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Hello,
I just started working as a sales rep for an exteriors contractor.
I am expected to do a ten-step, one call close. I have substantial sales experience, including a modest amount of in-home sales, but have never sold this way before. I have always used more of a consultative approach. Sometimes they close on the first visit, sometimes on a subsequent visit.
I am being told to use the one-call approach because, apparently, I have little chance of closing sales otherwise.
Have any of you found this to be the case?

I am expected to use closes which seem to be a bit high-pressure. I am concerned that, if I don't close on the first visit, these high pressure closes will make closing on a follow up much more difficult, because of course people are generally turned off by high pressure tactics.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for closing on the first visit. But is it absolutely necessary in order to make sales? My product is mostly sunrooms, which is a big ticket item. Most people need to "think about it", and I am also looking for ideas to close the "think about it" prospect.
Thanks,
Charlie D
 

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Hello,
I just started working as a sales rep for an exteriors contractor.
I am expected to do a ten-step, one call close. I have substantial sales experience, including a modest amount of in-home sales, but have never sold this way before. I have always used more of a consultative approach. Sometimes they close on the first visit, sometimes on a subsequent visit.
I am being told to use the one-call approach because, apparently, I have little chance of closing sales otherwise.
Have any of you found this to be the case?

I am expected to use closes which seem to be a bit high-pressure. I am concerned that, if I don't close on the first visit, these high pressure closes will make closing on a follow up much more difficult, because of course people are generally turned off by high pressure tactics.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for closing on the first visit. But is it absolutely necessary in order to make sales? My product is mostly sunrooms, which is a big ticket item. Most people need to "think about it", and I am also looking for ideas to close the "think about it" prospect.
Thanks,
Charlie D
Charlie what is it you need to think about? Is it me? Is it are product? It must be the $$$$$$!!

You can use the "high pressure" with out them really knowing you are useing it.

Now before did you sell siding,roofing?

Their is a huge difference in selling roofing- a sunroom.

Roofing is a need. sunroom is a complete want!

I do agree that if you dont close a sunroom lead while you are their you probably wont sell it?
 

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Charlie D,

All I train is one-call closing.

With the right training 1 Call Closing is actually easier and more profitable than a longer sales cycle.

The reason it's becoming more popular is that companies that are wanting to grow in their markets realize that there are things to contend with.

Down economy, competitors that are better at closing but not necessarily better companies, peoples fear of committment, etc.

One call closing takes away all the reasons HO feed themselves to NOT do something. It's the s*** or get off the pot mentality.

You need something. I have it at with a company that has a good reputation, with a person you trust, a product you believe in, at a reasonable price, that I made affordable for you.....what the hell is missing? Oh......you're scared.

Scared that you've been blinded by my stunning charm and witty personality so you can't see the huge mistake you're making, scared that your decision to move forward will put your family in financial straits, scared your friends and family will think you were taken and now you're a fool, or scared that there's more for less...

You're job isn't about products and price. You can sell anything you want for whatever you want to get for it. A one call close is simply learning ways to take away the fears of the typical HO and allowing them to do something they want to do anyway. You're just giving them a reason to do it.

So establishing a good warm-up and pealing back their fears, probing deep in their needs analysis, and being REAL and genuinely caring about solving their problems will lead you to many 1 Call Closes and much success.

We're in the people business...not products and pricing.
 

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Great response, BDiamond! I was a training manager and outside sales rep for years doing one call closing (also using a ten step system!).

CharlieD: I'm 99% sure that you're using the same system and it works so long as you follow it EVERY time. If you shortcut the steps, it will either kill the sale or make it more difficult in the close. If you follow those ten steps, you will narrow down all the objections except affordability, price, and procrastination.

Your training should cover how to handle procrastination (think over) objections, no?

The best closes to use to overcome them are the ben franklin close and the reduce to ridiculous close. The way to close a think it over objection is to convert it to a price objection, then close on price. You will fight forever trying to close a "think it over" without converting to price or affordability because you're fighting the wrong objection. Somewhere in your system should be a "pre close" where it handles the "think it over" before it happens.

I'd like to add another thing, the only real way to one call close is to offer a discount that is only good for that night ONLY. It sounds sleazy but hopefully you've been trained to make everything sound 100% legit. I've closed many sales on the first night without pushing the "discount" but to be honest, it's the only way that will really maximize your closing rate and it's the only real reason that a customer should feel obligated to buy from you that night, otherwise why the heck would they need to make a decision NOW?

If you are following the system, learning and applying every close you know, then you will ABSOLUTELY sell at least 50% of the leads you go to. I closed some years at 70%; I promise you that one call closing will outperform callbacks any day. It just takes some balls and a lot of practice/application.

I should mention, I've never sold sunrooms, only windows/siding/doors, but it's the same strategy. I would however think that that your closing rate may be slightly lower because of the higher price of them (about 25k usually right?).
 

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Here's a quick scenario of how to handle the objection before actually closing it (which will be easy once you've removed that pesky "think about it").
Let's assume you've done your job and the customer is sold on your product, he's just telling you now that he has to think it over or whatever...

AGREE
"John, I can appreciate that!"

RESTATE
"So what you're telling me is that you like our sunroom, you'd love to have our sunroom in your home, it's just that you'd like to think it over right?"

ISOLATE
"Is there any other reason at all that you install our sunroom? Any reason at all!?" (they always answer "the price" or something similar).

RELAX
This is important because you can't just rush into the close, you need to let this wait a minute. Small talk a little bit at this point, but you're really close to the kill!

OVERCOME
Is it safe to say that the price is really the only thing that stops you for having our sunroom added to your home? Obviously if we gave you the siding for FREE you'd take it wouldn't you? You wouldn't have to think about that. I'm pretty sure that the only way we could get together on this is if it was EXTREMELY affordable for you to where you knew you could afford it without having to crunch numbers, right?

Now he agrees and you move to a close on the price! There's many techniques for setting up affordability too, where you don't have to discount the crap out of anything too, hopefully they gave you some insight on that, but I just gave you the basic template of how to handle and overcome a think it over objection.
 

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1. Entry
2.Warm up (spend 15 minutes small talking, even if forced)
3. Measure (complete measure of everything, pointing out details)
4. Company story (sell the HO on your company and sell them off others)
5. Kill Alternatives (sell them off the competitors products)
6. Demo (sell them on your product)
7. Pre-Close (this tackles "think about it's" right before they ever start, and preps them for the one call discount).
8. Close (handling objections and closing)
9. Warm Down (spending 20 or so minutes after you've written everything up)
10. Replace the lead (getting referrals to call).
 

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10-step Training

They are all going to be somewhat different...

1. Meet & Greet
2. Warm-up
3. Needs Analysis
4. Company Credentials
5. Product Demo
6. Measure
7. Pricing and ROI
8. Negotiations
9. Paperwork
10. Cool Down
 

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They are all going to be somewhat different...


6. Measure

BDiamond, I'm just curious, why do you use measure at step 6? I'm not knocking it or anything, I'm just curious. I've tried out measuring after demoing but it makes it really difficult to price condition properly and I've found it to really break up the momentum when having to go right to price after measuring.

My argument with measuring before even the needs analysis is:

- homeowners don't often know the condition their existing products are in before you take them around and show them, so their needs often change afterward.

- If you haven't seen actual issues yet as detailed during the measurements, then you can't exploit them.

- You can't accurately show competitors estimated pricing without measurements.

- It gives you extra warm up time. (I use the measure as a warm up when I have trouble small talking).

The main reason though is the momentum break. I hate measuring then going right to price, it really doesn't feel smooth to me at all. I like working them to a point where they hate the way things are now, would love to have what I'm offering, and are seated at attention ready for the price. I absolutely hate when I'm at that point and then we have to get up and measure things then get back to the table. It has never ever felt linear to me and I've always regretted trying it.
 

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BDiamond, I'm just curious, why do you use measure at step 6? I'm not knocking it or anything, I'm just curious. I've tried out measuring after demoing but it makes it really difficult to price condition properly and I've found it to really break up the momentum when having to go right to price after measuring.
I price condition towards the end of my warm-up so it's done early on. I want the HO to dwell on it for a bit.

I've found pricing after measuring is a natural step. We've got the measurements. Let's put it on paper and see what we come up with. It's a matter of preference.


My argument with measuring before even the needs analysis is:
Measuring is Step 6. Needs Analysis is Step 3...?????

- homeowners don't often know the condition their existing products are in before you take them around and show them, so their needs often change afterward.
HO's know what the issue is because they set an appointment. During needs analysis I'm finding out about what they're looking for, why do they want it, why haven't they gotten it, when do they plan on getting it. etc...so it not always about the windows or siding itself...there is more going on.

- If you haven't seen actual issues yet as detailed during the measurements, then you can't exploit them.
I want them to tell me the issues in needs analysis and then exploit them during the measure. "You're right Marge. These are hard to open...BTW did you notice this dry rot? Yep.These have definitely had it."

- You can't accurately show competitors estimated pricing without measurements.
I can get ballparks and write them down in price conditioning and then let them stew on it while we are measuring. It gets them excited to see what the actual numbers are. Keeps up the energy level and anticipation.

- It gives you extra warm up time. (I use the measure as a warm up when I have trouble small talking).
I also use the measuring as small-talk time. I say you're ALWAYS in the warm-up. It's like turning off a warm burner...things cool down.

The main reason though is the momentum break. I hate measuring then going right to price, it really doesn't feel smooth to me at all. I like working them to a point where they hate the way things are now, would love to have what I'm offering, and are seated at attention ready for the price. I absolutely hate when I'm at that point and then we have to get up and measure things then get back to the table. It has never ever felt linear to me and I've always regretted trying it.
Again, you're questions are based on mistaking the Measuring as coming before the Needs Analysis...

During my pricing I'm talking about the things we found out during the measure, what they think new windows would do for them, what they liked about the windows we're putting in, etc.

So I bring them back to the point you're talking about and then show them the price filling in all the blanks we made during price conditioning. So I'm accomplishing that state you're talking about during the measure and pricing and then...BAM...there it is.

What's your 10 steps? Do share!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Our 10 steps are:
1- Preparation
2- Warm-up
3- Needs analysis
4- Measure
5- Company story
6- Product demo
7- Design/solution
8- Pricing
9- Pre-close & present price
10- Close

Would you ever consider giving a price BEFORE the product demo? I'm thinking this might give them time to get used to the price, get them excited about the product, and then assume the sale. Thoughts?
 

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Bill Z,
That's exactly what I was thinking, which is why I asked the original question.
I would be interested to hear your closing techniques, and whether or not you feel a one-call close is necessary.
 

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Charlie,

Thanks for asking. I'll address part two of your question.

I find the one call process very stressful for all parties. I remember being taught the "one call close" for the first time in 1982. The steps were almost identical to what we are seeing today. As you can easily imagine, consumers are much more savvy today than they were 30 years ago. A few selling systems have adapted to the high speed pace of 2010 and recognize that selling involves a lot of science, psychology and language skills.

If you think carefully about the concept behind (the steps of) the one call close you quickly begin to recognize that the entire system treats the customer as an object with no allowance for individuality, needs, wants, or preferences. Likewise, it assumes the salesperson has no ability to think on his/her own, and commands a robot style approach to every sale.

Who decided that this robot approach is the best way to sell? Isn't it similar to Army Generals sitting behind the lines sending platoons of lowly soldiers out to the front lines? Do you see the one call gurus actually out closing business this way? Or are they mainly teaching and preaching it? The rigidness of the steps reminds one of how the English Army lined up in rows and marched straight into battle only to be slaughtered by the snipers of the Revolutionary Forces. Just like the military, the concept is based on salespeople and prospects being expendable.

Also like the military, the one call system creates a win or lose relationship. The salesman who doesn't sell on the first call feels like he lost. If he doesn't feel bad enough after spending his evening (away from his family) trying to shove his product down someone's throat, his sales manager will remind him in the morning.

Imagine for a minute how much different you'll feel when you and the customer are on the same team, working together to discover the best solution that will meet their wants and needs. You don't waste time telling the customer about things they don't care about, instead you focus your presentation like a laser beam on exactly what the customer needs to know to make the right decision.

Hey, if someone is comfortable with the one-call system, have at it. I've done both over the last 40 years and prefer less stress, fewer hours, and happier customers. Charlie, you seem well aware of the frailties of trying to force a $30K sale, your instincts are right.
 

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Bill, hello I am Bob. I have read some of your posts here and respect much of what you have contributed, but I need to disagree with your post above. I will try to show how I disagree by taking things point, by point. I hope this adds some balance to this thread

Obviously you are against one-call-closing, that is fine, it is not for everyone

I find the one call process very stressful for all parties.
Yes it can be, if approached wrongly, but it has to be said, this is only your perspective

I remember being taught the "one call close" for the first time in 1982. The steps were almost identical to what we are seeing today.
Got ya beat there Bill, my intro was 77, and my experience is that the steps are not almost identical today. Some companies, some organizations and individuals have not moved forward, but the professional one-call-close has been very closely assimilated into a consultative approach now... but like you, that is only from my perspective

As you can easily imagine, consumers are much more savvy today than they were 30 years ago.
Not convinced about that one. I know we have all been saying it for years, but the truth... jury is out

A few selling systems have adapted to the high speed pace of 2010 and recognize that selling involves a lot of science, psychology and language skills.
Yes they have, and many embrace the one-call-close

If you think carefully about the concept behind (the steps of) the one call close you quickly begin to recognize that the entire system treats the customer as an object with no allowance for individuality, needs, wants, or preferences. Likewise, it assumes the salesperson has no ability to think on his/her own, and commands a robot style approach to every sale.
Man! you have had a bad experience or two... and yes, as you describe does exist, but there are good sales methods out there, and they encourage the free-thinking, intelligent salesperson who cares about the customer, and many of the methods work supremely well

Who decided that this robot approach is the best way to sell? Isn't it similar to Army Generals sitting behind the lines sending platoons of lowly soldiers out to the front lines? Do you see the one call gurus actually out closing business this way? Or are they mainly teaching and preaching it? The rigidness of the steps reminds one of how the English Army lined up in rows and marched straight into battle only to be slaughtered by the snipers of the Revolutionary Forces. Just like the military, the concept is based on salespeople and prospects being expendable.
respectfully, please move on, you are reflecting your own bad experiences

Also like the military, the one call system creates a win or lose relationship. The salesman who doesn't sell on the first call feels like he lost. If he doesn't feel bad enough after spending his evening (away from his family) trying to shove his product down someone's throat, his sales manager will remind him in the morning.
And again...

Imagine for a minute how much different you'll feel when you and the customer are on the same team, working together to discover the best solution that will meet their wants and needs. You don't waste time telling the customer about things they don't care about, instead you focus your presentation like a laser beam on exactly what the customer needs to know to make the right decision.
Now your talking!!! and this approach can just as easily afford a one-call-close

Hey, if someone is comfortable with the one-call system, have at it. I've done both over the last 40 years and prefer less stress, fewer hours, and happier customers. Charlie, you seem well aware of the frailties of trying to force a $30K sale, your instincts are right.
What you have identified as good and what what you have identified as bad, have absolutely nothing to do with the one-call-close. There are good sales approaches and there are bad sales approaches, you will find no disagreement from me on that, but in my experience one-call-closing is rejected simply by those who don't know how to do it properly

I mean no disrespect, as I mentioned at the top, and as you alluded to in your post... different strokes for different folks, but please do not force your prejudice onto others who may be less experienced and may be looking for support

One-call-closing works, and when performed by seasoned professionals who know exactly what they are doing, and why they are doing it, the client is the primary beneficiary. Surely the focus should be on the client, not in justifying prejudice due to weakness in the self?

Respectfully
:devil2:
 

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Bob,

I didn't make myself entirely clear. I was addressing the OP's question about a mandated one call system that is to be applied regardless of circumstance.

I'm not against one call closing at all. I do it all the time (when appropriate). What I am against is having a policy that all sales must happen on a one call basis, especially with sun rooms.

It's like having a chain saw to do window trim. Sometimes you need to go back to the shop to get some more tools.

Thanks,
Bill
 

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I find the one call process very stressful for all parties. I remember being taught the "one call close" for the first time in 1982. The steps were almost identical to what we are seeing today. As you can easily imagine, consumers are much more savvy today than they were 30 years ago.
...and just 5 years later they made it into a movie: :laughing:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094155/

Imagine for a minute how much different you'll feel when you and the customer are on the same team, working together to discover the best solution that will meet their wants and needs. You don't waste time telling the customer about things they don't care about, instead you focus your presentation like a laser beam on exactly what the customer needs to know to make the right decision.
I think that's the difference between the trades. On this thread, as out in the field, the guys advocating this sort of aggressive, used-car-salesish tactics are the windows/doors/roofing/siding crowd. Not much siding sold here in AZ, but you could add the garage door guys instead.

Everyone's getting paid on commission, they're selling the exact same product as 100's of other guys, and the odds the customer's NEXT appointment is going to beat their price by a little bit is 100%. So of course they have the "buy or die" and "be-backs won't come-back" mentality. That's their reality, and if they didn't have it they'd starve.

Hey, if someone is comfortable with the one-call system, have at it. I've done both over the last 40 years and prefer less stress, fewer hours, and happier customers. Charlie, you seem well aware of the frailties of trying to force a $30K sale, your instincts are right.
:thumbsup: That's how I like it too, Passive sales all the way. I'd feel like I should be wearing Richard Dreyfuss' polyester suit if I was trying to implement a "10-step sales process."

"You've seen what I've done for ______, here's a detailed description of what I can do for you, here's how much it is, here's my 8-10 page contract to look over if you're interested." That's my sales pitch. Goes great impressing folks with IQs over 150 and six-figure incomes on a $40k+ remodel. Probably wouldn't work as well selling doors and windows to the masses. ;)
 
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