Several months ago I wrote a post about technician selling and received many favorable comments, telling me a lot of subscribers are either service managers or business owners who realize how critical tech sales are in blue collar businesses. This week I’m going to broach that topic again, primarily from the perspective that techs know they are expected to sell, but often they aren’t getting the traction, and results that are expected, even when they work hard at the selling part of their job. If this sounds familiar, take the load off, prop up your feet for a few minutes and look through this list of possible reasons you aren’t hanging “W’s” on the scoreboard. Following each of these suggestions are some comments describing what might possibly be happening:
Are you boring? As you describe products and services that your customers should be interested in, do they cut you off in mid-sentence or jump in when you pause to take a breath? If so, there’s a good chance how you’re saying what you’re saying sounds boring to them.
Suggestions: Be bold and insert interesting examples as illustrations to make your points. Techs qualify as great storytellers due to the volume of situations and dilemmas you’ve helped customers navigate.
Use vivid features and benefits that grab attention and help put buyers into the picture, as well as visuals such as photos you snapped or physical evidence you found during an assessment.
Techs often possess low key temperaments, so if necessary set your hair on fire and run around at Mach 2, if it keeps them from getting bored!
Could you be insulting their intelligence? “Mr. Weisenheimer, you would like to keep your home from being destroyed by pests, wouldn’t you?”
Suggestions: Lame questions like this, designed to try to get people to say yes, are manipulative and insulting. Instead, ask open questions to get customers to verbalize their needs and wants? What, where, why, when, how, who, and describe should be your 7 closest friends. Ask using one of those words and Weisenheimer might just tell you!
Is it possible you are uninformed? The more you learn, the more you earn.
Suggestions: Do you know enough about your competition and their service offering?
Was your assessment thorough enough that you really understand what the homeowner is thinking and what they would really like to accomplish?
Were you aggressive enough during your inspection to uncover any construction anomalies, vulnerable areas or conducive conditions that could help you see the big picture?
Do you find yourself talking to the wrong person? Do you propose those without the power of the pen?
Suggestions: Making a peg leg proposal is about as effective as trying to teach a pig how to sing! Avoid a train wreck like this by simply asking up front who needs to hear you in order to come to a decision, so you can make sure all parties are there before you start a selling conversation.
Are you a good listener? Remember the rule of thumb…You will listen your way into many more sales than you will ever talk your way into.
Suggestions: Always practice being an active listener, meaning that not only do you hear their verbal comments, but you are sensitive to their non-verbal signals as well. When your prospect talks, you sell; when you talk, you lose. Enough said?
Do you talk about features or benefits? Features tell, but it’s the benefits that sell.
Suggestions: Buyers don’t purchase your bells and whistles…they buy what the bells and whistles can do for them.
Remember that benefits come in two flavors, logical and emotional. Logical benefits tell a little about how the feature works, and emotional benefits tell how they will feel as a result of having it.
Have you established the customer’s need(s)? What you sell is NOT a commodity and one size doesn’t fit all. Ask and don’t assume, since most technicians are lousy mind readers.
Suggestions: Start your prospect conversations with, “If you don’t mind I’d like to ask you a few questions so that I will know better how I can serve you?”
Are you likable to people? For the 1,000th time, people buy from those they trust and like.
Suggestions: It’s vital that you spend a little time building some rapport so the buyer will lower the “invisible wall” between you and them, giving you a better chance for success.
Do you always make your customer look smart by doing business with you?
Suggestions: Always emphasize the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) for becoming your customer.
Keep in mind that none of your customers want to take risks, so point out all the reasons your product/service is the low risk choice.
Review this list and honestly determine which areas are hindering your selling. Get to work on the deficiencies today in order to improve and produce more income for your family, as you do your part to increase your company’s revenue.
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