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When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers

 
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:31 AM   #1
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When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


I followed up with a lady whose undermount sink had fallen and found out she’d hired someone else who charged 35% less than I do. My otherwise excellent phone skills coaxed his methods out of her. Unfortunately, he reinstalled her failed sink with wood blocks spanning the sink flange and granite, held in place with polyester as an adhesive and mysteriously forbid her the use of the sink for three days. Virtually every sink I reinstall was originally stuck with blocking and polyester; it is an approved method nowhere and guaranteed to fail again. If it fails quickly so much the better; a slow leak can create a nearly catastrophic, and expensive, rod failure.

The sink repair isn’t the only failure on this job, I am. Because I was unable to convince this woman my higher priced repair was the best value, she’s just set several hundred dollars on fire and endangered her stone. If I wasn’t religiously convinced that I am the best possible value for this job, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I feel a moral obligation to save customers from themselves and it hurts when I’m unsuccessful.

Successful contractors keep abreast of the latest in tools, methods, and technologies; all worthless without sales skills. Looks like I may need a class.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:40 AM   #2
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Its just one call, right?

Why beat yourself up? We cant bat 100%. Some people just dont understand value.

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Old 11-29-2014, 11:04 AM   #3
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Some people just hear the price part when having a conversation with a contractor.
They also think all contractors are created equal.

Some things will never change...

You did all you could. Time to move on to the next one.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Any doctor can attest to the fact that you can't save everyone from themselves.

As many times as they have said, "Don't _______ or you will die." or "You must do ______ if you want to live and/or get better." people will still do whatever makes sense in their minds and you can't stop the inevitable outcome.

The good news is that when you have this situation with a house, no matter how bad things get, they can always be repaired and replaced. All it takes is time and money.

I admit that I face the same dilemma sometimes. While I will use surgical cuts smaller than an inch in diameter to fish wires behind walls, other contractors will opt to take out a 3x3 section out of the wall and cut slits all over the place. After they made swiss cheese of the entire living room and STILL have a couple of exposed wires, it makes me wish that they would have taken my advice and used me instead of them.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:50 AM   #5
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


One psych technique is called the box. Prior to close you ask three quetions in a row which you know the answer to, yes. Then you ask for the close. Its difficult to switch from positive affirmations to rejection.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:54 AM   #6
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Mixalot View Post
Some people just hear the price part when having a conversation with a contractor.
They also think all contractors are created equal.

Some things will never change...
That's a fact!
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
If I wasn’t religiously convinced that I am the best possible value for this job, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I feel a moral obligation to save customers from themselves and it hurts when I’m unsuccessful.
I like that... BS or not that mindset will help sell jobs.
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Old 11-29-2014, 06:11 PM   #8
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


It's hard to sell someone on quality when all they care about is the cost. I'm sure she will call you when it fails.
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Old 11-29-2014, 06:54 PM   #9
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


What was your plan of action for remounting?

I've never installed under mount in stone but I've seen an install using some kind of tapped/threaded pieces and clips with silicone (which is pretty strong bonding clean stone surface to porcelain.
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:35 PM   #10
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by dielectricunion View Post
What was your plan of action for remounting?

I've never installed under mount in stone but I've seen an install using some kind of tapped/threaded pieces and clips with silicone (which is pretty strong bonding clean stone surface to porcelain.

Ditto. I think most use a two part epoxy with clips but we've never got a call for this. Curious to know what a superior method to this would be.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:01 PM   #11
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Ditto... Ditto....

And what is polyester...... I've used knife grade acrylic to repair a integral granite sink...... (was I wrong) It's been fine for probably 5-6 years and it was what was advised by a stone shop...

TIA for advice......
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:13 PM   #12
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro M & L View Post
One psych technique is called the box. Prior to close you ask three quetions in a row which you know the answer to, yes. Then you ask for the close. Its difficult to switch from positive affirmations to rejection.
This doesn't work with my 4 yerar old birthday girl. Customer would have to be a real iddiot to say uh ok
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:26 AM   #13
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


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Originally Posted by Roofcheck View Post
This doesn't work with my 4 yerar old birthday girl. Customer would have to be a real iddiot to say uh ok
I agree with you.

I think if a person tried that technique on me I would simply show them the door, because I HATE THAT EFFING CAR SALESMEN BULL [email protected]

however, I am equally certain it will work on someone---- because their is no one approach that works on everyone
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:26 AM   #14
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by dielectricunion View Post
What was your plan of action for remounting?

I've never installed under mount in stone but I've seen an install using some kind of tapped/threaded pieces and clips with silicone (which is pretty strong bonding clean stone surface to porcelain.
dielectricunion:

I nearly always use a Hercules Universal Sink Harness; you can see their installation video at https://www.braxton-bragg.com/index....vel/bc/0,9096/. I've done this at least 30 times and have yet to get a callback. The new Cinclips are nice and fast, but cost 7xs as much as a HUSH. I can install a HUSH in just over an hour.

Silicone between the sink and stone should always be considered a gasket, not adhesion. Mechanical fasteners are required to do the heavy lifting.

Here is a link to a post I made over at Kitchens. It's a variation, but you'll get the idea:

https://www.contractortalk.com/f74/ca...estone-128938/

Last edited by Kowboy; 11-30-2014 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:38 AM   #15
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
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I agree with you.

I think if a person tried that technique on me I would simply show them the door, because I HATE THAT EFFING CAR SALESMEN BULL [email protected]

however, I am equally certain it will work on someone---- because their is no one approach that works on everyone
Stephen H:

If you're doing it right, the customer never feels the pressure.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:55 AM   #16
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
Stephen H:

If you're doing it right, the customer never feels the pressure.
I would dis-agree with that----and also add , it's not really a matter of "pressure"

since part of my job is sales----and since I have read many/most of the same "sales books"---as other people involved in sales----------

I would recognize the tactic for what it was.
It wouldn't pressure me in the slightest---- but I would recognize what I think is the inherent----well lets say less than honesty---in the approach.
remember-- there is generally a 3 day right of rescission in effect.

so if you use a "technique' like gulling them through 3 meaningless "yeses" in order to get them to the fourth YES on auto pilot

there is nothing to prevent them from coming to their senses an hour---or 71 hours later and cancelling the sale.

I would much rather meet with a customer like a human being----explain WHAT we are going to do--and why, What materials we are going to use--and why, what safety procedures we are going to use to protect ourselves and the customers property and why---- basically show them clearly and demonstrably why we are the best choice for their project and why things are going to cost what they cost.

no trickery, no flummery

Basically--- the customer can either accept or reject--- ultimately I don't much care which, in any individual situation because I know there is an ENDLESS supply of potential customers.

It's like baseball---succeed 3 or 4 times out of every 10 trips to the plate and you are going to the hall of fame
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:02 AM   #17
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Agreed but must add, presented with a likeable and honest personality.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:44 AM   #18
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Keep moving forward knowing that you were honest and tried to do the right thing.

Now, when she calls back in the future with the same issue, raise the price and tell her to take it or leave it. Your time is too valuable to waste trying to coerce customers into doing it correctly.

You don't get paid to convince, you get paid to educate and build. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

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Old 11-30-2014, 11:51 AM   #19
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
I followed up with a lady whose undermount sink had fallen and found out she’d hired someone else who charged 35% less than I do. My otherwise excellent phone skills coaxed his methods out of her. Unfortunately, he reinstalled her failed sink with wood blocks spanning the sink flange and granite, held in place with polyester as an adhesive and mysteriously forbid her the use of the sink for three days. Virtually every sink I reinstall was originally stuck with blocking and polyester; it is an approved method nowhere and guaranteed to fail again. If it fails quickly so much the better; a slow leak can create a nearly catastrophic, and expensive, rod failure.

The sink repair isn’t the only failure on this job, I am. Because I was unable to convince this woman my higher priced repair was the best value, she’s just set several hundred dollars on fire and endangered her stone. If I wasn’t religiously convinced that I am the best possible value for this job, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I feel a moral obligation to save customers from themselves and it hurts when I’m unsuccessful.

Successful contractors keep abreast of the latest in tools, methods, and technologies; all worthless without sales skills. Looks like I may need a class.


How did you end up back in this house to see how the repair had been done? I will tell you what I see the problem to be. You are full of yourself and you think less of customers who choose someone else. You invent rhetoric to convince yourself that you do it all for the customer.

When I meet with a customer I do not sell them anything. I have two goals. Answer my phone or return the call very quickly and have a proposal to them as quickly as possible. When I meet with them I have no agenda as to what I want to tell them about my business and my processes. That is me guiding the conversation. I simply want to answers their questions with the best possible answers and produce the best possible ideas when considering options. If they wan't to use my ideas and hire some one else that is their business. When I do these things good potential customers will pay me more than they will pay some one else. Bad customers will take my good information and hire some one else or do it themselves and it never hurts my feelings.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:26 PM   #20
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Re: When My Sales Skills Fail Potential Customers


Its easy to play nice when times are good. When times are tough there are not unlimited customers. There was a time in 2010 when I had 200 dollars and a mortgage payment due in a week. Closed a small job and started stacking money. When you start to think about losing your kids home and what would follow the gloves have to come off.

For the record my personal style is an earnest soft sell with good information. But thats a schtick as well, "you can trust me cuz Im not selling you." Im always closing because Im never closing sales, even when Im asking you to go through a fan deck, visualize what you want, show me pictures from pinterest and ask you when you want to start your project.

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