Even the best sales people need new tricks and refreshers. Our Product Manager, Tom Tallon, has learned a thing or two from his last 29 years in the HVAC sales field. Here are some tips and tricks to seal the deal and nail the sale!
1. Listen first
Find out what the customer needs and wants before you start to “sell” them on your products. Make sure the solution you offer meets or exceeds the customer’s wants and needs and positions you nicely to introduced the benefits of your own products.
To get an accurate read, ask these questions during your initial conversation:
- Are you concerned about the utility costs that you incur monthly while operating heating and cooling products?
- Is warranty of the product a benefit that you would use in consideration for the product or purchase?
- Is the efficiency of the unit a decision factor in which product you buy?
- Is a low maintenance heating and cooling system important to you?
2. Schedule a visit
Once you’ve asked the important questions, schedule a visit with the potential customer. People don’t like appointments. An appointment is an obligation. If you “schedule a visit” with your customer, your meeting suddenly becomes more of a social, friendly get together where there is no pressure to purchase. Give the customer flexibility to pick the date and time that works best for them. Put two dates on the calendar- one as a contingency. This gives you an opportunity to follow-up with the customer to confirm which date works best before your visit. Leave the second date in your planner until you have attended and finished the first meeting.
Come prepared: Before the visit, ask for as much information as possible so you show up totally prepared. For example, ask who and how many people will be attending the consultation. That way, you bring the appropriate amount of information when you visit.
3. Create a good first impression
Dress for the call- don’t roll in off a job site with muddy boots and an untucked t-shirt. If you are going into someone’s home, dress cleanly and appropriately.
Give each person a business card upon greeting. Start the meeting by handing out company information- probably in the form of a pamphlet or one-sheeter and talk about the company briefly. Leave the customer with the information to read through while you do the home evaluation.
The hard-copy information you leave them with should be in a professional presentation style. Include names and photos of the technicians in the company so they are aware of who will be working in their home. Transparency is key! You can also include copy of the technician’s EPA cards, liability insurance and pictures of your company’s service vehicles.
4. Put the customer in control
After the walk through, sit down with the customer and fill out a qualification questionnaire (click for our example) together. Use the data from this survey and the accompanying question map infographic (below) to decide which products best fit your customer’s needs. Using this questionnaire, you can visually walk the customer through their price point and expectations. This gives you a chance to delve into product features and benefits and the customer full control over what you are giving them based off their expectations.
Please include attribution to bcspartsks.com with this graphic. Click infographic to enlarge
Once you’ve made the sale, follow through on the process in its entirety. Go to the house for startup, meet the installers at your customer’s home, do a walk through with them, make sure there are no residual questions. Be sure to continue to follow up even after the customer’s unit is installed- make sure they are totally happy with the product and that they have your contact information for any future issues.
5. Delight the customer
Whether or not you closed the sale, take time to send a thank you note to the customer for his or her time. If you are successful in closing, the day of the walk-through, you could bring a small gift that includes a business card and information about your company referral and continued service program. Keep it small and generic- unless you spoke with your customer about a specific interest. Small gift suggestions include a box of chocolate, gift card, bottle of wine, flowers or local treat. You could also send flowers or an edible basket directly to the home for the whole family.
with Tom Tallon
BCS Parts Product Sales Manager