8 Ways To Close More Sales
Originally published: 08.01.10 by Terry Tanker
Why customers don’t commit and how to change their minds.
Consider taking this checklist or one like it into your next weekly sales meeting and applying it against pending sales. If you do this consistently, chances are good you’ll be moving more sales from the pending column to the signed column.
You appear to be the new kid in town: Potential customers simply don’t know who you are and what they can expect from you. A good marketing and advertising program will resolve this. Asking for referrals from jobs you do land will also get the ball rolling.
Procrastination: Let’s face it. You don’t need it until you NEED it! Spikes in weather always help, like this summer’s heat wave. But to even things out, your sales team needs to have a compelling sales presentation that accurately shows customers the benefits of replacing old and worn-out systems. Energy-cost savings should certainly help move customers to the dotted line.
Competitors: They aren’t going to lie down and let you “have” the business. You have to understand your company’s strength (and weakness) — as well as your competition’s — and then sell aggressively and professionally.
The customer doesn’t get it: Your sales person assumed too many things. It’s easy to do. They deal with heating, cooling, and IAQ issues every day, but they didn’t transfer the right knowledge at the right pace. Make sure your sales team is connecting all the
Follow up: The selling cycle takes time, and many sales team members are alphas — they need a sale now. Patience, persistence, and a well-placed follow up are always impressive and universally rewarded. Make sure team members don’t let sales fall by the wayside because one or two more customer touches were needed to ink the deal.
Ask for the order: It’s surprising to me how often this does not happen. A sales person makes their best pitch and assumes the customer is going to buy (they gave all the right signals), but then weeks or months go by, and still no signed order. Did someone forget to “close the deal” by simply asking for the order???
You haven’t sold a solution: You’re trying to sell a box. Very few household/ office building items are as important as heating and cooling. And none are as far out of sight and therefore out of mind. Sell solutions to problems.
You haven’t pre-qualified the sales lead: It’s important to understand where the customer is in the buying cycle when you enter the picture. If you’re stepping in at the wrong time, you have almost no chance of making a sale.
Terry has over 23 years of experience in the advertising and publishing industries. He began his career with a business-to-business advertising agency. Prior to forming Hutchinson Tanker Ltd. and HVACR Business in January 2006, he spent 20 years with large national publishing and media firm where he was the publisher of several titles in the mechanical systems marketplace.
In addition to his experience in advertising and publishing, Terry has worked closely with numerous industry-related associations over the years including AHRI, AMCA, and ABMA. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Boiler Manufactures Association (ABMA) and as chairman, for both the Associates Committee and the Marketing Communications Committee of ABMA.
Articles by Terry Tanker
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
It’s been 10 years since we rebranded this magazine as HVACR Business and, while a lot has changed, we’ve stayed true to our mission — publish great business management content that helps contractors manage their businesses better, and have fun while doing it.
Carmine Galletta, owner of GallettAir, Inc.
Brent Schroeder, President, Air Conditioning Business at Emerson
Two Longtime Contributors Publish Books
Both Ron Smith and Theo Etzel have written new books — proving once again their commitment to advancing the HVACR industry.
The Problem with Listening to Customers
Customer insight is about short term tactics that lead to deeper discounts, price matching, improved service, less inventory and more automation.