“It’s useless to be a good craftsperson . . . unless you can also sell what you create. Your customers cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesperson.”
This was a paraphrase of a quote by David Ogilvy, one of America’s advertising legends and the message really struck me. Just think about it, you can develop the very best solution to a exceptionally complex problem, but if you can’t present that idea in a way that will convince your prospects, all of your work has been wasted. The only time that you are able to present these ideas is during the sales presentation. The way you conduct yourself during the few hours that you spend with your prospects is crucial to your sales success. However, few remodelers look at it that way. Far too many go to meeting after meeting after meeting with no plan of attack — they simply wing it.
But not professional salespeople. Professionals have a plan and they work it. They know exactly what they want to happen in each phase of the selling cycle and they work toward those goals. They know that each element of their presentation builds upon the next and that they can’t move on until they’ve successfully completed each step. Professional salespeople don’t leave anything to chance and they pay attention to the six main elements that can make the difference in any sales presentation.
1. Always Make a Good First Impression
You only have three seconds to make your first impression and thirty more seconds to revise it if the impression is not favorable. So don’t take any chances. Use common sense. Show up on time, with materials ready to go. Your prospect’s time is also valuable, don’t take them for granted.
Dress neatly and professionally at all times. It will make a difference.
Non-Verbal communications speaks volumes. People communicate information in a variety of ways: 7% through the spoken word, 38% through tone of voice and 55% through non-verbal communication. Watch how you’re conveying information through your facial expressions, posture (stand up tall and confident), tone of voice, attitude (be enthusiastic), handshake and eye contact.
2. Ask Questions to Draw People Out
Questions are like a funnel drawing information out and allowing you to screen your prospect’s input until only the most important information remains–the hotbuttons that must be addressed before they will buy.
Open-ended questions starting with Who, What, Where, Why, How and Tell me about . . . allow people to participate in the sales process. It will feel less like a “pitch” and more like a discussion.
Open-ended questions encourage people to share, not only the facts, but their thoughts and emotions which give you important clues to how to sell them. Remember, people buy on emotion and justify their decision through logic.
3. Always Determine the Budget Early in the Sales Process
You can do this by asking if there is an investment amount in mind. You can’t give them the right solution until you know what you’re working with. Don’t waste your time until you’ve agreed on basic budget parameters.
If your prospects don’t have an investment amount in mind, “bracket” a ballpark figure with a high and low number to see if their budget idea is at all realistic.
4. Your Materials Should Be Organized and Neat
Presentation books are a must as it is the only concrete representation of your company. Use professional photos. They make every project look great.
Be sure your contract is neat, clean, and unwrinkled. A crumpled contract tells people that you haven’t used one lately. In other words, this person is not very successful.
5. Know the Best Ways to Handle Objections
The best time to handle an objection is before they come up. Cover potential problems in your presentation.
Restate the objection in their words, clarify it in your own words, and qualify that it’s the last objection by saying “If we could solve this one issue, could we move ahead tonight?” If there are other objections, they should come up at this point. Don’t waste your time answering one objection if it’s only a smokescreen for others.
Studies show that there are only six main objections in any one industry. Write down the objections you’re running into and develop responses. Learn these responses until you can answer naturally. Then, practice, practice, practice.
6. Always Ask for Their Business
65% of all sales calls do not include a direct request for business. Just think how many more sales you’ll close if you just ask.
Assume the sale–If you’ve done your job, closing is a natural part of the process.
Try, try, and try again. Ask for the order a minimum of three times before you leave the appointment. People want you to ask them to buy. So by giving up too easily, you’re not doing your job as a remodeling salesperson.
If you’re not following these six guidelines, then you’re not covering the basics of selling. In order to do your best job, observe your selling habits now, work to change them, and then watch how you’ll have grown and developed into a top-notch salesperson for your company.