“No pressure selling” has become a buzz phrase for trainers, but at Service Excellence, we think a little differently. There’s no such thing as “no pressure selling.” There may be “no pressure buying,” but there’s no such thing as “no pressure selling.”
Most of the clients that you’ll have the opportunity to serve are not experts in your field. If you leave the buying decision entirely up to your client, they will probably make the wrong choice. That places a heavy responsibility on your shoulders as the service plumber or HVAC tech. That being said, if you’re interested in trying low-pressure selling, here’s what you need to know to optimize your approach.
The service tech’s responsibility is to help the client make the best decision. The service tech’s dilemma is that helping the client make a decision comes with selling pressure. Even though there is no such thing as “no pressure selling,” you can go through the sales process and produce very low pressure with the right techniques.
The pressure in the selling process is created by 2 things:
Heat – The heat is when you ask the client for a commitment of any kind. Read our series on How to Handle Objections to learn more about how clients may react to heat and how you should respond in those cases.
Blocked Relief Valve – The relief valve is any function that reduces selling pressure. Relief valves are important. In machinery, they’re designed to let the pressure out of a tank before it explodes. Your client has certain relief valves that you need to be aware of during the sales process.
Understanding these two concepts is crucial for low-pressure selling. Once you become aware that sales pressure is created by heat and a blocked relief valve, you can navigate the sales process successfully. Read on to understand the key concepts of low-pressure selling in detail.
The greatest relief valve to relieve sales pressure is the relationship. If you don’t forge a relationship with your client, you’re going to have a much harder time trying to sell to them. Set up common ground and make sure your client feels comfortable with you before your push any major sales. You can check out our blog on the Mirror Technique for an easy solution to client/relationship building.
Value must be built before you ask the client for money. A top seller gave the perfect response when asked the question, “What do you do when a client asks you ‘how much?’ and you aren’t ready?” He answered with:
“Never let the client pressure you into giving a price before you have built value.”
When you build up the value of your product or service before offering a price, you’re creating a need and desire for your product or service.
In most situations, your client needs a new HVAC system rather than wants a new HVAC system. Or more specifically, they don’t want the price of the HVAC system. Establish very clearly to your client why they need the product or service.
You can then go further and explore their wants. For instance, they might want a full system inspection or they might want a higher-efficiency AC performance. Explore these needs and wants with your client so you can take direction straight from the client.
A tried and true method for any salesperson is to present multiple options to the customer. Presenting just one option will make your client feel trapped and will make them more likely to go to another service company for the dreaded “second opinion.”
As a general rule of thumb, customers are looking for either the highest or the lowest value, or they’re seeking out the option in the middle. Unless you’re 100% perfect at predicting your client’s buying behavior, it’s recommended that you present them with multiple options.
You put more pressure on yourself than a client ever will. Your relief valve is confidence in self, company and price.
In a recent online training seminar, we asked a group of techs, “Do any of you have a problem with your price?”
One of the high-producing techs started laughing. He said, “Yeah, I have a problem with the price. It’s too low! I’m worth more than what we’re charging.”
We said, “Good. We’re glad you feel that way. We think you’re worth more, too.”
Great companies and service techs use this selling principle to their advantage. They understand a fundamental truth: If you think the price is more than fair, so will the client.
This is all about applied heat. Once you ask for the order, stop speaking! If you continue to talk, you will apply unnecessary heat to the sale. This will increase pressure. Let the client vent or work through the situation you’ve presented to them.
Relax. If your relationship is strong, all those statements can be simple pressure vents. No big deal. Stay quiet. Don’t speak until they ask you a direct question. Then you know it’s time to talk.
If you’ve struggled with the sales process, then you need to start using these proven techniques right away. Stop suffering from sales pressure heat — there’s a better way to communicate and satisfy your customers!
Did you know that the absolute best way to learn is to practice a new technique in the presence of experts that can give you instant feedback? When you practice in the presence of experts, you benefit from clear instruction, confidence from practice and training that comes alive in the moments you need it most – the field.
If you’re interested in these benefits and more, then attend our next PRESS PLAY Training Series for Sales or Techs.
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