Like most Americans during this time of year, I’m looking for ways to be healthier and happier in 2018. So, I’ve been scouting different local gyms, shopping around for memberships, and trying to find something that fits my needs and budget. I’ve sat through two sales pitches so far.

One was truly awful — the lady was very aggressive and insistent that I purchase the membership that second because their gym was so great. Not once did she ask me what I was looking for. I was extremely turned off by her attitude. 

The second pitch was actually very good. The employee spent quite a bit of time asking all about me — he asked what my goals were, if I had a specific goal date, if I was getting in shape for a specific reason, and if I had checked out other gyms. He then walked me through a rough outline of a program, which consisted of a short-term goal, a long-term goal, and a diet and exercise plan. He did all of this before even mentioning prices. And when he finally did, they were laid out in a tiered format, including initiation and monthly fees — the higher the initiation fee, the lower the monthly payment.

This employee not only spent time getting to know what I wanted, he gave me multiple options to choose from, so I could decide which plan suited me best. Genius.

Giving customers choices is one of the best ways to close a sale — I’ve heard this time and time again from some of the top minds in the HVACR industry. This, however, was the first time I experienced it myself.

Charlie Greer, a well-known industry instructor, consultant, and owner of HVAC Profit Boosters Inc. in Fort Myers, Florida, discussed this very topic — talking to people and learning how to overcome objections by using the “Paper Towel Close” — during a Service Nation Alliance Success Day this past fall. According to Greer, offering customers this type of close gives them different pricing options as well as ways to save by becoming a maintenance agreement customer.

“It’s called the Paper Towel Close because, while out on a call, I used a sharpie to write up a quote for a customer on a greasy paper towel,” Greer said. “I had been drawing on the back, trying to make a heat pump seem affordable. This method includes subtotals at logical points as you proceed down the Paper Towel Close because it helps make the decision easier. You include the service call, the stuff that needs to be done today, plus the service agreement, and strike a subtotal in both columns. After this subtotal, list everything that you’re certain will need to be replaced soon and cause unnecessary expense and inconvenience to the customer, and show another subtotal. Lastly, list another product or two that isn’t absolutely mandatory but would be nice to have, and do a final total. You’re giving them something to say, ‘No,’ to. You’ll end up with two or three subtotals, and a final bottom-line total.”

Adams Hudson, president of Hudson Ink, wrote a column for The NEWS, discussing how to close sales.

“Logic is not what sells; emotion sells, and it sells for far more money, more often, and faster,” he wrote.

According to Hudson, a contractor’s proposal form should read like a sales script, not some generic form only you can follow.

“Fill your proposal with guarantees, benefits, and comfort statements,” he wrote. “You also want to show the prospect a ‘best, better, good’ tiered pricing approach, with best clearly being a superior choice that outweighs benefits versus price. Then, you go right into the close.

If you’ve done your presentation properly, you’ve eliminated the objections on ‘thinking about it,’ ‘price is too high,’ and ‘our system works fine.’ The close becomes natural.”

Hudson goes on to explain that while people buy because of emotional reasons, a perfectly crafted sales close presents both emotion and logic to support those reasons. Logic can be presented to the customer in the form of return on investment (ROI) and potential savings on energy bills.

So, now is the time to take a look at your company’s close ratio. How are you doing? Are you hitting your sales goals? There is always room for improvement. Maybe it’s time to take a look at your sales pitch, and revamp it a little.

Publicaiton date: 1/29/2018

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