Q&A From Our October 2020 Webinar on Closing Sales in a Challenging Environment

The following questions were sent to us as an aftermath of the webinar, "Closing Sales in a Challenging Environment". The primary speakers on this webinar were Dave Yoho and Brian Gottlieb. Each is recognized as being a legend in the industry, who produces innovative solutions, and leads teams toward success.

Q: How do we create urgency during this time - especially for a $50,000+ remodel?

A: Much depends on the ability of the presenter to first establish “need”. In turn, needs can only be determined by an inspection, a project walk around and a lineup of customer satisfaction questions. The latter is also referred to as a "needs assessment". During this process, the prospects are permitting you to take up their time with a presentation. The job of the salesperson is to show “care”, which will happen only if they are trained to do it properly.

NOTE: We will expound on this later when we tackle the issue of rapport.

Q: How is the marketplace going to change in 2021?

A: Right now, the market is in a state of flux. Currently, there are more people than usual at home available for a presentation - - this is obviously a positive. Your personnel should be adaptable to what they are saying and doing in response to prospects; however, a “step selling" approach needs to remain at the forefront of their presentation.  Every company should constantly review their sales methodology, and “role play” with their employees. The employee selling to homeowners (in their home) has to sharpen their presentation skills to meet the prevailing attitudes.

Despite the size or financial stability of a company, more thought must go into how to get leads more efficiently, how to distribute them more effectively, and how to measure the effectiveness of a presentation (whether it was sold or not). In short, many companies do not need more leads, instead they need to give more thought to training salespeople/presenters to understand and use customer satisfaction selling methods.

Q: How do you keep customers engaged during presentations? 

A: The answer relates to the “step selling process”. As an example, the initial visit (meeting) with the customer should consist of more questions than declarative statements. As an example, when first meeting the prospect, a powerful series of questions would be: “Did the person on the phone from our company explain what we will be doing on this first visit?” Irrespective of the answer, the presenter says, “We intend to look at what you want to have done and to discover what you need to have done. During our evaluation of your project we will determine if we can meet your needs and your values. If we can, we will make a complete presentation of the project and how it meets your needs and how on the  completion of your project - - what it will look like and how it will meet or exceed your needs and values. If we don’t feel we can meet those goals and values we will be happy to provide you with information regarding other sources – does that sound fair?”

The latter represents just one part of the first step. Each step in your process is in turn, the means and methods by which to accomplish your goal.

Check out our YouTube page for more information on how to deliver this language to the customer.

Q: Dave Yoho constantly refers to rapport and I hear others refer to this as becoming friendly – making a friend – developing trust. Is there one word that Dave uses that would help a layman understand the meaning of rapport?

A: One word is “harmony”, although this may transcend many things that seem opposite to your approach. For example, the phrase “buyer versus seller” (certainly not a good idea). In fact, once the customer becomes cooperative, this far exceeds all crafty language, high personality induction, and/or “first person glamorization of the presenter’s role”. These are all outdated selling concepts. Developing rapport with prospects goes above and beyond these terms and leads to a harmonious "meeting of the minds" that cannot be duplicated.  

Q: How do we produce "same-day" closes is the time of COVID -19, and how does the election impact the sales environment?

A: Much of this has to do with attitude. The COVID -19 pandemic has had a major influence on the actions of both buyers and sellers. Without intent to minimize COVID-19 or to use it as a predictor of outcomes, some years ago, we had the swine flu epidemic. Another major issue was the tragedy of 9/11. Also, remember the economic downturn of 2007-2012. All of these are examples of issues that caused challenges for small business. However, numerous companies thrived, despite the circumstances, largely because of their rapid adaptation to a changing environment and having a structured plan to thrive regardless of the circumstances. Finally, the most successful companies made an overarching commitment to positivity.

Q: We are running canvassing crews during these times - - how do you get people to answer the door? They look out the window and will not come out.

A: Canvassing is a process not unlike any other sales or marketing tool. The principles of canvassing are adjusted to meet the current conditions in the marketplace. Canvassing requires updated scripting and updated “techniques”. Much depends on the product, the marketing/sales process and the manner and plan by which you teach your canvassers. One of our major clients, whose canvassing department produces around $20 million, annually utilizes teams, 5 to 7 canvassers supervised by a team manager.

Q: How can a sales rep recognize that their enthusiasm during the course of the presentation is lacking?

A: The simplest way is to have the salesperson record their entire presentation (i.e. pocket recorder or hidden mic). The intention is for the salesperson to analyze their level of enthusiasm and how strongly they stick to the script. Remember, selling is a science not an art form. Enthusiastic presentation methods enhance the information provided. This process requires teaching, role playing and constant coaching. The salesman, once hearing his own presentation will have all the tools he needs to adjust and excel.

If you have not yet heard this powerful webinar, we recommend that you invest 75 minutes out of your day to do so - - you will be pleased that you did.

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