Sales trainer Keith Mercurio talks about creating value at the recent Nexstar Network Super Meeting in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS — Contractors from around the country converged on Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for the Nexstar Network’s Super Meeting. The meeting was titled “Customers First” and included informative sessions and plenty of networking opportunities.

The opening day saw pre-conference seminars along with a highly popular trade show. During the second day, Nexstar members heard an economic forecast from economist Brian Beaulieu. He believes the recovery is going to continue in 2012 and early 2013, but that it will flatten out and a recession will start later in 2013. Beaulieu’s crystal ball sees the recession continuing in 2014, before economic growth for the following three years.


Nexstar Network sales trainer Keith Mercurio spoke to the group about training and creating value. Mercurio talked about the objections technicians hear in the house.

“The most common objection is price. What is a price objection really about? Every time a customer makes a buying decision they are accessing an equation,” Mercurio said. “It is a price versus value equation. The customer is asking themselves ‘is this worth that?’ The perceived value must exceed the price. So, we need value to exceed price.”

Mercurio pointed out that most companies handle this equation by cutting the price with sales and deals so that the price is less than the value.

“We could cut price but I need to know — what bills will we stop paying? Are we going to stop maintaining the trucks or putting gas in them? The price is the price. We don’t get to touch the price. So we have to build more value,” Mercurio said.

Mercurio pointed out how a technician should be building value.

“We tell our guys all the time that they did not show enough value. You are running a perfect call. But during that time they are making an evaluation on cost and we need to reset it,” Mercurio said. “Because at the end of the call when you present prices, they are going to be blown away because they were comparing it to the price they had in their mind. We have built a value through the course of the call based on a total unrealistic price range. You need to give them a realistic price range to deal from.”

In regards to training, Mercurio emphasized the need for productive weekly meetings. Nexstar offered to help the contractors through the planning of these meetings. Mercurio said it was important to have consistency by having the meeting every week and to make sure the meeting stayed on task.

“We recognize technicians do not get as excited for these meetings as they do at the bigger events. And there are a lot of reasons you can come up with not to have these meetings. But they are important and keep the company focused,” Mercurio said.


The final presentation of the meeting was by Harry Friedman of the Friedman Group.

Friedman talked a lot about leadership and how the people in attendance can lead their businesses.

“Leadership is taking people places they have not been. Managers are organizing the stuff that is already there. The biggest secret of running your business is the ability to look at it instead of being in it,” Friedman said. “That brings perspective that is way more truthful. When three technicians are blowing it up over here, nobody is thinking about a training session. You need to get to the point where you say there has to be a level of excellence that you want to reach and you are not willing to live with anything less than that. And that is when you start seeing the holes you need to fill. Leaders raise the bar.”

When you ask business owners their goals, a lot will inevitably say sales. Friedman was quick to point out that the only goal an owner can have is that a technician serves the customer in the manner and way that the owner chooses. Friedman believes if the technician behaves that way, sales will be the result.

“Your mission is not to study the numbers. Your mission is to study the behaviors of your people which are causing the numbers. If you think that way, you have more time to think about value,” he said.

Friedman also talked extensively about the halo effect. That is when a company is so well known for something, that they get credit even when they are not doing it. He pointed out going to Nordstroms and thinking you are getting good customer service because everyone has told you what good service they have at the store. This effect can be formed with your company on one tech visit, and it does not take long to get a bad reputation in town.

“A behavior is not what to do, that is a response,” Friedman said. “A behavior is how you do it. The whole business you are in is a series of behaviors. When you gain control of your employees’ behaviors, you gain control of your business. It is not overbearing or pushy. It is correct. You pay them to behave as you want them to behave. You need to be engaged in this process in a big way.”

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Publication date: 12/10/2012