Let’s talk statistics. We, who work with the public, need to acknowledge some sad truths about the people we serve. Half of the people you’ve ever met, worked with, or tried to conduct business with, are smarter than the other half. This means that half of the people you’ve ever met, worked with, or tried to conduct business with are dumber than the other half.
That half-way mark is called the median, and unfortunately, the median level of intelligence happens to be a little on the low side. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.
The U.S. is about 5% of the world’s population, and we take more prescription drugs than the rest of the world combined. This epidemic of prescription drug use grows worse every year. Americans consume 80% of the world’s pain pills. That equates to more than 110 tons of addictive opiates every year.
Antidepressants are the most common prescription medication for Americans, age 18-44, and the third most common drug across all ages. Furthermore, 23% of American women in their 40s and 50s have been prescribed antidepressants.
Isn’t that our primary demographic in the HVAC service marketplace? About one-quarter of all the adults in America and around the world have a mental disorder of some kind. Guess what: 20% of Americans now take at least one drug to treat a psychological disorder.
The bottles these pills are dispensed in have stickers on them that say, “May cause dizziness or drowsiness,” and “Do not drive while taking this medication until you know how it will affect you.”
Some more interesting facts: Did you know that 19% of the young men who graduate from an American high school this year have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD?
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These are not judgments. These are harsh realities. I don’t like them any more than you do, but when you work with the public, you’ve got to know this about people and adapt yourself to the situation.
Use the “K.I.S.S.” method of communicating, which stands for, “Keep It Short and Simple.” In the interest of “educating” your customers, you’re providing thoughtful, detailed explanations on everything you’re recommending, and why — then wondering why it’s so hard to get decisions out of people.
Almost no one has taken a course on effective decision-making. So here is my advice on how to sell to consumers:
- Keep it short. Long explanations don’t sell anything and most people don’t have the time or attention span for them
- Keep it simple. A confused mind always says, “No.”
- Don’t get side-tracked. Stay on topic
- Stay away from a lot of small talk. Keep it all business
- Don’t use much humor. People with low intelligence or on medication might not get the joke and could become offended for no good reason
- Don’t say anything that doesn’t need to be said. Say very little, then show them the price and give them a chance to make a decision.
- If they don’t buy on the first try, trickle out a little more info, then give them another chance to make a decision.
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Before saying anything, ask yourself:
Who cares? if the answer was no one but you, don’t say it.
Can I make the sale without saying it? You can always say more, but once it’s said, you can’t say less. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Will this make them feel good about buying from me? My job as a salesman is to make people feel good about buying from me. If what you’re thinking of saying won’t cause them to have a good feeling about owning your product or service, don’t say it.
Is this something the person wanting to spend the least amount of money can relate to? The most important thing to stress when you’re in a selling situation is that accepting your recommendations is the way to spend the least amount of money possible. Everybody wants a deal, so make everyone feel like they’re getting a deal. Getting the multi-task discount plus the service agreement discount is a deal. Stress the savings.
You can’t educate people well enough for them to make an informed decision in a very short period of time. They’re not going to base their decision on information and logic anyway. People base their decisions on emotions and feelings. They’re more likely to remember how you made them feel than they are to remember exactly what you said.
Concentrate on giving them a good feeling and making sure they feel that you’re looking out for their interests and you’ll close more sales in less time.
Charlie Greer is a service technician, a salesman, and a sales trainer. His associate, Dale Mincks, will run service calls with your technicians and demonstrate excellence in service sales using your prices, in your area. For more information, call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822), or visit www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Email Charlie at [email protected].