Here’s a sales tip for all of you home improvement pros trying to build your business and close more sales – your past customers didn’t buy from you because of how long you’ve been in business, or your product knowledge, or the fact that you were offering a $500-off promotion.
They bought from you because they trusted you.
Studies have shown when a potential customer talks with you or your sales rep for the first time, they’re subconsciously asking themselves several questions – in this order:
- Do I want to buy from this person?
- Do I want to buy from the company this person represents?
- Do I want or need their products?
- Is the price right and does it provide the value I’m looking for?
- And, is this the right time to install these products?
As you can see from the list of questions, they’re not considering the products or prices or timing at first – they start out buying trust.
And don’t confuse “like” with “trust”. You may have the best sense of humor and most likable personality, but it is not enough to be a top performing sales leader.
What is trust? It’s when potential customers believe you know more about them than they know about themselves.
When they say they want a new kitchen, you determine they really need to open up their living space so the family can spend more time together.
When they say they need new windows, you know they’re worried about their kids sleeping in drafty bedrooms during the cold winter months.
You are not selling a product. You’re selling a solution to a problem.
When you take your truck to the mechanic because you’re battery keeps draining, you are providing the mechanic with a symptom. And you’re hoping the mechanic is trustworthy and will be talented enough to determine that replacing the battery won’t solve the problem, just fix the symptom. And if the mechanic tells you a faulty sensor is draining the battery – even when the engine is off – you give him or her to go-ahead to solve the problem.
In any sales opportunity, your first step is to determine the potential customer’s problem. You don’t start by telling them how long you’ve been doing this, how wonderful your products are, or how quickly and easily their job will be completed.
Help them understand the value – not the features and benefits – of the products you will install.
Your next step is to let them know the cost of the problem they have – not the cost of your products and service. You can try to tell them how much enjoyment they’ll get out of their new kitchen or how easy it will be to clean their new replacement windows. But they need to understand what they’ll lose or what it will cost to do nothing.
When they see how much money they are losing or how much the pain of the problem is hurting their family’s comfort or quality of life, you will be building the trust you need to close the deal.