Money Talks: Take it Personally

May 5, 2008
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How many e-mails did you get today? More and more communication in our world is happening via e-mail. It’s getting to the point that actually talking to people is becoming obsolete. Rather than going to a car dealership to buy your next car, you can conduct the whole purchase over e-mail and only need to actually talk to someone to sign some papers and get the keys. With the speed of life, everything is going faster, and with e-mail, everything is becoming less personal. But HVAC sales are still personal sales that require a personal approach.

What customer would on their own see the true value of a big metal box that sits in their basement or on their roof or on the side of their home? When a consumer doesn’t see the value in your product, they won’t buy it, and it’s very difficult to show that value over e-mail. But when that homeowner understands that the metal box invading their home is actually a hard-working furnace that will run day and night to keep their family warm, they see the value.

Then, it’s personal.

The best salespeople become the best because they possess and cultivate the ability to communicate one-on-one with people. They are able to sit down with a homeowner and take them on a journey. Together, they discover the problems that are plaguing the homeowner today. They develop solutions to overcoming those problems. And all along the journey the emotions of the home- owner are piqued. At the end, that homeowner has arrived at the answer they were seeking, and they are ready and willing to say yes.

How are you going to get that journey across in an e-mail? It’s nearly impossible. Yet more and more salespeople are trying to communicate with consumers via e-mail when e-mail isn’t the proper medium for sales. Sales is personal. E-mail is impersonal.

What’s a successful salesperson to do? Take it personally!

Make sure that you’re connecting with your customers on a one-on-one basis. Don’t adopt an impersonal selling style by relying too much on e-mail and your Website to drive sales. Sales is personal and it should be kept personal.

However, we are a technological species and e-mail is playing an ever-growing role in our world today, so where do you draw the line? Obviously, you can’t ignore e-mail all together or some homeowners won’t take you as seriously. There’s a line between using technology to help you and keeping the personal core of sales intact.

WALK THE FINE LINE

Here are three things to think about as you walk this fine line:

• Be wise with e-mail. Many of your customers like e-mail and use it every day to stay in touch. You shouldn’t discourage them from using it to contact you. Have your e-mail listed on your Website and give homeowners a way to contact you over the Web. But don’t rely on e-mail to stay in touch with them. Once they’ve e-mailed you a question or a request for help, pick up the phone and call them. Stop the e-mail train there and make it personal again.

• Don’t forget your manners. Remember what it takes to keep sales personal. Compliment your customer on their home, their landscaping, or anything else you notice about their home. Build rapport with them so that they are comfortable with you for the duration of your presentation. Make sure that when the time comes for them to make a buying decision that you are someone that they like and trust. Remember the little things that will set you apart in the home and use them to make your presentation more personal.

• Take them on the journey. The personal part of the selling process is the journey that you and the customer go on together, and making the most of that journey requires asking questions and being concerned about finding the best solution for their needs. No journey is ever the same because the needs of each consumer are different. It’s personal, and arriving at that personalized solution means that you have a deep understanding of what your client needs. The journey is emotional, personal, and impossible to accomplish over e-mail.

Embrace the power of sales and keep it personal when you’re dealing with customers. Keep taking it personally, and you’ll keep making money every day.

Publication date: 05/05/2008

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