The Hedgehog sales close

Selling the unwanted

While in college, I worked at a pet store.  One of my favorite sales closes involved a hedgehog.  This same close I’m going to show you could be used for your HVAC, Plumbing, or Electrical Add-ons.

Hedgehog sales close

Customers visiting a pet store immediately go to the cute stuff.

“Can I hold the bird?  Can I hold the puppy?  Can I hold the rabbit?”

It’s like a client that has an HVAC problem.  They immediately go for the obvious.

Everyone wanted to hold the cute animals.  Few people wanted to hold the hedgehog.

It’s not that the hedgehog is the ugliest animal on the planet.  I think he is really cute.  But, he does have quills like a porcupine, and those quills scared people off.

In my opinion, the hedgehogs lack of attention was a great shame.  I saw it as my personal responsibility to resolve this issue, and get the hedgehog into a loving family.  Hedgehogs need love too!

The Goal

I was determined to get the hedgehog a loving home.  I knew that if a customer would just give him a chance, she would fall in love with him.

The Plan

Each step had to lead to the final goal, getting the hedgehog a home.  So, this is what I did.

Step 1 – Go for the obvious

When the customer came into the store, and asked “Can I hold the rabbit?”  you let them.

This is important.  When you are selling to your clients, they are going have a desire that is at the forefront of their mind.  Address it, and build a relationship.

Related – How to win with an irate woman

Step 2 – Ask a few questions

The next step opens the door to possibilities.

“A rabbit is a very different pet compared to a dog.  Why are you interested in a rabbit?”

This question will get the client talking about herself as an individual.  From this question, you will learn about their interest and buying factors.

This would be like a homeowner saying, “I want high quality 3M filters instead of the cheap ones.”

You could then say, “Those are very different from the cheap throw aways.  Why do you use them?”

Step 3 – Discover the need

The need is about the client’s wants and desires.  You will discover it very quickly by paying attention and asking the right questions.

You should also discover those needs during your evaluation.

Once you have done that, you need to gently open the door of possibilities.

Related – Prescription without Evaluation and Diagnosis is malpractice!

Step 4 – Hold the hedgehog

Walking a hedgehog over to a customer, and saying “Do you want to hold the hedgehog?” did not work.  Few would hold him out of curiosity, but no one wanted to take him home.

This would be like saying to a homeowner, “Do you want some UV lights / Bio Drain Product / Dimmer Switches?” without discovering the need or want.  It just doesn’t work.  So, be sure to cover steps 1 through 3.

Once those steps were done, then I would move to building value through contact.

I would lead with a question like, “Would you like to see one of the cutest animals we have?”   That question got a “Yes” 100% of the time.

“Ok! Well, he is over here.  You are going to love him.  Do me a favor, close your eyes and hold out your hands.”  At this point I would get 2 reactions:

  • Giggles and excitement, or
  • “Are you going to put something gross in my hands?”

To that I would say, “No!  This guy is super cute.  He is very nice, and he has four legs.  You will love him, ok?”

Then, I would led the client to the hedgehog cage, and say the following:

“Hold out your hands.  OK.  Now, he has tiny little feet.  It will tickle.  He may lick your hands, but he won’t bite.  He is a little guy, so don’t drop him.”

After that, I would put the hedgehog in her hands.  She would giggle, then open her eyes and say, “Oh!!!!!  He’s so cute!!! What is he?”

It didn’t take very long for the client to go from “What is he?” to “How much is he?” to “When can I take him home?”

Related – Overcoming the “I want to think about it sales objection.”

Applying this in the Field

You as a service tech have several “hedgehogs” in your business.   These great services and products are often ignored because of their lack of appeal, or “cuteness.”  Yet, if the homeowner was taken through the process, she may very well fall in love with what you have to offer.

Question:  How do you sell the “hedgehogs” of your trade?  Please comment and share on  and .

The PRESS PLAY Training Series