The following story was submitted as an entry to the annual funniest home improvement story contest conducted by Today’s Homeowner.com by Bob Sill of Concord, New Hampshire. Sounds like Bob should go to his local Home Show and find a contractor to complete his next project for him.
“When I set out to add a deck to the back of my house, I started by digging a series of holes for the concrete post supports. Being in New Hampshire I wanted them eight feet deep to keep frost heaves from ruining my new deck. This required lying face down on the ground, and shoving my posthole digger as deep as it would go.
About the third hole in, it started pouring rain. I was soaked but determined. The final hole was about six feet deep when the water soaked edge gave way, and I fell face first into it. So there I was, face down in a hole with only the soles of my shoes showing. I yelled for help, but was too deep in the hole and dirt was falling into my mouth. The hole was starting to fill with water, and I was panicking.
After about half an hour, my face was at the waterline when I suddenly felt several pairs of hands around my ankles. I was pulled out of the hole and came face to face with a group of firemen who were laughing hysterically. Thankfully, my wife heard me and called for help.”
If you sell in a blue collar industry, you probably look forward to participating at least once a year in a local or regional home show. That’s a smart choice since event surveys reveal that 94% of attendees are homeowners, and 76% attend with a spouse, meaning both decision makers are available. What’s not to like! So today I’m offering up a few suggestions to help make your participation more productive as folks make their way toward your booth.
Seek out Prospects: Make folks feel welcome as they come near your booth with a simple greeting and a sincere smile, while making good eye contact. Regardless whether you sell HVAC systems, termite and/or pest control, metal roofing or replacement windows, ask a couple thought-provoking questions to determine the need and interest level of each visitor.
Remember there is a big difference between suspects and prospects. As you profile each one be careful to remain polite, professional, and respectful. My point here is not to take too much of your time or theirs by introducing them to the features and benefits of your product or service if they really aren’t a serious prospect. “Surgery without a diagnosis is malpractice.”
Speak and Listen: Once you have determined you have a prospect, ask a couple open questions to identify needs and qualify the visitor. Listen carefully to their answers and attempt to establish their purchasing timetable. Be careful not to appear aggressive or get in their grill as you converse.
Set an Appointment: Once your prospects recognize that a visual inspection/assessment of the current state of their home is necessary, follow on and set an appointment to culminate in a presentation and proposal. Ensure that all decision makers will be present when you come so that an intelligent decision will be able to be made once all the facts are in hand.
Lastly, here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider while you are working your booth:
- Be enthusiastic and smile to ensure a good first impression.
- Use mouthwash and be properly groomed, wearing comfortable shoes.
- Keep moving in the booth.
- Keep the booth tidy and appealing.
- Ask and use prospect’s names in conversation.
- Sit and/or read in the booth.
- Eat, drink or chew gum in the booth.
- Ignore any prospects in the vicinity.
- Talk on the phone if prospects are nearby.
- Act like you’re on patrol waiting to pounce when folks enter your jurisdiction.
- Talk, or huddle, or yuck it up with fellow salespeople.
- Display product literature openly as people waste it without reading.
————My Pleasure, Kyle————
“Doug, I needed your article today! How wrapped up in this crazy busy world we can become! Thank you for simplifying my day and reminding me to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Appreciate you.” Kyle Lovell, V.P. SunTrust Bank. See why a bank VP follows Doug HERE.
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