Our recent webinar on “The Science of Successful In-Home Selling” had over 1,000 companies registered. Some had their entire sales force in a conference room with a screen projection managing the program. A percentage of the attending companies were smaller contractors; many with little or no sales training. The majority indicated an eagerness to examine – “best practices” when selling to homeowners.
Due to time constraints we were unable to respond to all the questions received. As a result, this blog posting will attempt to answer as many as possible and provide free information as an additional service. We have included hyperlinks within the blog to enable the reader to move to this free information easily.
The questions and answers will appear in 4 sections – let’s get started.
Q: Despite being provided with great training, good leads (prospects) and a great support team, why is it that many salespeople have continuous ups and downs and many leave the profession after having been very successful?
A: Discipline plays a major role. If a salesperson is taught a proven sales method (methodology) that works, the salesperson, (sometimes consciously) takes shortcuts. And sometimes, even with shortcuts, they make a sale.
Their ego convinces them that they are smarter than the system which leads to more shortcuts. Eventually, they are no longer using the system that they were taught.
Every salesperson requires frequent – “check ups – from the neck up.” Ride-alongs with salespeople ensure that the sales system is being followed. When salespeople are required to follow the system, the first beneficiary is the salesperson. Professional athletes – thoroughbred horses – all require someone to observe their performance and to instruct and redirect them. So do salespeople.
Q: In your album – “The Science of Successful In-Home Selling” – you connect price objections to the customer’s value system. – How do you determine the value system when making a presentation?
A: First, by observing (then questioning about) the prospect’s possessions and quality of care given to the home, its furnishings, their reasons of choice and their history (both positive and negative with past acquisitions). Caution: an expensive watch might have been a gift, the same is true of some quality aspects of the property.
Value systems can be unearthed by careful questions, then listening to what is said. Carefully examine prospects’ statements about what they want, which will in turn uncover their needs. This can be accomplished during the “walk-around” of the home improvement project.
Don’t jump to conclusions. The outside of the house may need repairs; the inside may be neat, orderly and well-furnished. At first this appears confusing, however, it provides an opportunity to ask questions determining “why” certain things were purchased and what they consider priorities; all of which leads to uncovering values.
Value systems are determined by needs assessment which is a process taught and utilized in a strong sales system. Presenting to your prospect’s value systems often eliminates and obviates many price objections.
Q: You used the phrase “post negative suggestion”. What is it and how does that work?
A: “Post negative” is the first part. It means the negatives you normally receive after a presentation. These can be as simple as, “We’ll think about it” or “We’ll let you know” – to extremes such as, “Your price is too high” or some comparison to a competitive product.
By knowing that these “negatives” might develop at the end of a presentation, salespeople can build into their delivery – information (suggestions) which offset many negatives before they arise.
Q: How does the “attitude” of the salesperson affect their potential to sell more business?
A: It is a psychological fact that “the mind does not know the difference between the real or the imagined”. If you truly believe you can do something, your chances for success are more probable than the person who hopes to accomplish something yet is not sure.
A salesperson’s attitude and “mind-set” is frequently established from their history, life experience and culture. We believe that those who use personal affirmations at the beginning of each day then utilize the same system prior to visiting each prospect end up being more successful than those who don’t.
If you need help coming up with your own affirmation I suggest you check out this video I recorded some years back.
Q: I need to know more about the many ways in which to create leads.
A: My first suggestion is to review the following blog postings
Many contractors avoid some of the simplest methods, such as canvassing around jobs in progress or jobs completed within the last year or two; using door-hangers around each job; or calling their database (any lead which hasn’t become a sale). One of our best selling packages, “Leads, Leads, Leads” contains an abundance of information on this topic.
Q: You mentioned that objections are not necessarily barriers to getting the sale. What do you mean by that?
A: Objections are for the most part misunderstood. Many salespeople act as if they represent a barrier to the consummation of a sale when in fact they are a sign of interest on the part of the prospect/customer.
As evidence, the prospect who says nothing doesn’t provide you with information. Conversely, the prospect who cites an objection has an opinion, a mindset or even a bias behind the objection.
When you learn to wait 4 seconds before you respond and then ask, “Why do you say that?” – or – “What makes you feel that way?” – or – “What gives rise to that opinion?” – you will hear information that helps you better understand what the objection means which will in turn help you classify it. Sometimes it is resistance to what the prospect has heard – sometimes it is due to misinformation – sometimes it is created by bias – sometimes it has to do with bargaining instincts and frequently contains buying clues.
Q: How do we get more information on the subject of “left brain vs right brain thinking”?
A: In order to explain this better I would ask you to first examine this graphic.
The concept is based on understanding prospects, their actions, attitudes and statements. Prospects normally weigh decisions in the left side of the brain and make buying decisions in the right side of the brain. As an aftermath of many years of study in the field of human behavior, we come to this conclusion:
There is seldom a cold, rational, dispassionate buyer who chooses a product simply on merit. Buyers are stimulated by a number of emotional, psychological prods which, when understood, enables a presenter to utilize methods which are balanced to both sides of the brain.
Creating word pictures are a major consideration in the presentation of a home improvement project.
As a reminder, there will be 3 more blog entries devoted to answering these questions.
Should you need additional feedback on what you have read here, you can send me an e-mail directly.