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Mike J. Agugliaro

The Missing Piece to Closing More Sales

by Mike J. Agugliaro

If you can fix this one component, you can close more sales, even if other aspects of your marketing and sales aren’t fully dialed in.

Do you wish your team closed more sales? Of course you do. Every contractor wants to close more sales and every contractor wants his or team to close more sales—from the person answering the phones right through to the techs who are doing the work. After all, sales lead to revenue and growth, so if you close more sales, you have the potential to grow your business.

So the question every contractor should be asking themselves every day is:
How do I get my team to close more sales?

Here’s the answer: many teams are missing one critical component that prevents them from making more sales. If you can fix this component, you can close more sales, even if other aspects of you marketing and sales aren’t fully dialed in.

What is this critical component? To understand, we must first look at what sales is:

Prospects are motivated to contact your company because they have a problem. Then, they make a buying decision when they see that your company has a product or service that can help them solve the problem.

In between the problem and the solution… well, that’s the gap that the prospect is trying to close with their purchase. And it’s what many contractors fail to understand about sales: the wider the gap, the more a prospect is motivated to solve it with a purchase of your products or services.

So, what does this mean for you and anyone on your team who sells for you? It means that you need to highlight the gap between the problem and solution, and you do that in the following two ways:

1. Seek to understand the “pain” (the challenge and inconvenience) that the prospect is facing with the problem.

2. Establish value (the benefit) that the prospect gets when the problem is solved.

Highlight the pain… and establish value for a solution. Those are the two simple things that every person in sales in your company needs to do (yet very few are doing it).

Here’s what happens instead: when a prospect calls, or when they talk to a Comfort Advisor who comes to their house to give them an estimate, the prospect mentions the problem and then the salesperson goes right into selling mode by saying something like, “Oh, you don’t have any cold air coming out of your ducts? Well, it sounds like you need us to look at your air conditioner.” That’s how people default to dealing with prospect problems—the launch right into problem-solving mode.


Once you’ve done these two steps, then you can pivot to talking about how your products and services help the prospect get the solution.


Unfortunately, launching into problem-solving mode feels salesy to prospects and they don’t like it. They wonder if you are jamming a costly solution down their throat or trying to rip them off. And in some cases, they may not even understand the full problem themselves so they are skeptical that you can identify a solution right on the phone.

Here’s what to do instead:

First, seek to understand the problem. Ask questions about how long it’s happening, what the comfort level is like in the home, and what additional problems they are facing because of it. Listen to the prospect and reflect on other aspects of the problem that they may not be thinking of: “Yes, Mrs. Prospect, that sounds inconvenient. And when your air conditioner doesn’t work, it makes cooking supper so much less pleasant, plus it probably makes your fridge work harder to keep your food cold.”

The first part of the conversation needs to be about understanding the full extent of the prospect’s pain in their terms, and listening as they describe the true “cost” and inconvenience of the problem.

Second, establish the value of the solution. Avoid prescribing a solution but simply establish the value of what a solution would mean for the prospect; find out how important a solution is for your prospect. For example, instead of saying, “Oh, it sounds like we need someone to look at your air conditioning unit,” ask the following questions: “What would it mean to have a cooler home? How much better would that be? How much money would you save on higher energy costs from the fridge not working as hard? And how much nicer would it be to make supper when you can turn on the stove without making your kitchen even hotter?”

The second part of the conversation is still not about prescribing what needs to happen, it’s about helping the prospect understand the importance of a solution. This often overlooked step is why many contractors lose out on a sale because the prospect didn’t understand just how much they would benefit from the solution!

Once you’ve done these two steps, then you can pivot to talking about how your products and services help the prospect get the solution. And as you present your solution, show how it solves the exact pain discussed earlier, and how it helps to deliver the exact value discussed earlier.

Unfortunately, too many contractors and their sales teams rush to this last step too quickly and they skip the critical component of exploring the pain of the problem and the value of the solution first. But when you do that first, the prospect hands you the exact reasons that would get them to buy from you, allowing you to present your products or services in a way that helps them close the gap between problem and solution.

See the full article on ContractorMag HERE

 

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