Selling has to be a part of what you do. You know why? Because someone else can do what you do for less, the same,or more money than you can. You may think you're pretty special, but if you don't know how to sell (or have someone on your team who knows how to sell), you're going to lose the game. And if you're one of those guys who puffs up his chest and says, "I'm a heating technician, not a stinkin' salesperson," you're basically a misguided knucklehead.
John didn't say those exact words; I did. But I'm pretty sure John was thinking them.
Your customers are not all that different from you.And when you or your spouse or your kids shops it's not all about price, is it? If you thought that it was, you'd only own the cheapest stuff you could find and everyone would be laughing at you.
John asked the guys at the class if they would choose the low-bid doctor when shopping for a vasectomy. All the faces in the room scrunched up.Even the women's faces. Especially the women's.
John's got a way of cutting to the net with a few well-chosen words when you least expect it. Sort of like Bobby Orr.
Good salespeople ask questions.And then they listen for the answers. "You have two ears and one mouth," says John. He didn't make up that saying, but he used it at the perfect time.
A good salesperson listens twice as much as he or she talks.And listening means you're not formulating the next question in your mind while the prospect is telling you something you should be hearing.Focus. Listen. Don't jump ahead in the sales process. Take your time.Listen.
Nothing sells itself. Even though most good mechanics believes this to be true, it's not. He thinks that his products and services are so glorious that they sit there and speak for themselves ("Our Quality Speaks For Itself!" – Found in a million Yellow Pages). Wrong. There is not a thing in this world that speaks for itself or sells itself. It takes a human being to speak for it.
Your selling price should be based on your ability to sell.Your competitor doesn't force you to cut your prices. You force you to cut your prices. I thought that that was profound because we have all these folks running around our industry explaining how to do the math to arrive at your selling price. And while that's certainly something you had better know (your costs of doing business), ultimately your selling price will come from your ability to sell your goods and services. So says John.
Think he's wrong? Then why does Evian water cost more than gasoline? And how about that $5,000 faucet.
If you get every job you bid, you're doing something wrong.And what's probably wrong is that you're not charging enough. John says that when people call to say that so-and-so recommended you (most contractors call this word-of-mouth advertising), what it means is that the word is out that you’re willing to do okay work, and for a cheap price.
If you’re working 24/7, John suggests you double your prices. You're going to lose half of your customers when you do this. You'll be working half as many hours and making the same amount of money.
Now go introduce yourself to your kids.
"I'm not sure that's cost effective."Remove these words from your vocabulary. It's not your money. Why are you deciding what’s cost effective for them. It's their stinking money,for Pete's sake. Shut up and give them a chance to let go of it. Cost effective for us is different than it is for Donald Trump.
If you lower your price from what you first quoted the customer will think you're a thief.You tried to get away with it, John says, and you got busted. Now the customer is going to be all over you for the entire time it takes to get the job done. How come? Because he can’t trust you anymore. You tried to cheat him.
All things being equal, people buy on price.Which would be true if all things were equal. They're never equal,though, because no two people, no two companies, no two customers, no two circumstances are ever the same. "All things being equal," is a cliché that will cloud your mind and keep you from getting the price that allows you to live.
You have to look for the business.Don't wait for it to arrive. John told us about a guy who had gone to one of his radiant heat classes. Afterwards, the guy told John that he was happy he had taken the class because if someone asked him about radiant heat in the future he would now be able to talk about it.
John asked the guy, "If you wanted some milk, would you get a pail and a stool and go sit in a field? You know, wait for the cow to come along?"The man has a way with words, doesn't he?
Sell benefits.John showed us three baseballs. One sold for a couple of bucks (a tee ball), another for three times as much (a MLB game ball), and a third for $600 (a collector's item). All three were baseballs. All three came with the same features, but the benefits to the different buyers were quite different.
A solid lesson, told with three ordinary baseballs. A baseball is not a commodity.
Recommend your competitors.The folks aren't sure. They want to get some more prices before making a decision. John says you should carry a list of what you consider to be worthy competitors. Give the folks the list and suggest they call each of these contractors for a price. Chances are the folks will be so impressed they'll sign with you on the spot. I would.
Shut The Hell Up!Three simple words to keep in mind after the close. Keep talking and you'll talk yourself right out of the sale. Don’t do it. Give them the price. Stick with it and then just Shut . . . The hell ….Up! Don't hand them the quote and say, "Well, folks, I want you to think of this as a starting point. so what do you think?" I wish you could have seen John's body language when he got to this part. It went on for quite awhile and I thought I was going to wet my pants.
Offer three options.Good, better, and best. "Or put another way," as John explains, "Great,mediocre, and sucky." It all depends on how you define it. You're the salesperson. Give a choice of three options, and sell the difference in price between the options. The folks have already decided that they need a heating system. It's your job to sell them something that's going to make them even happier.
You can't sell things for more than what the market will bear. Who says that? And who sets the price that everyone talks about as being the price that the market will bear?
John says that it's the second stupidest guy in town. He sets the price.Everyone else involved with this folly ties for First Place in The Stupidest Guy In Town contest.
If you ever get the chance to see John Barba, take it.