The complete sales call procedure takes about 90 minutes. By now you’ve been in the home about forty-five minutes to an hour, and it’s been primarily information gathering. You’ve been earning the right to their business. You didn’t come in the door and just start selling. You’ve taken the time to determine their needs, and now it’s time for to you start selling. Call them into the room. Once you’re all seated around the table, ask, “What made you decide to call my company?”
As a rule, they’re going to say something positive, which gets thing start off on a good note. Additionally, what they say may provide you with a major clue as to exactly what type of wording appeals to them.
Do a quick summary of what you’ve all agreed was what they wanted out of their new home comfort system to make sure you’re on the right track. Say something like, “Based on what you’ve told me and the information I’ve gathered, you’re looking for something that will (name four or five benefits they hope new equipment will provide them with).”
After your summary, you’ll say, “Would you like to know exactly what I’m recommending to you, and how and why it fits your individual, specific needs?”As a rule, they’ll say, “yes.”
Continue on with, “While we’re at it, would you like to know why you should choose me to do this job for you and what I do on my installations that is a little unique and would also fit your individual specific needs?”
The “Brand Name Issue”
Customers often begin a conversation by inquiring about a specific brand name, and may at first seem very brand name conscious, but that’s just because brand name is all they know about at that point.
You can use a prospect’s concern over brand name as sort of a yardstick to see how well you’re doing on the call. The longer you can go without having to commit to a specific brand name, the more confident you should feel.
Point out two or three specific facts and benefits on the equipment, but only with extreme caution! You don’t want your presentation to turn into a sales pitch for a specific brand and model so they end up going down the street and, upon your recommendation, buying that make and model from a competitor with a lower price!
The only thing your prospects need to know to make a buying decision is that they can trust you to have their best interests at heart and not your own. Conveying that message is what every moment of this very brief period, maybe 10 minutes of sales procedure, is devoted to.
If you’re going to educate the consumer on anything, educate them on why they should have you do the job for them!
Rather than state a lot of dry facts about the equipment, tell true stories about the people whose quality of life you have improved with your equipment.
What exactly do you say during this, the “sales” segment of the selling process? Very little. The rule of thumb on how much to say on a sales call is: If they can make a buying decision without your saying it, don’t say it.
Does this mean that you will deliberately withhold information and allow a homeowner make a decision that you know will have undesirable results? Of course not!
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Don’t volunteer exact specifications on the equipment, even on the size or efficiency rating. If asked, however, you will be happy to provide that information.
Technical questions, even from engineers, are an indication that you haven’t gained their complete confidence yet.
Technical answers to technical questions can often lose sales. Rarely is the inquirer of a technical question satisfied with answers.
Try this procedure when you feel they’re asking too many technical questions:
• Write down their question and say: “I’ll check it out for you.” If that doesn’t work, say, “I’ve got something out in my car on that.”
By having to go out to your car to retrieve support material on everything they ask about, you eliminate unnecessary questions after the third trip out to the car. You also get a chance to be alone to organize your thoughts and ask yourself, “What is going wrong here?”
It also gives them more opportunities to talk about you behind your back, gives you a chance to provide evidence to support your recommendations, provide opportunities for you to meet them three or more times per call.
• Slowly repeat the question back to them.
There’s more to this segment of the sales call, and I’ll cover it next month.
Charlie Greer is the creator of the audio book “Slacker’s Guide to HVAC Sales,” and “Charlie Greer’s 4-Day Sales Survival Schools,” which are held in Fort Myers, Florida. For more information, go to www.hvacprofitboosters.com, or call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822). Email your questions or feedback to [email protected].