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Training on sales inside of an independent contracting company in the industry of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical is vitally important to the growth, service excellence, and stability of a service company.  There are four main areas of focus when it comes to striving for victory in sales. When a sales technician trains on these four components and learns to effectively mix these four important skills, it’s a recipe for success!

-Developing Listening Skills-

While it may seem that the sales process is mostly the technician doing the talking and guiding the sale, it is actually a tech’s ability to listen that makes him more successful when trying to close a sale.  From the beginning, a technician’s ability to listen well demonstrates to the customer that he respects them, he is there to help them, and he will work to solve their problem.  While the ability to effectively listen allows the tech to show respect, it also allows him to efficiently gather information.  When an HVAC, plumbing, or electrical technician takes the time to be quiet and thus places the responsibility of talking on the customer, he will find that the customer will naturally begin to guide themself through the sales process.  When a customer opens up and the technician consciously listens, it makes the sales process a great experience for both parties. This effective listening process allows the client to know that his needs will be properly met.  This efficient method also ensures that the technician is clear on how to guide the presentation so that he can present products and options that will most effectively meet the customer’s needs and desires and result in closing a sale.

-Learning to Ask Great Questions-

Along with a strong ability to listen, an HVAC, plumbing, or electrical technician that is successful in sales will also focus on growing his ability to ask clients great questions. Once a technician determines that he is qualifying the real prospects then he can further delve into qualifying his clients’ needs and wants.  Implementing proper questioning techniques also helps the tech refine and delineate what a customer truly wants out of the sales process.  While a customer may express the problems they are concerned about or the products they are interested in upfront, asking customers effective and focused questions that relate to their concerns and interests allows a tech to have a clearer direction on the products and services that would be most beneficial to the customer.  Effectively qualifying the client allows the technician to make a “mental note” of services that will best meet the client’s needs so he can be sure to present those options in greater detail when he gets to the options portion of the sale call.  Having the keen ability to listen and ask great questions will also reveal the objections that a customer may have that would prevent success in closing the sale. The sooner a tech can find out their clients’ objections, the more efficiently and effectively he can overcome them.

-Strengthening Closing Skills-

Closing is the “make-it” or “break-it” point in the sales process.  Many times, team members feel uncomfortable about the closing process because they think asking the client for an agreement or a close doesn’t come natural so they fear they will sound fake or phony.  But if this fear keeps a tech from practicing his closing skills on calls then it will cause him to quickly lose his sales opportunities.  While some clients do jump to the close of a sale, the majority of clients need the technician to ask for the close before they will make their final decision.

While the closing portion of a sale is the most upfront component of the process, it is still important for techs to “read” their customers before asking for a close.  Every customer wants a different type of close as well as a different speed at which the sale is closed, depending upon their personality type.  Closing is even more effective when it is done throughout the entire call.  If a technician can get little “yeses” through the sale call then when it comes to closing the entire sale, the customer will have an easier time saying the big “Yes.”

-Practicing Effective Word Choice-

Closing skills and word choice skills go hand-in-hand when it comes to success in sales.  A technician must learn words that work to build a bridge of effective communication between the client and himself as well as know the words that will quickly build a wall and hinder closing the sale.  Subconsciously, we all have words and phrases that throw-up a “red flag” in our minds so it is important for technicians to have a clear understanding of these words and phrases.  Words paint mental pictures for customers so using a negative phrase such as; “to tell you the truth, I’m cutting you a great deal on this” could make a client think back to a time when they felt misled into regretfully buying a bad product.  That is the last thought that a technician would ever want their customer to initial feel so it is important for technicians to use neutral words that tend to make people feel more comfortable such as saying a positive phrase like; “since we have all the decision-makers present, would you like to sit down at the kitchen table and take a look at our options book?”  Keeping great “power words” in the back of your mind when on a sales call such as using “options book” rather than “price book” or “invest” rather than “pay” is an easy way to make a client feel more comfortable as well as make the sale process smoother and more successful.

These four important areas are essential when training on sales inside of an independent contracting company.  When a technician feels confident is his ability to listen, ask questions, close, and communicate then he will be able to provide service excellence as well as jumpstart his success in sales. Here at S.E.T., we have great lessons devoted to each of these topics.  Thank you for following our weekly posts.  Here at Service Excellence Training we turn learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training.

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