Selling Unafraid — Why Should People Hire You?
There’s no shortage of competition out there, but there’s a finite number of home improvement jobs. The good news? There’s only one you. So, how do you distinguish your contracting business and close more sales? Is it all about price, or is there more to it?
We recently hosted a webinar where our special guest Tom Reber delved into how you can really connect with potential home improvement clients, earn their trust, and offer the most value — so you can win more bids and increase the bottom line for your business.
Up Your Close Rate
While advertising to bring in leads is a key first step, once you get those prospects in the door, your sales game needs to be top notch. Some popular methods of home improvement selling can come off as pushy, and fail to focus on establishing a true connection with the homeowner. Yes, you need to sell, but more importantly, you need to understand why they want to buy. And that means asking the right questions, and then listening.
Open-Ended Questions Drive Emotional Connections
Tom tells us that peeling back the layers of your clients’ desires can make a huge difference as you work on closing deals. Many salespeople look for an opening and then pounce on their clients. This overwhelms them with lots of technical information they didn’t ask for or show any concern about. Elite salespeople abandon that “pouncing” formula. Instead, they choose to “peel back” their clients’ layers, revealing their true motives for the project, and further connect the dots of understanding.
Getting to the root of the client’s feelings about the project can help you establish trust. This allows you to close the sale with that trust as the basis for the relationship. In the end, making sales is all about making emotional connections.
Go Beyond the Face Value to the Underlying Concerns
Your prospect is ultimately your guiding light. Getting to their “why” helps you get to the “yes”. Realize that the sale is not about you and your offering; it’s about the homeowner and what matters most to them.
A standard sales tactic may be to explain how you don’t outsource labor, or that you always pick up after yourselves on the job. That’s great, but elite salespeople take that a step further by discovering not only what matters to the client, but why.
By truly listening to their concerns, you can overcome objections to the process by reassuring them that they’ll have an exceptional customer experience, and objections to price are more likely to melt away. Listening to your clients and gaining their trust through engaging conversation is the way to get there.
“When you connect with their motive, and you understand the motive, price becomes less important because you’re connecting in ways that your competitors never will.” – Tom Reber
In the end, your ticket to a better close rate without discounting is truly relating to your client’s concerns by asking open-ended questions and listening to the answers, building trust, and delivering the best customer experience.
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Want more context? Here’s a transcription of the relevant portion of the webinar.
How many times have you gone into a sales call, timid, insecure, not confident in your numbers, not confident if you had the right buyer in front of you, you’re worried about how to handle an objection if they have one.
Most salespeople on planet Earth, and I would say especially in the trades, are horrible salespeople. They think it’s about the technical things. They think it’s about showing off and bragging about how great our company is. They think it’s about the quality of work. And as you’re gonna see here in a second, it’s not.
So I have a question for you. Why should somebody hire your business?
I’ll tell you some of the things you’re thinking right now, right here: “We have 25 years of experience. We do high quality work; we have the best warranty. We don’t sub our work out. We’re a local business. We’re a franchise.” You fill in the blank.
This is what most of you are saying when I ask the question, why should people hire you? And as good as all these reasons might be, and I’m not saying your reasons are not important; however, the most important reason is their reasons — your prospect’s reasons.
I recently had a salesperson for a flooring company come over to the house and he proceeded to tell me all the reasons why we should use a certain product. He went technical, blah, blah, blah, this, that, the other thing, he failed to ask me a single question. I would’ve loved to have one question asked to me and my wife. I called them out, I said, “I want some epoxy flooring or something like this for my studio down here in the house.”
The guy came down, he says, “So, uh, I hear you want some epoxy.” And I said, “Yeah.”
And he says, “No, you don’t want that. You want to use our X5000 product.” He went on and on and on droning on and on to tell us about how great this product was. He was reverting back to all this stuff. And guys, this is where you go because you’re insecure as a salesperson.
Had this salesperson asked me, what’s the occasion? Literally, what’s the occasion for doing the floor down here? What he would’ve heard from me is I would’ve given him my vision and my dream. What he would’ve found out is that this has to be on fire down here because this is my baby. This space is my baby. And that’s what most salespeople fail to do — they fail to understand the number one goal of a sales call is emotional connection.
When you connect with their motive, and you understand the motive, price becomes less important because you’re connecting in ways that your competitors never will.
What we found is when you learn truly to sell and connect, what you will see is you will see your profits pretty much double. You’ll see the time you spend estimating, pretty much cut in half because we actually teach people how to do this in a 15-minute phone call about how to connect with somebody before we go out to the yard, before we go out to the site to make sure, hey, the phone call’s kind of like a first date. And the onsite visit is like, hey, should we go on a second date?
When you pre-qualify and connect with your customers, talk about the money, talk about what could go wrong when you get out there, talk about who else is, is involved in this project. Who else is excited to do this so that you don’t get ghosted?
So step one of your sales process and your pre-qualification process must involve their reasons. It must be about their motives. Guys, this is most sales people right here, okay?
As an example, when I was painting, the customer said, because I asked, “Oh man, the last guy. He, he left a mess, man. It was a pain in the butt every time, every night. At the end of the day, my wife and I had to go around and had to clean up.”
Most salespeople do what’s called pouncing. They jump all over that. “Well, we clean up every day and we use Swiffers, and we blah, blah.” And you just sound like everybody else. Elite salespeople peel back the pain, they peel back the emotion,
“Man, you and your wife every night. Were you cleaning up? Tell me more about that.”
“Yeah man we were up Swiffering and found a couple tools laying around that our kid could have stepped on and hurt his foot.”
“Man, that must have been frustrating.” You know how guys; it’s about peeling things back.
Or if somebody says to you, “Hey, we’re really looking for the lowest price.” Most contractors, most salespeople go, “Well, you know, you get what you pay for.” They start preaching. They start pouncing, they start justifying. Elite salespeople say, “You don’t wanna pay the highest price? Tell me, what’s the story there?” Don’t make assumptions — peel things back.
When you slow down, you stop pouncing on people, you start to understand them, you understand your customer more and understand their vision, making them more likely to sign on with you.
Transcript from the 6/15/2023 “Winning the Contractor Fight” webinar with Tom Reber.