They don’t always buy right away.
Some people just have a terrible time making decisions and really need and want a little prodding. Not pressure, just a little gentle prodding.
Sometimes they just want to make sure you’re serious about your recommendations. In fact, that’s why you don’t just completely back off when you get totally turned down. Lots of techs, when they get turned down, just drop the entire conversation, tuck their tail between their legs, and leave politely. That can actually cause customers to wonder how important your “expensive” recommendations were in the first place.
One of the most difficult things to teach people about salesmanship is that you do not have to respond directly to every single objection.
Reminds me of an experience I had at an auto repair shop. The service writer quoted a bunch of stuff. I gave him a quick rejection of the entire list, and he just totally backed off. For years, I told everyone, “If all those repairs he was recommending were so important, I would have thought he would have put up some kind of fight, or said something to let me know they were. I think he was just a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing!’”
When You Get a Flat Turndown
Calmly put your finger next to the first subtotal on your Paper Towel Close (PTC), and say, “This is the least you can do.”
It’s not unusual for them to make some comment about being low on funds, or they never make snap decisions, or that they’re thinking about selling the house.
Don’t respond directly to any of those comments. One of the most difficult things to teach people about salesmanship is that you do not have to respond directly to every single objection.
Once again, point to the first subtotal and say, “This is the least you can do.” Just stare at them like they don’t have any choice, which, if you do deliver a superior level of service, and your recommendations are legitimate, they don’t.
If they offer up any more objections, point to that first subtotal one last time and say, “This has to be done.”
Usually, that’s about all it takes. It doesn’t work every time, but what does?
The ‘Hail Mary’
If they still haven’t bought, back off. You’ve done some disassembly, so say, “That’s fine; and I need to put everything back together.”
Give it a good 10 minutes or so, then grab your PTC, approach the customer with a solemn demeanor and say, “Mr(s). Customer, I’ve almost got things put back together. I’ve had another look at it, and you really don’t have a choice. You have to (suggest something small).”
The ‘Fast Nibble’
You’ve got your list of recommendations in your hand. As a rule, the customer hasn’t made a mental note of every single thing on your list and their prices. When you make your “Hail Mary” play, your customers will nearly always say, “How much was that again?”
Point to the price. When the customer says, “Okay. I’ll take that,” immediately point to one more item on the list and say, “You’ll want to get that, too.” That’s called a “fast nibble.”
At a friend’s company, we kept track of fast nibbles over a period of time and realized that fast nibbles alone resulted in an average increase of $111 per service invoice. That’s not a tremendous amount of money on any individual call, but it’s over $50,000 in additional revenue per service technician per 500 calls. That adds up.
The Art of the ‘Nibble’
You’ve made a sale and avoided a zero. Good job. But don’t let it end there. The easiest time to sell anything to anyone is right after they’ve gotten used to spending money with you.
The fast nibble worked. Now you’ll do a slow nibble, or just a ‘nibble.’
After you’ve done about 20 minutes worth of work, put your solemn face back on, pick up your PTC, approach the customer and say, “Mr(s). Customer, as a professional, I couldn’t in all clear conscience put everything back together and leave without giving you one last opportunity to avoid some major potential problem in the future. You really need to get one of these.”
As long as your recommendations are valid and sincere, you’ve got a good likelihood of success.