We all experience sales professionals when we go about our daily lives. When you buy a suit, wouldn't you expect the clerk to show you a tie that matches? When you get your oil changed, will you hear how synthetic oil is better for your car and will be given that as an option? When you are at the drive-thru do you hear, "Would you like fries with that?"
These things are especially true in other countries. Sales is a way of life for many cultures. When you travel to Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean you will see regular people on the street and in markets who are pros at helping people find the things that will make them happy. Souvenirs, mementos, reminders of their travels. Sometimes small, sometimes grand. It is up to the buyer to decide. Children are taught from an early age to sell. They are the ones who learn the languages you and the other tourists speak. They then ask questions to determine what will make you happy. What are you looking for? Then they take you to the exact vendor you need. Sales.
Find out what people need and want and offer it to them. Have what people need and want and let them know you can help them obtain it. Sales. Remember, they don't want the mini statue as much as the memory it will give them every time they look at it.
Your associates may say "I am not a salesperson." Imagine that person as an infant or a two-year old. Don't you think even they would have asked for what they want from Mom and Dad? They probably put on a pretty good act too. Maybe even a little crying and begging just for a cookie. Sales. And, their mom explained that when they do the right thing they can get the cookie as a reward. That is sales too.
Now, look at you and your associates and see who is in a relationship with another person. We all spent years getting ourselves cleaned up to look good and practicing what to say so we could win the heart of that person. Sales.
You see, we've all been in sales our entire lives. Sales is something we all do every day. And, when we say "I'm not good at it," or "I can't," what does that say to your parenting skills? Or your relationship skills? Just look at your partner and some of you will even wonder, "how the hell did I do that?" Sales. You sold yourself to them and they bought what you were selling.
We are all in sales. And your customers need you to simply talk with them about the results they will enjoy from your products and services. No one wants to be sold anything they do not need or want but they do need to know about things that will make their lives better. Right now, an ultraviolet light in their ductwork makes complete sense. Making their entire home more comfortable with zoning or mini-splits because they have the entire family living there now. And for those customers who are on a strict budget, we can help them save money on utility bills with a maintenance agreement. Or, stop all the costly repairs by replacing the air conditioner, lowering utility bills AND repairs.
Help people. Find out what they want and help them understand how they can get it. Once you determine what the cookie is then just let them know what they have to do to EARN the cookie. If they want their home to be safer, let them know how ultraviolet lights work. And they will buy. You see, a professional salesperson does not sell. We should never "sell." A pro finds out what is needed and offers choices. The only thing a pro "sells" is why you should get it from them.
Remember, as Jeffrey Gitomer said, "no one likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to buy." When you need a new pair of jeans, you go to the store. When the clerk asks you if she can help you, do you say, "no, I'm just looking," or do you tell them why you are there and let them help you? They know more about what is on those shelves then you do so you should let them help you. And, if you do, you will more than likely leave with a better-fitting pair of jeans than if you had muddled through it yourself.
Your HVAC customer needs your help. You offer solutions to lots of things they need help with. Make sure they know that. Whether you answer the phone, repair and maintain, or help customers with replacement, find out what they need and want and offer it to them. Remember however, they don't need a light in their ducts, they need to clean the air in their home. They don't need a zoning system, they need better comfort upstairs.
If a customer says, "your people are always trying to sell something," then they probably are. Stop selling and find out what the cookie is. Ask questions through conversation and help people with what they need and want. They will open up to you when you do what you do for the right reasons. Give them a way to get the cookie and you may be surprised at how many of them will take you up on it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike brings experience in the contracting industry as a sales manager and comfort advisor for one of the largest and well respected residential heating and air conditioning contractors in the United States. He has personally worked with over 150 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.
Mike’s diverse background includes movies and entertainment, public speaking, fitness and over 20 years in HVAC. As a talent agent in Hollywood, Mike had actors on television, commercials and movies. Running his own company, Mike lead his team to become the largest aerobic certification agency in the United States with a nationally recognized fitness magazine that was the first national publication specifically for the aerobic fitness community. With six motion picture credits to his name, Mike also brings film management and production to the table. What does that mean to you? It simply means that Mike knows how to entertain each and every audience plus organize training and consulting programs so you get what you pay for and walk away with the value you expect from such a performer.