How to Sell to the Defensive Homeowner

By Todd Liles How to Sell to the Defensive Homeowner

Within about 2 minutes the homeowner began to put up his defenses:

“I’ll tell you right now, I do not want a new toilet.  Just repair this one.”

That statement sounded well thought out.  And, it was.

This was not the first time a plumber has been to the home to repair the toilet.  And so, this is probably not the first time the homeowner has had to say no to the plumber’s sales presentation.

You’ve been in this situation multiple of times.  The client telling you “no” even before you have done a proper evaluation.  This gives 2 choices to make:

  1. Do Your Job Properly
  2. Short Cut the Job

What Does it Mean to Do the Job Properly?

  1. Follow the Principles of Success.  The success principles don’t change.  You may change your communication approach, but the principles stay the same.  Too many service men and women skip past relationship building and evaluation and go straight to presentation with a defensive client.
    • P.R.E.S.S. P.L.A.Y. Success Principles cover the steps form start to finish.   Always use them.
  2. Recognize Personality Styles, Defensive Techniques, and Objections.  When the client makes strong statements in the beginning of the call, it reveals something powerful about who they are.  Do not ignore this information.  Acknowledge it, and use it.
  3. Complete a Thorough Evaluation.  You may be tempted to skip through evaluation of the call because you think it is pointless.  It is not pointless.  It is far from pointless.  A thorough evaluation will show the homeowner why they need to consider the full picture.
  4. Change the Perspective.  When you show the homeowner “Why they may want to consider more than just a band-aid repair” you are changing the clients perspective.  (You may be changing your own as well.)
  5. Don’t Fight.  You and the client are on the same side.  That means that you are not fighting with your client to prove your point.  You are working with your client to help him make the best long term choice for his property.

What Does it Mean to Short Cut the Job?

  1. Not Committing to Service.  Selling is really about serving.  Short cutting the job happens automatically when you decide not to serve well.
  2. Not Knowing the Principles of Success.  If you don’t know the Success Principles, how can you execute on them?
  3. You and the Client Lose.  Leaving the call without executing on the best options will always leave you and the client in a losing position.  It will come back to both of you in a negative way.


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