want the price” (even on the phone when calling your company). Yet how can a price be beneficial if it’s not connected to a specific product, quality or model.
When you visit a prospect, they will frequently say, “Just give me the price first and then we can talk about the particulars.” What you are hearing is someone expressing “want”. It is only after you have examined a project with a prospect and established some of the values such as the current conditions, how they affect the owner economically, how long the homeowners will remain in the home and similar information that you will have established a “need”.
When “wants and needs” are inserted at lead intake and repeated when the salesperson gets to the home, it establishes the fact that you are going to spend sufficient time examining and determining the needs of the project and the prospect.
Q: What is the difference between defending your price and answering their price objections?
A: When a project is presented effectively, value is established and price conditioning has been accomplished. If a salesperson has presented the project using a “total offer concept” there is no need to defend your price; the prospect will see the value, yet still may not be ready to buy. In scientific selling, we next use trial closes.
Q: Can a major home improvement project be sold on the first call?
A: Here’s how we define a first call. After you’ve made a preliminary visit (sometimes several), or if this is a design/build project which requires more than one visit, a first call is defined as — when you make a total project presentation and present the price to all interested parties. And yes, it is possible to close on that call.
Some projects are larger and more involved and they make closing a little more complicated. Irrespective of which complications arise, it is important that after the project has been presented and the price quoted you ask for the order in a non-offensive way.
If you don’t get the order, you will get information which may enable you to revive interest and find ways to retain strong customer interest and eventually close the sale.
Q: Please repeat your definition of the word “closing”
A: Closing the sale is the natural conclusion to the satisfactory completion of all the steps in a sound sales methodology.
The latter implies that when you sell from a structured sales method, it is important to complete all the steps while remembering the one you leave out may be the key as to why you didn’t get the order.
Q: Many contractors believe the reputation of the company, the quality of the work and fair pricing is sufficient to convince customers to do business. Is this the case?
Q: If your company has a great reputation, uses a great product, and performs a quality job at reasonably fair prices, why don’t you get some of the jobs you believe were lost to “lower pricing”?
A: Suppose you’ve lost jobs to competition – to those you believed used lesser quality products, less qualified installation crews, and even had a lesser reputation than your company.
If you do believe this, I invite you to download this free mp3.
There are many companies with great products who lose sales because they don’t spend enough time doing walk-arounds (needs assessment), they often do not present their product with high energy, and they may not know how to use trial closes. Couple this with a less than positive attitude by the salesperson/presenter, and your strong brand name and the other qualities of your company are frequently overriden.
Q: Most of our leads come from Sam’s Club and Home Depot where we have displays. Their customers are conditioned to the concept of “the lowest price”. They are frequently shocked when we quote a price which may be higher than several other contractors not involved with either of these brands. How do we handle this?
A: You are describing the Sam’s Club or Home Depot customer who you believe is conditioned to think “lowest price”. Yet in these stores they sell models of products which vary in price and quality. It is your responsibility to define the difference in your price as being the model/project which meets this prospect’s needs better than all “others”.
The best way to do this is to highlight issues such as the quality of the labor, your insurance, installation equipment, longevity of the product, warranties and how your design functions fit the prospect’s home better than others. In short, it’s up to you to present the quality aspects so the prospect perceives the value. The lead you describe has many unique qualities. Think of it as a referral through the “brand name” store. Think of yourself as being an arm of that brand. Sell the concept of your being selected because of a prior history of quality performance. You are in this prospect’s home because of your relationship with the brand. You will frequently be afforded more time and better consideration because of the latter.
Finally, stop believing that all these customers are thinking “lowest price” (see the previous question on value systems). In most cases, they want the best possible job at the lowest price possible.
Should you need additional feedback on what you have read here, you can send me an e-mail directly.