Selling is the art of discovering the customer’s needs and explaining your product in a way that the customer views your solution as having enough value to warrant your price.  This is done by systematically handling customer inquiries so that you cover each of those main points. Developing an effective sales style and closing an ever-increasing percentage of the leads you generate is THE KEY to getting your Dealership to the next level.

The Initial Contact

Your first contact with the customer will normally come from a phone call. A couple of rules of thumb about how to handle this initial call will help you with your sales call later on.

1) Your first question should always be “where did you hear about us?”

2) When you begin your conversation with the customer, give a brief description of what the CTI product is and what it can do for them.

3) Normally after this description, you will have the question “how much does it cost? This question cannot be answered over the phone so you need to do one of two things a) let the customer know that the only way you can give them a price is by seeing the job and finding out what kind of look they want, or b) Giving the customer a “ballpark” square footage price. Ballparking should only be done if you are trying to pre-qualify the customer because of the distance the job is from your location or because you are too busy to chase down leads that may or may not pan out.  Setting an appointment is the key to your first phone call. Nothing can happen unless you have a set time to make a presentation to all the decision-makers.

Once you have a good feel from the first part of the call, ask the customer to choose between two times (i.e. Thursday at 3:00 or Friday at 6:00) and also ask if everyone who will be involved in the decision will be available for that time.

When speaking to people face to face (i.e. Home shows, talking to people in checkout lines, etc.), the same rules apply, make sure everyone who will be making the decision will be available and set an appointment so you can come out and give the customer a presentation.

Making an effective Sales Call

Once you have set the appointment, you need to have a number of things with you to insure that your call goes well.  You should always have this checklist of items available whenever you go on a call. The easiest way to insure this is by keeping these items in a box or crate in your truck.  The items listed below are the core items you should have with you.  You will find other items useful as you run more leads:

* Measuring Wheel                 * Sample Boards

* Photo Album                        * Contract & Project sheet

* Calculator                             * Pen

* Pitch Book                           * Appointment Book

* Referral Letters                    * Videos

* Yellow legal pad

The Sales Call

All calls will follow these four main areas, keep them in mind every time you talk to your customer:

Preliminaries > Investigating > Demonstrate Capabilities > Obtain Commitment

Preliminaries

Your sales call should start with what is called a “warm up”.  This is nothing more than getting to know the customer to a certain extent prior to going into your sales call.  Asking neutral questions about their line of work, how long they have lived in their home, etc.  This warm up allows you to loosen up the customer so they will feel more at ease with you being in their home.  In addition, people buy from people they like, so allowing the customer to get to know you a little bit will help you to close more sales.  This part of the call shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes.

Investigating

The first part of your presentation should be educating the customer about what you will be doing to their area to rectify any problems and also to get some ideas about the look that they want to achieve with the spray system.  Explaining to the customer how cracks are formed, how you will fix the problem, and how you will be allowing this crooked crack to become a straight crack through the use of tension cuts helps to build value in what you will be doing for the customer. So any prep work should be explained in its entirety.  Asking questions such as “what did you hope to see once I’m done?” will help the customer begin thinking about the looks they want.  You should also allow them to look at your photo album to help generate ideas. One thing to keep in mind however is that the more you can guide  a customer to an agreed upon look, the more sales you will close and the more satisfied customers you will have in the future.  Too many Dealers allow the customer to take control of what kind of look you need to provide them.  This not only leads to confused customers, but it may also lead to a look that will not only damage your reputation with future customers but will also leave an unsatisfied customer.  You need to realize that you are the expert when it comes to this system.  Guiding the customer through a set of options (light vs. dark, gray vs. brown, etc.) to give them a solution within the set of looks that you know work will make you more effective at selling as well as make it easier on you when it comes to getting the work down.

Once you have all the information from the job site, take the customer back inside for a site down presentation. You will still need to work your numbers up, so keep the customer busy by letting them watch one of the CTI videos.  When you have worked up your numbers, start your presentation by asking questions that get the customer talking about what they want from you.  These questions tend to get the ball rolling:

  • What did you see in my advertisement that prompted you to call?
  • What kind of budget did you have in mind for this job?
  • What don’t you like about the area now?
  • What would be a perfect solution for you?

If you ask a few questions like these, you’ll be amazed how quickly the customer will open up to you.  TAKE NOTES, the information they are giving you is “this is why I want to buy your product”.  So don’t miss anything, write down the highlights of what they customer says so you can refer back to it when you start to tell them how you will solve their problems.

Demonstrate Capabilities

Once you have the information from your customers, you then need to provide a solution to the problems they have posed or tell them how you can deliver the product they are looking for.  The key element to remember during this part of the presentation is to keep your discussion limited to the points the customer brought up during the investigating stage and don’t discuss anything else. Too many Dealers want to impress the customer with their knowledge of concrete, the CTI system, etc. to find that they are only confusing the customer in the end.  If, through your questioning, the customer brings up that they want a product that is skid resistant, will brighten up their patio area, and will be easy to clean, your presentation will cover those three areas ONLY.

Obtain Commitment

When you have brought out all the information the customer has to offer concerning their needs, you have presented the CTI system as the solution to what they are looking for, then it is time to get paid.  You need to ask for the order every time you present to a customer.  A customer will rarely offer to take the lead in this part of the presentation, so mustering up the courage to say “I’ll need a check for ½ tonight and the remainder will be due when the job is finished” is the only way you will get the ball rolling.  Don’t get hung up on fancy closing techniques or saying the perfect line to get the customer to buy.  Normally a customer will respect you more if you are direct and to the point and most of all CONFIDENT when you ask them to make a decision.

When objections do occur, they normally fall into two categories. The first is considered a stall, this is when the customer says “we need to think about it.”  Most Dealers will say “OK, how about if I get with you some time next week?” What they don’t understand is that the customer will be “thinking” about this offer for another five minutes after you leave and will be trying to talk himself out of why he should buy your product most of the time.  The most effective way to handle a stall is to mention that you need to pack up your presentation materials in your truck anyway so you’ll be right back.  Pack up your materials, walk out of the house, and DON’T SAY ANOTHER WORD.  This allows the customer to have that five minutes to ask his or her spouse “do you like it?” or “can we afford $4,000?” without you being right there.  This is normally all the time and discussion the customer needs, so give them about five minutes and walk back in and ask for the order a second time, a majority of the time you will get a yes at this point.

The second objection is on of price and normally sounds like “we didn’t think it was going to be that much.”  This does not mean the customer doesn’t want the product.  What it does mean is that the solution you provided doesn’t have enough value to warrant the price you quoted.  To cure this, you can do one of two things, you can go back into your presentation, probe more into what the customer wants or expound on the solution you provided to make it clearer to the customer.  The other solution is to begin a negotiation on the price you quoted.  The key element here is to always ask for something in return whenever you give up something on the job. If you state that you will offer a $500 discount and do not give a reason (other than you are desperate for work), you will completely de-value your product and you will lose the sale every time.  If the customer needs a discount to make a decision, ask for such things as referral letters, the ability to use their home as a display home for the neighborhood, or that you can keep your lawn signs up for 30 days after the job as opposed to the normal week. There are many negotiation points you can refer to, just remember to ask for something that you feel is equivalent to the discount you are offering. Once you have addressed the objection, and offered your negotiated solution, ask for the order again.

Summary

These four key elements are a firm foundation on which to build your business.

  • Wanting success and preparing yourself for it with the right mental attitude.
  • Developing a plan for your success and sticking to it,
  • Developing a system for feedback so you know whether your plan is working
  • Executing the plan flawlessly.

If you keep yourself on these four points and keep yourself open to new opportunities as they arise, you will find your Dealership and your Dreams growing to heights you may never have imagined before.

 

Villanova University’s engineering department performed rigorous tests on the CTi products.  The purpose of these tests was to determine the suitability of the product line for the Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation.  To read about how CTi’s products came through with flying colors, Click Here

The 2018 CTi Dealer Rally

CTi Dealers from around the globe will be coming to Florida on March 2nd and 3rd for the International CTi Dealer Rally. These two days offer our Dealers the ability to learn new application techniques, share ideas, and generate great ideas on how to make their CTi Dealership more profitable.

Learn more about how to attend this rally when you become a CTi Dealer, contact us today at 800 447 6573.

December Training Underway

CTi’s last training for 2017 is underway!  We have new Dealers attending from Idaho, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Georgia.  In the next two days, we’ll cover the application of the CTi product line, the science of concrete repair and restoration as well as the marketing and sales associated with running a Dealership.  See our training page to find our dates for 2018 and to register today.

We would like to congratulate the following Dealers as they celebrate their business anniversary with CTi in the month of December:

CTi East Coast – FL – 25 years
Jason Roberts Concrete – CT – 23 years
Brak Hard Concrete Co. – KS – 20 years
D&D Concrete – PA – 17 years
CTi of Sand Mountain – AL – 17 years
CTi of Columbus – GA – 8 years
Concrete Complete – NC – 3 years
CTi of Central New Jersey – NJ – 3 years
Surface Technology L.A. – CA – 3 years
CTi of Springfield – MO – 2 years
Concrete Design Techniques – MN – 2 years
Dreams in Concrete Realized – VA – 2 years
Concrete Made Perfect – IN – 2 years
RD Custom Surfaces – FL – 1 year
Peglow Creative Concrete – AZ – 1 year
Crescent City Concrete Design – LA – 1 year
Creative Stone Specialists – IL – 12 years
Custom Concrete Coatings – TN – 12 years
Livingston Building Co. – NC – 9 years
Concrete Unlimited – Canada – 8 years
Fix Your Concrete – PA – 7 years
CTi of Atlanta – GA – 4 years

Too Many Choices

The discussions you have with your customer about the Concrete Technology system is one of the crucial elements to your Dealership’s success.  The ability to ask the right questions to uncover the customer’s needs along with the ability to explain how the Concrete Technology products fill those needs are the basic building blocks to creating more customers for your Dealership.

One of the overlooked elements in successfully explaining what CTi can do for a customer though is narrowing their choices by better understanding what they would like most in owning the product.  According to separate studies done by both Columbia University and NYU, a typical customer is most likely to make a decision when presented with two to three options.  Once the number of options presented starts to increase, the customers decision making probability drops exponentially.   This is especially true in products that are new to the customer where “information blindness” can cause confusion and non-decision.

We teach the methods to our Dealers of how to ask effective questions that uncover the customer’s true needs.  These needs are the outline for the presentation made to the customer and the basis for the recommendations the Dealer makes when presenting options.  The three main choices we narrow are overall look/texture, color combinations, and pattern design.  The better we understand the customer’s needs, the better we can make two to three recommendations that fit all three of the criteria uncovered and thus help the customer eliminate the “information blindness”.

CTi’s Four Step Business Model

In the 27 years Concrete Technology has been working with its Dealers, we’ve shared a simple to use business model that has created tremendous success with our Dealers.  The model focuses on four key areas that are crucial to execute each day for a successful business.

  1. Generate qualified interest in your products by looking for the best ways to market and advertise.  An average CTi crew normally installs 2-3 projects per week.  A Dealership also will sell, on average, one project for every 4-5 inquiries it receives.  This simple math equation provides the starting point for your advertising plan, if you want to keep the crew busy each week, you need to generate approximately 8-15 inquiries each week and then create the business from those inquiries.  The ongoing execution is generating the highest value inquiries for the least amount of money.  We teach our Dealers how to measure, modify and create this type of marketing plan.
  2. Once you have an interested home or business owner on the line, you need to start educating them on the value the CTi product line provides.  This educational process is crucial to the sales and marketing success of the Dealership, the CTi product line offers a superior solution for concrete surfaces that is price competitive with inferior options.  Once the customer understands this proposition, they see the products as getting a better solution for the same, if not less money.  We teach our Dealers how to explain this value proposition to lead to the marketing and sales success needed for the Dealership.
  3. Install the products cost effectively is the third element in this business equation.  Product and labor costs are the elements we look at most closely when we examine this part of the equation.  Is the Dealer using the correct amount of product when doing the customer’s driveway, patio or pool deck?  If they are using too much, we have specific areas we examine so as to train the Dealer to lower their product cost and thus raise their profitability.  Labor cost is the other area we review constantly, a 2-3 person crew can normally install an average application such as a driveway, pool deck or patio in 2-3 days.  If the project takes longer than the average, again we have specific areas we review with the Dealer to create better efficiency and thus raise their margin on the project.
  4. Managing the cash flow in the Dealership is the final element.  As a CTi Dealership grows, investing wisely in its growth is the key to long term health.  We work with our Dealers in making the correct decisions in this regard based on 27 years of seeing Dealerships grow across the world.  Balancing the income the Dealership is generating with the cash outlays needed to further growth is the focus here.

We have some of the finest business people in the world operating CTi Dealerships around the globe.  Their execution of this business model has led to tremendous success and a business the Dealer enjoys operating.

CTi’s New One Day Floor

We’re excited to announce the release of Concrete Technology’s “F1 Fast Floor System”.  This new flooring system is perfect for garages, workshops and other areas where a tough as nails coating is needed with a quick turnaround on the installation.

The F1 Fast Floor can be installed in one day on most residential applications.  The product will cure and harden to take vehicular traffic within 24 hours.

Concrete Technology would like to congratulate the following Dealers as they celebrate their anniversary as a CTi Dealer in November:
 
Concrete Renovators of CNY – NY – 21 years
Kansas Siding and Home Improvement – KS – 18 years
ADC Concrete Creations – LA – 15 years
Black Diamond Home Innovations – TX – 14 years
Surface Concepts – MO – 13 years
Re-Crete Solutions – AL – 4 years
Alabama Concrete Solutions – AL – 3 years
Custom Concrete Creations – TX – 3 years
KISS Home Services – FL – 3 years
King Crete – MO – 3 years
Southern Concrete Designs – MS – 2 years
C4 Concrete Technology – VA – 2 years
McCrory – CTi Services – TX – 2 years
Custom Concrete Restoration – MN – 2 years
Concrete Designs of Tampa Bay – FL – 2 years
American Tile Rescaling – CA – 2 years
Concrete Technology of Long Island – NY – 1 year
Turoc Concrete Designs – NY – 1 year
Creative Concrete Solutions – TN – 13 years
Classy Concrete Solutions – WI – 8 years
KLAS Concrete Designs – Dominica – 7 years
Coastal Concrete Designs – AL – 5 years
Ben’s Concrete Resurfacing – PA – 5 years