Written by EGIA Contractor University Faculty & Marketplace Partners
By Mark Matteson
Most new salespeople do not really listen to their prospects. They are waiting to talk -- to talk about their product or service, their agenda, their company, what they want. The key to high close ratios and record sales? Listen to FIND. Listen to understand their point of view, their challenges, their concerns, their objectives. Once you know what the prospect really wants, learn why they want it and what it will mean to them to achieve it. Only then are you in a position to offer solutions that will help them reach their goals. Frank Bettger said, "Find out what people want and help them get it!" Short and sweet.
Sales is an art and a science. The art constitutes the soft skills. The science deals with the numbers. How many calls do you make each day, each week, each month? I interviewed Pat McCarthy, author of The Nordstrom Way shortly after that amazing book was released. He told me over breakfast, "The turning point in my sales career came when I committed to making 40 calls a day, no matter what!" I don't care what you sell. If you make 40 calls a day, you will be wildly successful in sales. Pick a number. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty calls a day. The key, especially if you are new to sales, lies in making the calls.
Communicate with excellence. Isn't that what we want our technicians to do? Communicate with homeowners the opportunities for them to be comfortable, safe, healthy and how to save money. Imagine if your technician was so excellent in his or her communication skills that every homeowner they talked with completely understood all the possibilities available for them to take the best care of their family through their HVAC system. Had all the possibilities laid out for them so that all they had to do is make a decision. To give a simple yes or no. And be happy either way.
Contracting in the 21st century is a complicated business with many moving parts, and one of the critical success factors to be able to produce positive cash flow and a 20% + profit structure is pricing.
We must move beyond selling to homeowners and transition to serving homeowners. There are two reasons to make this change: the vast amount of knowledge and research homeowners do before purchasing a new HVAC system and the homeowner's contaminated perception of contractors. Our approach must consist of transparency, expertise, and an openness to present options based on the homeowner's needs and wants. This is an emotional purchase that exceeds logic, caused by the expense they are about to incur.