Door to door sales. Cold calling. Does a sales process help you succeed?
Absolutely. In the last few months my family has experienced two very different kinds of successful sales tactics. One kept the order they earned. I canceled the one which was coerced through some unsavory practices. I will briefly explain the successful one, because the coercive and threatening techniques do not deserve more mention then I’ve already provided.
It’s the end of summer and the kids are heading back to school. It also means temperatures are getting ready to drop and every spider between me and the tree line will be looking for a warmer place to spend their winter very soon.
My wife, reluctantly I’m sure, opened the door one afternoon last week to greet a pest control sales professional. He was polite. He was well dressed and obviously working his tail off in the hot August sun. He gave a quick introduction and politely asked if my wife could give him a few minutes to discuss a ‘neighborhood special” his employer was running.
He effectively conveyed the value proposition of his company. Lower costs as they were expecting to earn a considerable amount of business from our suburban neighborhood. A pest control guarantee, with 2 services being provided in the first 30 days, so our home was fully protected before the onset of cooler temperatures as fall arrives in late September.
The whole time his demeanor was one she enjoyed being around. He asked her questions, let her answer and then returned the favor. The 2nd best move of the day he made: when she said she would wait to discuss with me when I got home later that evening, he didn’t threaten the deal would disappear. He didn’t knock off $20 more if she would sign on then. He simply stated no problem. I understand and gave her his business card and wished her a great day and headed over to my neighbor’s house.
While the family was eating dinner my wife mentioned her experience with this company and how impressed she was with the way they handled dealing with her objections and her putting on the brakes to their sales process. My kids chimed in and shared some facts they overheard about pest control and why they thought it was a good idea. I was impressed. This sales professional had somehow earned the trust and imparted knowledge to my whole family. My wife mentioned the business card on the table, and I promptly forgot about it and went to read with the kids.
Around 8:00PM our doorbell rang. I was managing some bedtime rituals around the house. After I told my son I was unavailable, he responded, but it’s the bug guy. I said ok. By the time I got to the door the sales professional was heading back down my driveway. When I opened the door he jogged quickly back to the door.
I must admit. I was impressed with this professional’s tenacity and his enthusiasm for his job. Let’s just admit it. This young man had earned the right to ask me for the order.
Why had he earned the right? He didn’t even have to sell to me. I let him because I wanted to watch him in person, but I was going to buy from him for a few reasons.
I share this story and it is a long one, because this 18 year old boy graduated high school 50 days prior to meeting me. He was following the sales process his older brothers taught him and infusing a lot of his own personality into his call.
At some point in every sales process a decision is made; you may not always win the order, but a decision was made. There is no right time frame to ask for an order. Depending on the sale the right may be earned in 10 minutes, 10 months, or through activities which continue for years in some sales cycles.
Every sales professional has been told at some point in their career, “Don’t be afraid to ask for the order.”
I agree with this axiom of sales, but with a slight change.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for the order when you have earned it.”
Knowing when you have earned the order is something which sales professionals learn to sense. A great sales process can help a sales professional work towards earning the order in an efficient and effective manner, and help them recognize earlier in the process when they have earned the right to ask for the order.
This summer that young sale professional is learning to follow a process. He is learning to understand clients. He is learning when to move on. And, he has learned to fearlessly ask for the order he has earned.
Great work young man. Enjoy your freshman year.
If you are sales professional or business leader feel free to schedule a meeting with me to learn how Harpel Coaching can improve your sales process so you can ask for the orders you have earned.