Reaching a Point of Mutual Understanding (and Closing the Sale)
“If we could just come to an understanding that this product/service is right for you…” A line like that is somewhere between sneeze and sleaze – boring and a turnoff. Sales, done the right way, isn’t like pushing someone into a purchase with the same air of a high school principal reprimanding a wayward student (not that we know anything about that).
Sales is a communication process that moves through a series of decisions and reaches a place of mutual understanding. The decisions begin with Point A: the customer doesn’t have your solution. They move through Points B, C, etc., to where they have chosen your solution and scheduled installation/service.
For contractors, the process of closing a sale fits with these stages:
- Discovery – You determine if your prospect meets the profile of the customer that is most likely to value your product or service. Knowing the age of systems in the house is an example of discovery “facts.” Another example is what you can learn from listening to concerns or asking well-designed questions.
- Diagnosis – You increase their awareness of the problem – for example, how this issue they’re having is affecting energy bills, water usage, indoor air quality, health, safety and so forth. And you begin to connect their problems with your solution.
- Design – This solution, designed just for them, will solve their problem. Also included in the design: guarantees help them make the decision easier, financing makes the decision painless, and scheduling is convenient.
- Delivery – It’s not done until the installation is scheduled. Even then, it’s not done until the call is complete. Actually, you can’t say even then it’s done until you follow up on customer satisfaction. Except even then, it’s not really done because your customer retention efforts are the beginning of your next closed sale with this customer.