They say that a big portion of sales come from relationships, meaning that if they like you, you have a much better chance of closing the deal. So, how you look and talk and even smell are going to be part of the equation of the purchase. Of course, you must have a good product at a fair cost, but the relationship part of the deal may be a larger factor than just price alone.
When I was younger in my teens I had a big interest in high-end audio equipment. I used to go to a specific store and buy from a guy named Phil. Phil would always throw in a little something extra, a set a of cables or this or that but I loved to do business with him. He had a great demeanor and you could tell he enjoyed what he did for a living. Another man at the same store, Dominic, I could not stand and would never purchase from him as his attitude was arrogant to say the least. Same audio product but the person made all the difference. Many of your uneducated customers may see carpet cleaning as all the same product so you just may be the biggest single factor to change their mind and create loyalty.
So how do you customers perceive you? Are you a person they love to do business with or do they just tolerate you because you can clean well? If you are able to provide both sides of the coin? I think having a personable demeanor, coupled with great skill, will greatly improve your success rate on closing the sale and increase repeat and referral business.
Some people just don’t have that high-energy, dynamic, light-up-the-room personality. I get that, but when you deal with the public the greater your personal shine the greater your success will be.
Consider this: Techniques I used to use. When they call and ask who much do I charge I would almost never give them a price over the phone. You must ask them a question for each one they ask you to gain information to help you know how to close the sale. How much do you charge? Response how much carpet do you need cleaned? Then say something like: Well, Mrs. Jones, if the price I give you without seeing the carpet is lower then what I tell you over the phone you’re going to think I’m a great guy but if it comes in higher it might just cause you to not trust me. So this is what I can do for you. I will come out to your location absolutely free of charge and give you an exact quote in writing with my recommendations. If you like what I can offer you, I will clean your items on the same day and if you don’t like what I can do for you, you have zero obligation or pressure to do anything with my firm. Our relationships are very important to us and we just want to get it correct the first time. When should we meet?
A few things happen here when you control the conversation in this way. First you just separated yourself from much of the carpet cleaning herd. You also established yourself as a professional that cares about their clients. But most of all, they just scheduled the carpet cleaner for Thursday at 2:00 so in their mind they have already lowered their guard, and in many cases have it in their mind they are going to get their carpets cleaned on that day. Show up with a bright smile, a clean truck, your before and after picture portfolio (in my opinion invaluable) and unless your price for the job is unreasonably high, you should have an easy close/sale.
One thing I do try to communicate to the customer is while I am happy to come out for the written quote and evaluation, I won’t come back on another day for the cleaning it must be the same day as the initial visit. Otherwise, you risk wasting time with tire kickers and they are not as set in their minds that the carpets are going to be actually cleaned on that appointment day. In the ten plus years I used this system on residential customers, I can count on one hand the number of times I made a visit with no sale. It was a very successful tactic for me.
So give them an upbeat personality, professional manners and quality work and your sales will increase as well as the enjoyment you get from your business.
My friend Bo Wilson told me while being scouted by two large companies, that you never get what you are worth, you get what you negotiate. So I hope my phone tip helps you to negotiate a higher success rate.
by John H. Klucznik, Founder of Bonnet Pro and Key Floor Care