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August 26, 2010

When does the sale actually occur?

At what part of the presentation does the sale actually occur? As far as I am concerned, the sale must occur in the rep's mind before they enter the meeting. The first person that must be sold in the sales process is the sales rep. If the sales rep does not have 100% confidence in their company, products, systems, service..etc selling to another is an uphill battle. If the sales rep would buy the product and/or service themselves , the sales process is merely an elaborate testimonial.

Armed with this confidence, part of the "pre-call preparation" should include the rep visualizing the handshake, signature, and check from the client they are about to meet. With this self-fulfilling prophecy in the rep's mind, the actual sale is foregone conclusion. The only change in the outcome occurs when the client out sells the rep or gains control of the presentation procedure and undermines it.

The following is an actual dialog from a long ago appointment that is embedded in my mine and remains a component of all our sales training:

at the initial rep-client greeting...

SS: I just what to let you know that I am in sales myself and whatever happens, I refuse to make decision and purchase anything today.

NP: That is fine and understandable. My intention today is to merely give you information and options.

two hours later as SS is filling out the check for the first payment...

SS: I have to ask, at what point during the presentation did you realize that I would buy from you tonight?

NP: At the moment that I started walking from my truck to your home. I did come here to NOT sell you something. Plus, any outcome is a decision. Hopefully the decision that is agreed upon is the easiest and obvious one that makes the most sense and is the most beneficial to all parties involved.


This same attitude and philosophy applies today whether you are selling a $500 item or a $500,000 home remodeling project. If you would like to know how this can apply to your business model, please contact me...I love to share! 

August 25, 2010

what does "NO" really mean

Do you clarify the "NOs"? No...not now, not ever, not at this price... You should clarify what each party's next actions will be.

A.D. asks: Please explain! 

"NO" can mean different things at different times. Clarify "No to what exactly", find out what the client plans to do next in order to get their project built. Just accepting a general "NO" without detail and clarification is the same as a waiter accepting "Fine" after asking "How is everything". "NO" is often a request for more information or adjustments in the proposed arrangements. Always be prepared to ask follow up and probing questions as to leave no stone unturned.

August 24, 2010

Today's Remodeling Sales

Is your home remodeling sales presentation the same as it was five years ago? Chances are if it is exactly the same your results are less than those of five years ago. The difference in time time span is undoubtedly the economy. With those changes in the economy have come vast changes in the attitude and purchasing habits of homeowners. 

Clients no longer want to hear about your company's past accolades. They want to know "what's in it for me?" Also they are looking for deep discounts. Often unrealistic discounts, figuring remodelers have the same markups as sneaker manufacturers. 

Where does that leave us? Cut all our margins to a fatal level? I suggest you don't. Instead, refocus your presentation to be a more interactive, consultive selling process. Tailor each project to suit the needs of the family, home, and neighborhood. Be careful not to over design and price the newly remodeled home out of the local real estate market. Let the client be a part of all the potential value-added decisions. Help them decide whether to "move or improve", which is now a consideration on many more potential projects than previous years. 

Does the project, as discussed and agreed, create a solution for them, their family, and home?

August 21, 2010

We Want Objections!

An appointment without objections is like a story with no plot, direction or ending. If the client shows no resistance throughout the buying process there is zero interest on their part towards the project. This is possibly the worst scenario one can face. You need to create excitement, enthusiasm, and interaction or the entire appointment will seem like a dream you are sleep walking through. When you wake up, you’ll be leaving through their door hearing “Thanks for your time, we’ll call you.” I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be awoken with cold water in my face!

Objections are a natural part of the buying process. A client’s objection often means one of two things. It can be a need for more information at that point of the presentation. There might be questions that the client has and they might not know how to ask the question so their concern comes out in the form of an objection. Understanding this, we recognize that the best way to overcome an objection is to address it before it arises. This is achieved by always giving a complete presentation. The presentation is designed to address the common questions and concerns that clients have each and every day. The other reason a client offers an objection is an attempt to slow down the direction the presentation is going in…a sale! The sale is the natural conclusion of the presentation in the buying process when a professional company is combined with its profile client. Often when a client realizes that the sale is inevitable they throw out an objection to slow down the speeding train, even if they intend to buy from you.

These two types of objections are called false objections. They make up approximately 80% of all the objections that we will encounter. Be aware of this and learn how to overcome ALL objections, true or false,

Let’s recap this. The client predominately brings up an objection because they want more information or they recognize they are about to buy from you. All I can say to that is “Bring on the objections!”

Now let’s quantify and qualify the TRUE objections. There are only FOUR true objections. Every phraseology of a true objection falls into one of these four:

1. “We need to think about it.”

2. “We are getting other estimates.”

3. “We need to check with our….father, cousin, insurance agent, financial planner….etc.”

4. “It is too much money.”

The first three true objections are subjective. Sometimes they can be a moving target. When dealing with these objections, the most effective technique is to get the final objection to be the money. Money is an objective, finite objection that can be overcome logically and systematically.

Knowledge is power. We now know that objections can be true or false objections. We understand that there are only four true objections. Any objection is a buying sign. Again, the best way to handle an objection is to address it before it comes up.