Before you engage in any type of sales interaction, whether that be via email, phone, or face to face, you’ll need to prepare by asking yourself about the following points:
There’s a good chance you already knew to ask yourself this question, but it’s important to take the time to dive into the details of your target audience.
The best way to do this is to build an average customer persona that includes their likes, dislikes, tastes, preferences, average income, location, needs, and other characteristics. If you have multiple target audiences, you can get even more specific and build customer personas for each demographic you service.
Obviously, your personal desired outcome is for them to hire you for your services. However, you’ll need to be able to present this goal in a way that’s customer facing, and should take the time to clearly identify exactly what that means.
An example could be “my goal is to quickly and effectively diagnose your plumbing system’s needs” if you offer plumbing services. The more straightforward you are with your potential customer about your goal, the better your chances of them trusting you will be.
It’s likely that your potential customers will ask about you/your business’ background. So, create a basic elevator pitch which summarizes your business’ origin story, growth, and core service. Keep it short and sweet, the optimal length of an elevator pitch is less than 30 seconds.
Be sure that you can clearly and effectively communicate the value in your service offerings in 4 sentences or less. Remember, your messaging isn’t just about touching on your services and hoping that the customer chooses you over your competitors. That approach immediately place you in a value comparison, forcing a price war.
You need to ask yourself the question every customer you encounter will be asking themselves “why should I choose you when I have other options, and why should I do it now instead of later?” Take the time to craft an eloquent and compelling response to this question, even if the customer doesn’t ask it to your face.
A great way to give your potential customer some peace of mind is to showcase your expertise, and prove that you offer an exceptional deal through a proof of concept.
An example of this could be showing photos of previous work, explaining what the original problem was for each, and your thought process/the steps you took to amend those issues and deliver the final product.
For example, if you own a roofing company and recently installed terracotta roof tiles for a customer that lives in a hot climate, you can show pictures of the before and after, as well as explain that you chose to use that material.
“We chose terracotta tiles for this project because they’re able to withstand serious heat for decades, and the curved design allows air to circulate throughout the roof, reducing the amount of heat that reaches the indoors.”
Now that you’ve addressed the points above, it’s time to put it all together. The following is a basic framework for in-person sales that will help you to present your value, motivate the customer, and comfort them.
Ask your potential customer when the last time they used a service similar to yours, and how their experience went. Oftentimes, the customer will immediately start going over the pain points they experienced, which will prepare you for step 2.
Draw attention to the pain points the potential customer just mentioned. If these are common pain points you’ve heard before, explain why those pain points occur and what you do differently to combat them.
Now is when you’ll want to emphasize the importance of the service. You’ll need to convince your prospect that even a routine plumbing maintenance call has a massive impact on the comfort level, strength, value, and overall efficiency of their home.
By showing your prospect how you understand the larger impacts of the work you do, they’ll feel comforted by the fact that you take the work seriously and want to leave them better off than when you found them, rather than just taking their money.
Tell your prospect how you provide the best solution to their problem and pain points. You need to present yourself as the solution that they never even knew they needed. Go into detail about how you’re going to solve their problem, and how you’re going to make the process as easy as possible for them.
This step is similar to step 3, in the way that you’re convincing them that there’s far more than just a few dollars at stake. It’s not just replacing some pipes, it’s ensuring that your home’s foundational plumbing system will be functioning at its absolute best. Show that you don’t want to just simply fix the problem, you want to set them up for success and provide peace of mind.
This final step is by far the most important part of your sales pitch, and not just because you should end every customer interaction on a high note. You’ll need to show the prospect that you’re going out of your way to make their experience risk free. This could be in the form of a rock solid warranty, free inspections, or guaranteed refunds if the customer wasn’t satisfied with the work.
If you do this effectively, you’ll show the prospective customer that your offer is so good that they’d be stupid not to take it, without saying that directly to their face.
Now that you’ve successfully delivered your pitch and moved on to the estimate stage, don’t relax just yet. The estimate delivery is one of the most important parts of your sales process, and can make or break your prospect’s willingness to do business with you.
Put yourself in their shoes. If you wanted to hire an HVAC contractor to fix your home’s HVAC system, and they said to you, “Hire me for this job. I’ll get it done as fast as I can, keep the cost as low as possible, and I’ll ensure that you won’t need to have this service performed again for a very long time” but doesn’t back it up with any definitive details, what would you think?
Now, imagine if a contractor said to you “I can have this job finished for you in 6 hours. It’ll cost you $600, and I can guarantee that you won’t have to repeat this service for 6 years” and then goes on to explain how he’s going to do it, and how he divided up the cost between materials and labor. Which of these two contractors would you choose to hire? The answer is obvious! The contractor with the most clear, competitive, and specific estimate will win every time.