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    Close The Sale

    How to Close More Than Once on Service Calls

    March 13, 2020
    You can make more than one closing attempt without coming across as pushy.

    Most people with jobs that include sales are concerned about coming across as pushy. What if I told you that being overly concerned about being pushy could actually cause people to say that about you?

    Years ago I had a car with an intermittent electrical problem. You know those are always tricky. I had a regular mechanic that I referred others to on a regular basis. One week they advertised on the radio that they had someone coming to their shop with a machine that could diagnose, among other things, intermittent electrical problems.

    I went there, they hooked it up, then went over their findings with me. They told me I needed new wiper blades, some new hoses, a new air cleaner, and a new timing belt, and they could do all that for only $1,200.

    I asked, "And that will solve my intermittent electrical problem?"

    "We didn't find an intermittent electrical problem," said the service writer.

    I said, "So let me get this straight  ̶  for only $1,200, you can NOT fix my car. Is that right?"

    He said, "That's right."

    I took my keys and left. The whole thing just seemed like a money grab to me, so I made it a point to tell everyone I'd previously referred to them not to use them after all.

    Pretty soon a friend explained to me the absolute disaster a timing belt breaking on me while I was driving down the highway would be, the absolute necessity of replacing it prior to that occurring, and that my car had enough mileage to warrant my doing so.

     My position was, "If it was that important that I spend that kind of money, he should have stressed it to me."

    I decided that I would make sure that people knew I was serious about the recommendations I was making.

    Then it hit me. I was doing HVAC service at the time, and I was one of those people who, if my customers balked at any of my suggestions, even if I felt they were necessary, immediately backed down so they wouldn't think I was high pressure. I couldn't help but wonder how many people, after I made recommendations, got turned down and left, said to their family or friends, "I wonder if he was a wolf in sheep's clothing. I would think that if it was that important that I spend that kind of money, he would have been a little more assertive."

    I decided at that point that I would make sure that people knew I was serious about the recommendations I was making.

    An important note is that you do not recommend things just to sell them something. Do not put anything on your list of recommendations that you wouldn't buy if you were in their position.

    Make a prioritized list of what you feel needs immediate attention, what can be put off until later, and what items are purely enhancements that it would just be nice to have, in that order. Strike a subtotal between each of these three categories.

    Save Your Bullets
    People that aren't very good at sales say everything they have to say about a given product or service before making their initial closing attempt. That makes making multiple closing attempts difficult. When you've said everything you have to say, then get a stall, an objection or a put-off, all that's left for you to do is try some different sales technique, beg and plead for the sale, or repeat yourself, all of which are annoying and insulting to the customer.

    Limiting the amount of information you offer prior to making your first closing attempt allows you the room to make multiple closing attempts without high-pressuring people or repeating yourself.

    Limiting the amount of information you offer prior to making your first closing attempt allows you the room to make multiple closing attempts without high-pressuring people or repeating yourself.

    Say very little; only enough to get some positive buying signs (IE. head nodding and other signs of agreement), then give them an opportunity to buy. If you get an objection, a stall or a put-off, you can provide a little more information, which is basically more reasons to buy, then give them another opportunity to make a buying decision.  That’s not offensive in the least. In fact, you can even say, “Based on this additional information, does this seem like something you’d like to go ahead with?”

    This is what I mean by “Save Your Bullets.”

    Don't Shoot Your Big Guns First
    If you really want to do it right, don't even tell them the best, most interesting things about the product or service prior to making your initial closing attempt. Then, if they don't buy, say something new about the product or service that's even better than what you already told them, and give them another opportunity to make a buying decision.

    If they don't buy at that point, say something else that's even better.

    That's what I mean when I say, "Don't shoot your big guns first."

    When You Get Turned Down
    When you get a turned down, put your finger next to the first subtotal, and say, “This is the least you can do,” then say nothing.

    If they do anything other than buy, don't respond directly to the objection. Just point to that first subtotal and say, “This has to be done.”

    If they haven’t bought yet, back off. Tell them, “That’s fine; and I need to put your equipment back together.”

    If you got completely turned down at this point, it would still take you 15-20 minutes to pack up and leave. This can give people a few minutes away from you to discuss the issue or think things over.

    Hopefully, they'll approach you with a decision to go ahead and do at least some of the work you've recommended.

    They might have a question. That's the perfect opportunity to tell them some more good things about what you're recommending, or drive home the need or sense of urgency.

    The "Last Resort Close":
    Give it a good ten minutes or so, put on your serious face, approach the customer and say, "Mr(s). Customer's, 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 problems in the future. You really need to get one of these," and point to an item on the Paper Towel Close.

    The "Impulse Buy"
    When the customer says, "Okay. I'll take that," immediately point to one more item on the list and say, "You're gonna want that, too."

    Charlie Greer was voted "Favorite Industry Sales Trainer" in 2019 and is the creator of "Tec Daddy's Service Technician Survival School on DVD," the video training course that provides you with a year's worth of weekly sales meetings. For more information on Charlie's products and services, go to www.hvacprofitboosters.com or call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822). Email your comments or sales questions to [email protected].