Thursday, September 10, 2009

Flip Flop

Flip Flop the time you talk vs the time you listen. This is from Skip Anderson:

Home Improvement Sales Training: Sales Professional or Pitchman?

Much of conventional wisdom in home improvement sales training centers around "The Demo." This is particularly true when selling windows, doors, sunrooms and the like.

The concept is that you wow your prospect with the quality of your product and walk out the door with a sale. But if this works so well, why does the average salesperson have to discount his price ("drop" in home improvement lingo) one or more times to get the order?

Look, we've got it all wrong. If we spend five minutes getting to know our prospect and twenty minutes performing our demonstration, where is our focus? What's more important here, our window, or our prospect?

I say our prospect is far more important. If we're going to spend twenty minutes doing our demo, then we'd better spend at least twenty minutes getting to know our prospect. It a decision that will determine if you are a sales professional or a pitchman.

- What micro and macro needs does our prospect have?

- Who is the dominant participant, in the case of a couple? Why?

- What prior experiences of the prospect will influence their decision about the purchase of our product?

- What's on the prospect's mind?

- What fears do that have regarding our product or our company or the buying process?

- How will the prospect make a buying decision?

- Why did they call us to their home today and not a year ago? Or a year from now?

- And so on.

But when a sales representative's focus is on the demo, he is:

- Assuming his product meets the needs of his prospect

- Putting his prospect in a role of secondary importance

- Putting the cart before the horse

- Hoping the prospect is interested enough to sign on, rather than finding out up front

Here's my suggestion:

If you sell windows, doors, cabinetry, custom closets, sunrooms, patio rooms, flooring, knives, vacuums, security systems, or anything else in the home, work to engage your prospect in the buying process by focusing on your prospect. Everything else will fall into place more easily if that is your starting point. Otherwise, you could just as well be an infomercial pitchman doing all the talking and none of the listening.

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Skip Anderson is the Founder and President of Selling to Consumers Sales Training. He works with companies and individuals who sell to consumers in B2C, retail, in-home selling, and the financial, real estate, and insurance markets.

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