Presenting The Company
Originally published: 08.01.08 by Tom Piscitelli
Why and how to use a company presentation book.
If you’ve been reading my recent articles, you are now beginning to understand the key aspects of your job as a salesperson are to build as much value as you can around yourself, your company, your people, your guarantees, your warranties, your service and all the rest that you have to offer. These are the things that most people want to know about and it’s these things that will set you apart — and above — any other contractor.
It’s these things that will compel a majority of people to want to do business with you. Do this well and they will not only want to buy from you, but they will pay a premium for the value you are providing.
Sell yourself and sell your company. The customer can’t get either one anywhere else.
Early and often. In fact, everything you do is sending your customers a message including all the things I’ve previously written about: showing up on time, clean car/truck inside and out, company sign on the door, your photo ID, just to name a few.
In your initial “meet and greet” time you are consciously engaging the customer in conversation so they can relax a bit and become more comfortable with you as a person. And as you walk around the house you’ll find appropriate times to bring up something about your company or your team members…a time to brag a bit about how well they do and how proud you are to be working with them.
All of this is good — keep it up. But it isn’t enough.
Behavioral scientists have found that people take in information in three ways:
About 35% of the population primarily takes in information by listening and hearing. They are called auditory learners and could close their eyes at a presentation and hear it, understand and retain it.
More than half (60%) of us are primarily visual learners. We need to see something to understand it.
You know from personal experience that sometimes your “gut instinct” can give you accurate information. About 5% of the population is very conscious of this and depend on sensing as a primary information source. Tell them the truth and you’re OK; tell them something less than the truth and they absolutely know it.
Put all of these methods together and you have a formula for effective communication:
Say What’s Important + Show What’s Important + Tell the Truth = 100% Effective
Tempted to skip the company presentation book? Then you will be significantly less effective at selling your story to nearly two-thirds of your customers. That’s too heavy a price to pay for laziness. Just do it.
Whom would you trust more, a salesperson or an installer? Nearly everyone would say installer. People perceive the salesperson as motivated to do anything to make the sale while they perceive the installer as the person with the actual skills and pride that will ensure the job is done the right way. When you brag about your installers you are giving your customers all important peace of mind about the part of what they are buying that they know nothing about.
And by presenting what they will do, you are getting the customers to think about what will be happening after they buy the system. This is known as “assuming the sale.”
You’ll likely agree that most consumers are interested in saving money. Most contractors avoid giving a specific amount of money the customer will save because they don’t know how to accurately calculate the savings and they don’t want to be held accountable for a specific amount.
There are three variables to consider in making an accurate savings projection: 1) the cost of energy, 2) the weather, and 3) how the homeowner uses the system.
The time-tested Estimated Energy Savings chart in the System Selling Company Presentation Book (available for download at www.sellingtrust.com/ toolstips.html or www.hvacrbusiness.com/DownloadCenter) will project a realistic but conservative dollar savings. You can “bank” on these estimates.
Now, to the point, why show the savings just before the proposal? Because the 10-Year Estimated Savings is a BIG number. You will have shown them they will save thousands of dollars right before you recommend investing thousands of dollars. Thus you set the stage to talk about the system investment being paid for over its lifetime by the utility savings — essentially, the utility company is helping them buy this new system. Nice story, don’t you think?
OK, here’s the meat of this article. Follow these steps and you’re sure to hit the ball every time and sometimes this alone will get it out of the park.
• Create a professional company presentation book. (For a free sample, visit www.sellingtrust.com/toolstips.html Click on “view binder sample,” or visit the HVACR Business Download Center: www.hvacrbusiness.com/DownloadCenter Click on Company Presentation Book Sample under August 2008.)
• Keep it pretty. Don’t add extraneous material. This is not the place for product literature.
• Ask permission to tell them about how your company is great and present it before the proposal. Please don’t give this to them to look at while you’re doing something else. This is an “engagement” and agreement-creation time. It’s a value-building time. Make it so. (However, the photo testimonial book
I discussed in my June 2008 column, At The Kitchen Table, is something they can review on their own.)
• Be brief. One comment per page. Did you hear me? One.
• After you’ve gone through three or four pages ask, “Have I told you enough about that?” They will likely say “Yes” and that is always good to have them say yes!
• As well as you can, tie your comments to something they told you was important. For instance, “You said saving money was important, so let’s take a look at the fantastic savings you have in store with your new system.”
• End the presentation with a transition to the CHOICES® Proposal, “If I’ve explained how our company stands apart from others, would this be a good time to take a look at some of the system choices we’ve put together for you?”
Folks, don’t sell yourself, your company or your customers short. Create and use this important sales tool and you will sell more jobs for more money at higher close rates…and make more money in doing so.
Articles by Tom Piscitelli
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