Every salesperson, contractor, and business owner wants to sell more efficiently. Efficient sales mean that trust is built quickly. When this happens, prospective client leads don’t haggle over quotes, sales close faster, and everyone walks away from the bid or proposal with the same expectation and enthusiasm for the project.
The real question is how can you build trust quickly with the right leads so that this all comes together. As a general contractor business coach, I believe this process of building trust happens by selling with action.
What are the exact steps to selling with action?
Know that people buy YOU first:
So many people miss the fact that prospective clients buy you, the salesperson, first. After that comes the company you work for and then the product you’re selling or providing. This means you have to look the part. Have nice boots on, clean your work truck, put your phone in your pocket when you’re talking to the prospective client and look them in the eye. Make that sales prospect feel like they are the most important person in your world during your conversations.
Understand that telling isn’t selling:
What I’ve learned over the years is that telling does not constitute selling. For example, I’m not going to tell you how great my company’s product is, but I am going to show you. I’ll have samples and client success stories ready to share with you. I’ll bring photos of successfully completed projects, and I’ll ensure that you have a visual for what we are discussing.
Be on time. If you say you’ll call someone at 2:00 pm, call them at 2:00 pm. If you have a meeting set up, you don’t need to be an hour early to the meeting but don’t be late, either. If you tell a prospect something, back up your words with non-verbal action and communication.
Talk to someone, not at them:
Talking at someone will never work in sales. Instead of talking at someone, have a conversation. Explain how the process will work when they sign on. Encourage them to ask questions. Make time for them to feel heard and important.
Ask open-ended questions:
Open-ended questions start with why, how, what, describe, or tell. One example of an open ended question is: “Tell me what’s the most important thing you’d like to see done during this project?”
Know the questions you need to ask in order to get the important information you need to make the proposal and bid feel specific to the prospect and their needs. Then follow up with the action step of mentioning how you will specifically address their need in the proposal you send them.
Don’t assume that you know their budget for the project. For many prospects quality will matter more than the price, so give them options. Ask what’s important to them so you know how to guide their selection process. Then demonstrate to them that you are the expert contractor they need by showing them the materials that will work best for their project and budget.
Set yourself apart from the rest:
If you know that other people and businesses are getting the same leads you are, find ways to set yourself apart. Are you being memorable in the right way? Be memorable by asking the right questions, by appearing professional, and by sending a formal proposal or bid. Proposals and bids should not be drafted on the back of a piece of paper. Show that you’re not in over your head and that you want their business by creating a proposal that looks clean and professional.
The saying “once a customer, always a customer” is the key to a lifelong business. Relationships matter and if you want your sales to increase over time and to receive referrals from past clients, it’s important to remember that a customer will always be a customer. Don’t write them off after the project is complete. Follow up with a simple thank you card for their business, or a quick thank you phone call. You worked hard to earn their trust to secure the proposal. Follow through to the end by ensuring they know how much you appreciated that business. Turn them into a forever customer.
When you meet a new prospective customer, think through how you’d like to be treated. We’ve all had experiences of being sold to – some experiences are more positive than others. Think through the last time you made a large purchase, on either an item or a service. What made you trust that salesperson? What made you feel good about buying it? Then implement those same action steps into your sales conversations.