Selling & Sales Help
Yesterday, I started a post about selling and sales, and why people buy. Today, I am going to list the 4 reasons why people buy and talk a little bit about the selling process. Ready?
People buy for all kinds of reasons, and despite numerous studies on the subject, no one has actually nailed down what selling skills or tactics work the best. But, the following reasons have been documented in many studies:
1. Expertise – The achieved level of skills and knowledge possessed by an individual. In other words, people buy from people they believe to be experts.
2. Empathy – The ability to identify and understand some one else’s perceptions and feelings. Translation – people tend to buy from people they perceive to be like them.
3. Enthusiasm – The passionate interest in a subject or eagerness to do something. The more pumped you are, the more people tend to buy from you.
4. Ego – The appropriate level of a person’s idea of their importance or worth. Ego really is a critical factor that can either help or hinder your sales progress.
Now, the degree to which any of these factors plays a role in your client’s perceptions can vary throughout the sales process. For instance, at the beginning of the sale, when first meeting the client, too much enthusiasm and/or ego can be a turn-off. It is important to gauge the client’s reactions and adjust.
So focus on the Client
In order for your client to come to a mutual understanding of needs and possible solutions, you have to first determine their needs. From the initial contact, keep your client involved through questioning techniques and active listening skills. You do this through the entire sales process, or the stages of selling.
Now onto the stages of selling
Each step of the sales process goes hand-in-hand with the stages of the process that a client goes through when they are making a buying decision.
- Need – The client has a need you can solve.
- Proof – You have to prove to the client that you can solve their needs; build credibility in your company, in your product or service, and in you as the person performing the task.
- Risk – The client feels a perceived risk; will the cost be worth the benefit? Will it be what they wanted?
You add value by how you sell
You aren’t simply selling a new bathroom or lawn service; you are establishing and building a lasting relationship. That relationship is based on matching the benefits you the contractor provide to your client’s needs, and by adding value through the way you sell. Your relationship with your clients depends to a large degree on how they perceive you, as well as how they view your proposed program. So brush up on your selling skills, learn how to read your prospect and always treat each sit as if it were the most important to your business…because it is!
These 2 posts are from my ebook on selling for contractors. If you liked these posts and think you might benefit from the rest of the guide and other training materials, you can check it out here.
Yesterday I sat in on a sales call webinar on RemodelCrazy.com given by Darren Salyer of Absolute Basement Finishing, LLC. (Disclosure: Darren is a client of mine) and Christopher Wright of WrightWorks, a home remodeling contractor located in Indy. Both talked about what has made them successful in the trades and how they have honed their selling skills to move prospects to write them big checks for the great work they do.
I thought the conversation was invaluable for new recruits and grizzled vets alike who fight everyday trying to make a living while selling to Joe Public. After the call, I got to thinking about the topic of selling and how that one particular skill-set along with product knowledge could be the deciding factor in whether or not you make it in your construction business. So, I thought I would kick it around here with you to see what your thoughts were.
The MO of selling
There is an MO to selling, or mode of operating that isn’t profit-driven, although that is the byproduct. The primary MO of selling has to be your ability to present your skills in a logical fashion that builds trust, instills integrity and conveys an intimate understanding of your product and/or service. After that it’s all horseshoes.
Take my business for example
I have three core principles to running my company, and you can see them everywhere. In my slogan, my headlines, my business card. The way I deal with clients. I treat everyone like a friend who I am just passing along my knowledge to for them to use as they see fit. It really is a simple philosophy that works for me and the clients I serve. It is s what I believe in most and I think it is the backbone to a solid business idea.
Help Contractors Sell More, Advertise Better & Market to Buyers
And that’s it. That has been my beacon in the night when all else fails because it centers me and defines what I do for you, MY client. What’s yours? How are you defining what you do for your clients? How are you selling to people? Are you good at it? Do you think selling is about how good you are or is it more about why people buy? We’ll talk about it, but before this post gets too long, I am going to make it a 2-parter. So tomorrow, we are going to talk about…
Why People Buy
So make sure you check in!
I went on an estimate last week with a client who is in the siding and window business. I left the appointment full of answers about why he wasn’t closing any business. As we walked the property the contractor answered all the homeowner’s questions and concerns without hesitation. He sounded like an authority and presented himself very well.
Then the shit hit the fan
As my client handed the homeowner an estimate for the work (it was a smaller job) the homeowner dropped the $64k dollar question…do you have any information you can leave?
Then the stumbling and fumbling began
My guy didn’t have anything to give the homeowner other than the estimate. Keep in mind, he didn’t run out, he didn’t have anything; not a brochure, not a fact sheet, nothing about his company, himself or the windows – nothing. To which the homeowner replied –
“Dude, you gotta have something?”
Understand, part of the reason I was there was to help the contractor develop materials for his company, so he already knew he had some issues. But the homeowner’s reaction couldn’t have hit home more.
While my guy hemmed and hawed, I took the lead and let the homeowner know we were in the middle of adding some great new products and services to the lineup and that we would make sure to send him a soft-copy via email ASAP so he had something.
But this deal isn’t going to close
So my guy had to learn a lesson the hard way…and the expensive way. Always have to have some kind of marketing materials to leave behind. I don’t care if it is a brochure you make at home or a four-color high gloss job from the printer, people thirst for knowledge, and you better be ready to give it to them!
So learn this lesson at someone else’s expense and make sure you have a leave-behind to give someone, regardless if they ask for it or not…and your business card doesn’t count!
My daughter is six and a basket full of cheer every day. But she is also a shrewd and crafty negotiator. Between her natural-born salesman dad, and her charismatic mother, she is going to be a very effective negotiator when she grows up.
In fact, she already is…
Now, she and I are both only children, and I certainly wasn’t spoiled growing up, and my wife and I are both trying to make sure we don’t raise a spoiled kid either. But when kids put in a solid effort, you just have to reward them, and this happens in business everyday!More
I was reading an article the other day discussing pricing your services in a down economy versus a growing economy, and the takeaway was to try to maintain your current pricing. Well duh, that’s pretty friggin’ obvious right?
But the last couple of years have taught us a few things:More
I see it all the time, piles and piles of leads that contractors large and small have paid for one way or another that never close. They don’t close because the quote was too high, they don’t close because the contractor never followed up correctly or followed up at all to move the sales process forward.
This is what we call in the industry – pissing money away!
If you too are guilty of pissing money away, I am here to help. I am going to help you improve your selling skills right now to close more business and stop leaving money on the table, and all I ask of you is to execute on what you read, then pass it on to your friends who are doing the same thing…sound good? Let’s Roll!
If your sales call process DOES NOT include the following steps, then you are doing it wrong. Simply put, you are losing business because you are screwing up the sale. So, in order to improve on your numbers year over year, I want you to:More
I want BMW 750 for my birthday, I need a car that get’s me from here to there. You may want a new F-350, but you need a truck that can get your shit from one place to another. Both of us make money from our rides, you directly, me by getting from one meeting to another.
But it’s what we need that wins most of the time right?
If we had our way, we both would have the new vehicles we want in the driveway, but what we need wins out most of the time. About 6 times a years(really, I looked it up) we opt for what we want. How does this translate into home services and home improvement?
Market to the need, but sell the want!
I need to get my driveway redone and I am fine with asphalt. My wife on the other hand, would like pavers. So, if you were a smart contractor you would offer me AT LEAST two options. Marketing this way gets your foot in the door to up-sell me (or my wife) on a more expensive job.More