I talked to my dad the other day … he told me that someone was coming over the next day to clean his ducts.

Though this kind of talk is typical, given the industry we’re in, it was a highly unusual topic for me to be discussing with my dad, who is 74 years old and from another country.

This is his first winter in his new house. So, since the furnace was making its debut during the Polar Vortex, he decided to change the filter.

“It was filthy,” he said. “I don’t think the people who lived here before ever changed it — that’s how bad it was!”

He went on to say that if they weren’t changing the filter, he didn’t think they were cleaning out the ducts, either, which is why he made the appointment.

I laughed, and he asked me why.

I told him that it blew my mind that he even knew what ducts were and that they needed to be cleaned.

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me,” he said.



A lot of technicians who showed up to his house could have taken one look at my dad and thought, “There’s no way this old man is going to buy anything else from me — I need to get in and get out, so I can move on to my next call.”

I’ve been there before — kind of. When I worked at Blockbuster Video, we had sales goals. Oftentimes, I didn’t pitch the sale to certain customers because I decided that — based on their outfit, or their facial expression, or whatever — they wouldn’t buy it, so I didn’t want to waste my time. But I was wrong enough times that I learned an important lesson: You have to ask EVERYBODY.

Another lesson I learned was that if someone blows your mind once, they will probably do it again — if you let them.

When I had customers at Blockbuster who surprised me, I often found that I could engage them in other sales, too. The more I offered, the more I seemed to sell — imagine that.

The tech who showed up to the house was probably just as surprised as I was that my dad was getting the ducts cleaned. But he saw this appointment as an opportunity, not a waste of time. He talked to my dad, found things out about him and the house. Because he spent just a few minutes with my dad, he was able to add on additional products and services.

That tech turned a $375 duct cleaning job into a $1,500 IAQ solution job.

He asked a couple of questions that allowed him to identify the major problems with the house. Then, he offered a couple of solutions. And that was all it took to quadruple his sales.

This is not to say that it will work every time. There are a lot of people who will say no. That’s OK as long as you let them actually say no, and you just don’t assume it for them. I know that you hear it all the time, and it might seem like Kindergarten stuff, but it’s a necessary foundation … you have to ask for the sale in order to close the sale.

As technology advances and price points increase, it’s sometimes painful to even try and sell. But, the rejection of all those no’s disappears with just one yes. If you don’t ask every single person, though, you might miss your opportunity.

If any of you have had a sales experience like the one the tech had at my dad’s house the other day, I’d love to hear about it. Email me your story, and I’ll share it with the rest of our readers, so they can be inspired.

And for the rest of you, I challenge you to let other people prove to you who they are and what they would or would not do before you decide for them — it may just blow your mind.

Publication date: 2/11/2019

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