March 13th, 2012
Review your Sales Techniques
If lack of confidence is the reason you are not asking for the sale or the reason why more of your potential clients become someone else’s customer I suggest you first, check to see if you are using good salesmanship or if you are simply planning on taking orders. I talked about “Pete’s Five Rules of Good Selling” in my first few blog entries…
Those Five Rules are:
1) Be Prepared to Sell
2) Remember You Are There To Make a Sale
3) Being Alone is Better for You
4) Know Your Price
5) Don’t Leave Money on the Table
The following quick review of The “Five Rules of Good Salesmanship”I learned long ago from a savvy old-timer named Pete Scatton should help you have the confidence you need to ask for the sale and get it.
Rule #1. Be Prepared
“Ask yourself, do I have my samples, literature, price-lists, measuring tape, blank contract, pen?
Do I know my product?’
If you can’t answer yes to all those questions, you aren’t ready to sell.
That’s rule number one.” Pete said …
Rule #2. Remember Why you Are There
“Remember why you are there instead of other places you might rather be. Remember the only reason you are spending your time and driving to this house is to figure out the best solution you can provide for this potential client’s problem and to walk away with a sale to provide that solution.”
Did you leave for your sales appointment a few minutes early and stop for a moment before you got to the house to compose yourself and focus on why you were there?
Or, did you screech into the driveway while you were still talking to your girlfriend on your cell phone?
Unless you were focused on solving your potential client’s problem you may have made a bad first impression which made it hard to develop a good rapport with your potential client. This is bound to create an awkward an uncomfortable environment that may hinder your sales process.
If you are late for your appointment to begin with, or in a hurry to get somewhere else, you are not focused on your potential client and the solution to their problem. How can you be confidence you have provided your potential client with their best solution if you were not focused on their problem and this project? You did not remember why you are there and you are not ready to ask for the sale!
Rule #3. Be Alone
“When you go into a house, you want to be alone” Pete would say. You will have the confidence to ask for the sale when you are able to be the only one to offer the same quality of products and service to solve homeowners problems. You are alone in the home when you can differentiate your products and services from the competition and you have the best solution for that homeowner.
Have you thoroughly researched your products and services? Have you thoroughly researched your competitions’ products and services?
If you have, you should be able to explain how your solutions for your clients problems are different and better than any other solution. You should be able to clearly explain to them the features and benefits of your solution. You should be able to tell them the services, training and experience that make you the best choice for this project.
If you are not able to differentiate your products and services, then the ONLY difference between you and the guy before you (or after you) is price and likability. You may get some projects because of your good looks, but it is not a good foundation for a successful business. If you are only competing on price, someone can always do the job for less than you can – and neither one of you will probably be in business very long.
If you are not confident that you stand “Alone” and offer different and better products and services to potential clients, than you were not ready to ask for the sale!
Rule #4. Know Your Price
“How are you ever going to make a sale if you don’t know the price you are going to charge?”
To ask for the sale with confidence, you must know the price you need to charge for your services.
You must know you have negotiated your pricing with suppliers and have become efficient enough with your installation methods you can give your client a fair price for this project.
You must know your overhead costs in order to provide your client with a price that allows you a fair profit. It is too late do all of the math of the cost of being in business when you are at the kitchen table. If you have not taken the time and effort to fully comprehend the price you need to sell your product for so you can pay for the product and make enough of a contribution to your business’s overhead so that you will have a profit, you are not ready to ask for the sale!
If you do not know the right price to charge for your services, you are not ready to ask for the sale with confidence!
Rule #5. Never Leave Money on the Table
“Put a piece of money in your pocket that means something” was Pete’s philosophy.
“For some people that’s a five dollar bill and for others it’s a hundred. Whatever it is, take it out of your wallet and put it in your right front pants pocket if you’re right handed – put it in your left pants pocket if you’re left handed.” Pete would seriously say.
“Now, when it comes time to give your price to that customer, touch that dollar bill. When you are tempted to lower your price, rub that dollar bill and remember what that dollar means to you.
If you don’t know how and when to ask for the sale, you really were not prepared to sell!
There are so many ways to lead up to asking your client for the sale. Preceding the question with a discussion of the time it takes to manufacturer custom product, installation schedules and the completion date is important. Telling a client that orders placed today will save money because it beats a manufacturer increase or will mean an installation date before the first day adds an incentive for the homeowner, but really just dances around the question and doesn’t ask for the sale.
Remember why you’re here, tonight, at this house, instead of at your own home relaxing. Remember that you have taken the time to be prepared for this appointment. Remember you provided this homeowner with the best solution for his problem. Remember you are alone – no one else can do what you can.