With the holidays so recently in our past we reflect on our guests and think about whether we enjoyed having them in our home or not. Some guests we enjoy having around so much that we overlook the interruption they bring to our lives. Others, not so much. Having guests can raise all kinds of emotions and leave you feeling great … or determined to never allow it to happen again.
So, what makes a great experience with a guest in your home? Are they helpful? Are they entertaining? Are their stories interesting, or are they just wasting your time every time they open their mouth? Do they ask about you or is it all about them? Do they leave you drained and worn out, or do they energize you and give you new hope? Do they bring value to the relationship so that you can’t wait to see them again?
Such is the relationship we have with our customers. Each time a contractor representative is invited into a family’s home, a relationship occurs resulting in emotion that leaves a homeowner feeling like the visit was valuable or the time spent was a waste. Our associates have the opportunity to engage, entertain and educate the people who have invited us to be a guest in their homes. What we do with that time is crucial to the outcome and can, when handled properly, create a happy and willing relationship that results in being invited back regularly and where everybody comes out happy.
Once someone wants to make a change in their life, we then have the opportunity to educate them on ways that can occur.
When a contractor is invited into a home, the first thing that must occur is to get the homeowner comfortable talking with you. If you take over and do all the talking, then they may not listen when you say something that is really important. When we have discussions with family and friends and we both talk equally, then we are having a mutually beneficial conversation. Otherwise, someone is just talking while the other may be thinking about something else, or even thinking that the other person only cares about themselves.
When we engage people, ask questions about them and their family that create emotion. When we get people to become emotional about what we are discussing they will have a desire to make a change. Once someone wants to make a change in their life, we then have the opportunity to educate them on ways that can occur. The emotion that arises when people talk “at” each other instead of with each other typically is more hostile and not helpful at all. Get your customer to have a conversation with you where they can become emotional about the results and you will open the door for them to want to become educated about how they can make changes for the better.
There are a lot of open-ended questions that we should ask homeowners but I think these three are most important:
1. Where in your home is it hard to heat and cool?
2. Who in your home suffers from allergies or respiratory issues?
3. Are your utility bills and/or equipment repair bills higher than you would like them to be?
Each of these questions should be scrutinized. Dig into the specifics of each answer to find out what the issues are and what the name of the person who has issues is. By asking the questions behind these questions you will create emotion. People buy on emotion. When we help them feel emotion about their family, then we are in a position to offer solutions. Create a list of goals based on the answers to these questions and the customer will want to make a change.
The goals should look something like this:
1. Getting Miranda more comfortable in her bedroom.
2. Helping Andrew and dad breathe better.
3. Saving money.
When you get this specific you are in a position to educate your customer on how they can achieve these goals. You don’t have to sell when you position the solution as the logical way for them to achieve a healthy and comfortable home that saves them money with lower utility bills and fewer repairs. They might even spend less on visits to the doctor and medicines.
Take your customer on a journey that creates feelings about their family’s health and comfort. Find out what is important to them and talk about it. Just like your guests, your customers want someone who is helpful, caring and informative. Be the guest that they see value in having again and again. Have fun with them and teach them something new that helps them take better care of their family and you will create a customer for life.
If you want to learn a proven sales process that yields predictable measurable results, where salespeople are taught to match the process to the buyer’s process and pace to achieve the best possible experience and outcome for the customer, download your complimentary in-home sales training package from EGIA at www.egia.org/cbs-ihs.
Mike Treas brings experience in the contracting industry as a sales manager and comfort advisor for one of the largest and most well-respected residential heating and air conditioning contractors in the United States. He has personally worked with hundreds of contracting companies across North America conducting training and consulting in the areas of sales, sales management, business management, customer service and technician lead generation training. His background consists of 35 years in sales and sales management bringing expertise, knowledge, techniques and strategies proven in the contracting industry to increase sales. He is an EGIA Contractor University faculty member.