Let’s say that after your initial closing attempt, a customer tells you that he is 90% certain he’s going to go with you, but he wants to talk to a few more people before making the final decision. (Translation: He’s getting other bids.)
A good salesman never meets an objection head-on.
There’s no point in arguing with customers. Remember, a Master Closer doesn’t “sell” — he merely helps people buy by helping people make decisions. So, be a good sport about things and give them a hand with this.
Say, “Of course you know, there are a lot of dirty little tricks that contractors can pull on you that end up costing you money. Would you like me to draw up a short list of ‘talking points’ for you to go over with my competition and make certain you get in writing so you won’t be taken for a ride?”
Assuming you’ve established your own personal credibility and rapport with the customer and haven’t overstayed your welcome, they’ll answer in the affirmative.
LISTING KEY POINTSTake out a blank sheet of lined paper and start your list. Say something like, “Make certain they’re licensed,” and explain the benefits of doing business with a licensed contractor. Write “licensed” on the paper.
Go on to say, “Make certain they’re insured,” and explain the benefits of doing business with a company that is fully insured. Write “insured” on the paper.
Say, “Make sure that removing the old equipment is included in their price and that you get that in writing on their work order.” Write “removal of old equipment” on the paper.
Continue going over your “features and benefits” list, writing an abbreviated form of each feature down on the sheet of paper, using the left hand margin, until you’ve listed a point on every line of the sheet of paper.
Summarize by asking, “Mr. Smith, is this a list of things that contractors will have to do in order to earn your business?”
The customer will say, “Yes.”
“So, there’s nothing on this list that is ‘extra,’ or that you don’t want?”
You’ll get a yes to that as well.
Continue with, “So, a person will have to be willing to put all these things in writing in order to get your business?”
Take a pause, then conclude with, “Well, Mr. Smith. I agree with you. You know, we’ve been in business over 25 years, and this is a list of things our customers have told us they want from a contractor in order to earn the right to their business.
“We’ve been in business for over 25 years and we’ve patterned our entire operation on what our customers have told us they want us to provide them with. You might actually say that this is a list of reasons to do business with us.
“For the fun of it, let’s just make a little list of reasons not to just go ahead with this right now.”
At this point, you’ll start another list at the top of the page, using the center line of the page as your left margin. Say, “You usually like to think things over,” and write “Usually think it over” at the top of the list.
Go on to say, “You want to get other prices,” and write, “Usually get other bids” on the list.
Continue with, “I imagine your reason to get other prices is you hope to be able to find the same thing for a lower price, don’t you?”
He’ll answer “Yes,” and you’ll write, “Could get it cheaper,” on your list.
When it applies, you can also add, “Your equipment is still running,” and add “Still running,” to the list.
Don’t leave any reasons “not to go ahead now” up to the customer. Come up with them yourself. You want to take the wind out of his sails!
Now ask the customer, “Mr. Smith, is there any other reason you wouldn’t want to go ahead with this?”
Naturally, we already know he’ll have to say “No,” because you’ve already listed all the reasons to wait.
Explain, “Mr. Smith, as I mentioned to you previously, we’ve been in business for 25 years and done over 14,000 installations. Eighty percent of those people got other prices and decided to go with us, despite any difference in price. And the reason they decided to use us is what you’re going to find when you go over this list with our competition. You can’t get all these benefits in writing from any of them for any price, even a higher price, let alone a lower price.
Now, if you want to spend two, eight, 12, 20, or 40 hours to learn this, don’t let me stand in your way. I want your decision to go with me and my company to be your decision and not my decision. If that’s what it takes for you to decide that my offer is really your only option, by all means, you do what you have to do. But if you’re looking to save a little time, you can make the same decision that 80% of our 14,000 customers have already made and schedule this now.”
Turn the list toward him and ask, “Mr. Smith, which side weighs more heavily to you?”
Naturally, he’ll respond with, “The left side, of course.”
Say, “Mr. Smith, I believe you’ve made your decision. Would you like me to use that telephone over there to schedule this installation?”
Greer is the owner of HVAC Profit Boosters Inc. and the instructor of the “Sales Survival School” in Ft. Meyers, FL. For more information, call 800-963-4822 or visit www.hvacprofitboosters.com (website).
Publication date: 11/25/2002