The Basics. Hopefully this little section will bore you because you are already well aware of these basic considerations:
- Personal hygiene – Do not show up in shorts and work boots on your way home from a perspiration-filled work day. Don’t look like you haven’t shaved in two days and, yes, check your nostrils for debris! Show up looking like a person who, if you didn’t know them, you would invite into your home… a home that often times has been cleaned and tidied up for your arrival. Remember, emotions will make or break the sale.
- Clean vehicle – Don’t pull up in a vehicle that looks like you just competed in the Baja-1000 Race. It doesn’t have to sparkle, but it should be clean. If it’s an open pick-up, make sure the truck bed is tidy and hosed down. Remember, you want to sell them something to beautify their home. Their impression of your ability to do so will be reflected in the presentation you and your equipment first make. Remember, emotions will make or break the sale.
- Be on time! – You will be better off a half hour early than one minute late. Again, your reliability and ability to perform for your customer will be reflected in how well you keep your initial agreements. If there is absolutely no way you can show up on time with the proper appearance, call the customer well in advance of the appointment time and ask for their permission to be a half hour or hour (or whatever) late. Always exercise integrity. Remember, emotions will make or break the sale.
- Be compact and focused. Don’t come stumbling up the walkway like the Keystone Cops with sample boards flying and contracts falling from your notebook. And, if you’re there to look at a driveway, stay focused on their driveway, not their walkway. Do NOT turn their attention from their driveway to their walkway unless they bring it up. And, even if they do, stay focused on the driveway. “Mrs., Jones, I’ll be happy to look at your walkway, but let’s get the driveway handled first since that’s your major concern.” There are three reasons for this: First, Too many choices… too many things for the customer to consider make a sale that much harder to close. Second, If you throw all of the work around their house into one lump price, the price you quote may be so high that they decide to do nothing. Third, if you quote them the driveway and they’re wrestling with the price, you can then use a “special” on the walkway to close the sale right there, right then.
- Urgency. Always try to build a little urgency into your presentation. It will become a powerful ally when you ask for the order. Urgency can take many forms: “It seems our work has been discovered. We’re already booked up three weeks in advance.” “We’ve had a price increase from the factory that takes effect next month.” “We only run one Showcased House Program per neighborhood.” “The first house in the neighborhood gets the advantage of our Referral Awards Program.” “Our Brick Border Promotion ends this week.” I’m sure you get the idea, because you’ve been approached this way yourself. It’s common practice; it can be handled very naturally and credibly; and… it works!
- Post Close. Never run right out of the house the moment you get their commitment. Schmooze a while, hang out and just talk. More importantly, always leave your customer with a roadmap for their emotions. “Mr. & Mrs. Jones, I know you’re excited this evening about how beautiful your house will look when the project’s completed. Tomorrow morning, you may wake up a little less excited and wondering ‘what the heck did we do?’ Don’t worry, if that does come up for you, just run outside and visualize how beautiful your house will look when we’re finished.”
Don’t be afraid to ask them if they know what buyer’s remorse is. “Have you ever heard the term, buyer’s remorse?” That’s when you go out to buy a $10,000.00 car and come home having bought a $25,000.00 car and you wake up the next morning and go, ‘Oh my goodness!… what have I done?!’ Should you feel that way tomorrow, just run outside and visualize how beautiful your house will look when we’re finished.” Buyer’s remorse is a normal reaction, so get it handled before it comes up.
- Answer questions with questions. If a customer asks a question or raises an objection that you can’t address immediately, gain some time and perspective by asking them a question. Ex: “How many jobs do you have in the neighborhood?” Ans: “Why do you ask?” Or, “Is that an important consideration, Bob?” Or, Ex: “We didn’t think it would cost that much” Ans: “How much did you think it would be?” (if they answer this question with a figure, you’ve made the sale… just work out the details!).
Answering a question with a question has two effects: It gives you time to think, and it clarifies the issue in both your mind and the customer’s mind. Sometimes people just ask questions because they’re nervous. By responding to them with questions, they’ll get to see that nonsensical questions are just that, nonsense. Sometimes people ask a question before they have it fully formulated in their mind. In this case, your question will help them understand their own thoughts.