If This Were My Mother’s House…

When someone I trust and believe, say a technician that comes into my home or business says to me, “What I would do is…” or “If it were me, I would…” I really listen. Hey, that’s what I said when I was a Chimney Sweep to my residential customers in my early twenties. It’s what I said when I was a technician in my late twenties to building owners. For that matter, I still say it to prospective customers. I speak in the first person, honestly, authentically and sincerely. What followed was why my close ratio was over 75%…detachment.

Detachment sounds like this, “But hey, its your house (or business), you do what you think is best. I gotta go!” Detachment is a honest indifference. There is no quiet desperation or smarmy manipulation. It’s simply your opinion. It’s what you would tell your mother. Hey, who would give a raw deal to their mother? No one I know.

If you think about it, no one likes to be sold. We all like to buy. It has to be our decision. Give me the information, raise my awareness with tact and compassion, offer a few choices, and then shrug your shoulders as if you didn’t care which option I chose. I especially like, “Talk it over with your wife…” or “Give some thought to what makes sense to you…I’ll be back in touch.” Then smile, leave and get back to them in a couple of days. That’s what I like.

Professional persistence is following up when you say you will, via email or voice mail (or both) with that same detachment in your voice. Remind me but don’t stalk me. You are not Ben Stiller, she is not Cameron Diaz in “Something About Mary” so be a pro. Listen to the nuances in their voice and read their body language. What is the subtle subtext, the unspoken implication?

Sales is simple. TRUST, RELATIONSHIPS, COMPETENCE, TIMING and FOLLOWUP. Build the TRUST by asking questions and listening; Form the RELATIONSHIP by being considerate and flexible; Do your job right the first time thereby demonstrating COMPETENCE; when its time to ask for the sale it’s a TIMING issue and by all means FOLLOW UP by being assertive and asking for the sale. Five simple steps.

The mother of my children, my wife of 30 years said to me on our second date: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.” Shakespeare said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Tell the truth. Be honest with your customers. If don’t know the answer to a question, say “I honestly don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you.” In a word, INTEGRITY. Earl Nightingale once wrote, “If integrity didn’t exist someone would most certainly invent it as the fastest way to become rich.” He was right.

I need to call my mother…

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