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The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used

 
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:07 AM   #1
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The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to give you a quick tip that really helped my income go way beyond where I thought it could ever go as a contractor.

It is called an up front agreement:

When someone comes into my office - I build Modular Homes - before anything happens, I say hello and then "I really appreciate you coming to meet with me today. Would it be ok if we were to set an agenda for our meeting?"

- They always say ok

"Great. We meet a lot of people and typically on a first meeting we are just trying to find out if we might be a good fit. You will have some questions for us about design options and price, and we will have some questions for you about your ideal home, timeframe and budget. At any time you might realize that we are never going to be a fit, and if you do thats ok. Will you tell me if that happens?"

- always get an "oh sure."

"And is it ok if we tell you if we think it isn't going to be a good fit?"

- certainly!

"Ok so all we ask is that if we get to the end of the meeting and we think it might be a fit that we take 5 minutes at the end of the meeting and figure out what a next step might be, is that ok?"

- No problem!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I know this sounds very simple and perhaps hokey, but I implore you, please try it!

It is such a departure from the technique I used when starting out - Be overly subservient, give away all my power and send off unintentional signals that I am begging for their money.

Using an upfront agreement as described puts you and the prospect on equal terms and sets up the dynamic that you are on similar levels and no one is begging to do business with the other. People hate to be sold and they love to buy. This takes away the "elephant in the room" and relaxes them. I have seen really positive results and hope you all see the same.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:14 AM   #2
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


I am not sure if I like the whole idea of this, it seems you are giving the prospects objections that they are not thinking about.


Never tell them you may not be a good fit for them, they were thinking you would be and this is the time to encourage them that they have found you and this is what you do "Make their dreams Home". They may of never even thought about looking at another company other than you.

I would suggest you change that around just a bit, if your going to get a commitment on a no I certainly recommend getting a commitment for a yes if they are happy with you.

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Old 03-04-2009, 03:17 AM   #3
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Hey Mike

I appreciate that, but I think the biggest mistake contractors make is being too overeager to please the customer. They unwittingly send off signals that they are uncomfortable and just want the customer's money. I am open minded and see your point, but this technique really worked wonders for me.

Mike
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:23 AM   #4
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Let me ask you this:

Most of your sales close on the first visit or second or so on?
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


actually, I am probably able to close someone on a design fee on the 1st or 2nd visit. It takes a bunch of visits to finalize building a whole house.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelzenga View Post
Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to give you a quick tip that really helped my income go way beyond where I thought it could ever go as a contractor.

It is called an up front agreement:

When someone comes into my office - I build Modular Homes - before anything happens, I say hello and then "I really appreciate you coming to meet with me today. Would it be ok if we were to set an agenda for our meeting?"

- They always say ok

"Great. We meet a lot of people and typically on a first meeting we are just trying to find out if we might be a good fit. You will have some questions for us about design options and price, and we will have some questions for you about your ideal home, timeframe and budget. At any time you might realize that we are never going to be a fit, and if you do thats ok. Will you tell me if that happens?"

- always get an "oh sure."

"And is it ok if we tell you if we think it isn't going to be a good fit?"

- certainly!

"Ok so all we ask is that if we get to the end of the meeting and we think it might be a fit that we take 5 minutes at the end of the meeting and figure out what a next step might be, is that ok?"

- No problem!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I know this sounds very simple and perhaps hokey, but I implore you, please try it!

It is such a departure from the technique I used when starting out - Be overly subservient, give away all my power and send off unintentional signals that I am begging for their money.

Using an upfront agreement as described puts you and the prospect on equal terms and sets up the dynamic that you are on similar levels and no one is begging to do business with the other. People hate to be sold and they love to buy. This takes away the "elephant in the room" and relaxes them. I have seen really positive results and hope you all see the same.

Thanks,

Mike
This is a very smart tactic. They will be thinking that at any time you might tell them they are not a fit and will worry. No one likes rejection and will avoid it whenever they can.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:43 AM   #7
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mike View Post
I am not sure if I like the whole idea of this, it seems you are giving the prospects objections that they are not thinking about.


Never tell them you may not be a good fit for them, they were thinking you would be and this is the time to encourage them that they have found you and this is what you do "Make their dreams Home". They may of never even thought about looking at another company other than you.
You don't think customers are already assuming you aren't going to be the ideal company for them?

You're assuming that a customer is 100% presold on buying from you when they meet you, and saying anything that isn't absolutely in line with that thinking will cause them to go in a different direction? It's just the opposite, their expectations are neutral, you are just a prospect that might fit their needs.

What zenga is saying is basically stating the obvious to the customer. We might work together we might not, you're here to figure that out. You haven't lost anything, you've simply stated to the customer what he is already thinking.

There is nothing you will lose in stating the obvious, what you will gain is confirming to the customer you are thinking like they are and aren't going to be slamming the crap out of them with assumptive closes and instead are ready to listen and talk.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:46 AM   #8
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


This technique is textbook Sandler.

If you can keep your tone very conversational and "real" this can be a great way to set up a respectful relationship between you and your prospect. It works.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:29 AM   #9
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Michael,

I would then feel that you and the prospective customer sit down and discuss details for a period of time.

Do you still follow the trial closes and word tracks seeking out any objections possible and then provide answers as solutions?

Then, as the meeting is nearing an end, I would be interested in your verbiage that you use to get them to sign up with your design build agreement.

I like what I have read so far.

Ed
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:23 PM   #10
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


We'll I firmly believe that when someone calls you they are hoping to only have to call you for the price and have you do the job, when I started thinking that I signed way more contracts at higher prices than ever before, even if it is not the case and they want to talk to more people I play it to the end and even tell the prospects that every now and then.
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:26 PM   #11
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Wow, I am glad so many of you like this technique, and Seth is right, it was heavily inspired by Sandler. If Seth knows that, I can already tell you that he is successful in his business.

It is all about the attitude (also inspired by Sandler) "I am wealthy and I don't need the business." If you push a prospect away, they start trying to convince you that maybe it is a good idea to do business. I was scared to death the first time I tried this.

example:

Me: I really appreciate you coming in here to talk to me about building a new house, but can I ask you a question?

Prospect: Sure

Me: Why is it you are thinking of building a new house when it is so much easier to just buy an existing house?

(my biggest fear was that someone would say "good point, see ya" and that has never happened in hundreds of meetings and even if it did, I probably just saved myself a lot of time)

Prospect: Well, I know, its just that I have looked at a bunch of houses on the market and couldn't find one that I liked. You see, I want a master bedroom on the first floor....

Me: Ok, well there are a lot of houses for sale, are you sure you have really investigated them all

Prospect: Oh yeah, my realtor and I looked at 5 houses, and they were totally overpriced

- Not only are you getting to the root of the issue, the prospect is convincing themselves and they are already talking to you on a much more honest level then they had planned and you are now so much different than any other contractor they have talked to
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:28 PM   #12
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Sandlers may work great, I never checked it out. I still think there is easier ways to close than stating objections.
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:35 PM   #13
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


The technique described above is also reminiscent of a book called "High Probability Selling." The basic idea is to qualify the customer, and be very upfront about it. If you have lots of leads, this can be very effective, because you quickly weed out the tire-kickers and cheapskates.
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:42 PM   #14
 
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Hi All,
Mike and I have been working together for over 6 years and I can tell you that I was just as reluctant to use those techniques as anyone. I thought that it was all about bonding and rapport. While this is important, it was just as important to see if our prospects were a good fit for us to do buisness with (not all buisness is good buisness). You only have 2000 hours in a year to provide for yourself and your family, so to get to point of a meeting is extremely important. It is naive to think that your prospect is not going to explore other options than just your company. The initial agreement, made for a balanced playing field for both my prospects and I. There was no chase, so the prospect did not feel like they had to run or hide. I would say that these techniques have at least doubled if not tripled my profit year over year.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:33 PM   #15
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Are you selling on appointment in the first place, or are these walk in customers? If you want to get really gutsy, those walk in customers set them up an appointment. Once you do it a few times you realize it isn't gutsy, it is plain smart. The people they do not come back were not qualified in the first place. And once they do come back, guess who is in control of the conversation.

I am familiar with Sandler, but these techniques are also called take away closes or intros. It works on the human psyche that they want what they cannot have. People that sound desperate do not have anything to offer to others, if it was so great then why does the person sound so desperate. At least 90% of the sales I get use some form of take away.

Great topic and discussion for a thread!

JJ
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:03 PM   #16
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


I do use these tactics during sales visits also, I just don't ever come out and give them objections what I will do is overcome these objections once they give them to me by repeating them back, if they tell me we are not interested in having the work done for several weeks I then say I am always booked up for at least 4 weeks. If they say we may not want you to work for us on this project, I then would explain to them exactly what you start the OP with. I would fire you if you worked for me and started a sales call with the verbiage you stated you start them out with.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:11 PM   #17
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


It's all about finding out if you and your client are a match. That is SO important it's not funny! I can boast an almost 100% close ratio. Why? Because I don't bother trying to close people who do not match with me. I rarely can not close those who do.

I have the distinct advantage and I know that, and I use it. Why? How many times does a home owner interview a contractor for a kitchen remodel, or re-roof? How many times do I interview a home owner when offering my services? Who has the experience? ME!

Every single question, statement, objection is completely calculated and I'm always 3 or 4 steps ahead. It's like a new chess player up against a grand master. As soon as I know this prospect is a match its already game over, I only need to guide them through the rest of the game.

Setting the agenda is the VERY first thing I do. It creates ground rules for the relationship while we are talking, it allows me to lead while they follow.

So much more I should write an ebook about it. hehe
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:28 PM   #18
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Closing insurance jobs are much different than most closes, When I close an insurance job I never even give the prospects a price I just have them sign my form and give me their claim number, I don't collect a deposit from these people and they only pay their deductible.

These type of prospects are mostly suspects anyways trying to collect the insurance check from your bid that you leave it would be impossible to have a much higher sales ratio percentage than 40%.

Last edited by Mr. Mike; 03-04-2009 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:07 PM   #19
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mike View Post
Closing insurance jobs are much different than most closes, When I close an insurance job I never even give the prospects a price I just have them sign my form and give me their claim number, I don't collect a deposit from these people and they only pay their deductible.

These type of prospects are mostly suspects anyways trying to collect the insurance check from your bid that you leave it would be impossible to have a much higher sales ratio percentage than 40%.
Insurance is a different game for sure but I have not always been doing it. I was selling roofing for a long time before I got into insurance restoration. So I am more then qualified to make the statements I make aside from the fact that I am currently in insurance restoration. = )

Your experience is much different then mine however, all my prospects pay their deductible and give me a 50% deposit, and I find that the majority of them are not trying to use bids to make money off the insurance company.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:27 PM   #20
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Re: The Best Sales Technique I Have Ever Used


Quote:
So I am more then qualified to make the statements I make aside from the fact that I am currently in insurance restoration. = )
I was sure of that before I posted and was not directing my reply towards you in any way, thanks for posting all your posts and I have found all to be very helpful. I wanted to share with everyone that the Insurance roofing jobs are not like most other sales.

I don't even give the homeowners a price before starting the job, I have them sign a form and if there insurance company excepts my price then I call the homeowner up and tell them when we will start, they haven't even got a check from the company at this time.


Edit: I should include the insurance type bid I was referring to is different than the another type of insurance bid like the one I will go to in the morning the one I am going to tomorrow the lady already has a check and is willing to pay for an upgrade in this case when she signs up with me I will take a deposit, it is only my standard 25% though.

We could start a whole topic about insurance leads because there really is a lot of variables just like all trades and my bad on trying to paint the whole insurance restoration industry with one broad paint brush in post #18.

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