Sales Solutions: Three important techniques that can help you succeed

June 2, 2005

About the author: Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales and management video training and live seminars exclusively for the water equipment industry. He has authored several books including Financial Secrets of the Water Improvement Industry and numerous articles. Send comments to [email protected]. For a free demonstration video, newsletter and list of products, contact Carl at 800-941-0068;; [email protected].

The Coin Flip Close

I have to admit, I have never seen this closing technique before. It shows again that sales people who have fun with customers become great closers.

Ric Harry, my partner was buying some electronic equipment. He was bargaining hard for a better price and then appeared to be deciding against the purchase altogether. He wanted to pay $3,500, and the salesperson was adamant that he could not go below $3,995. Then the salesperson said, “Let’s let fate decide. We’ll flip a coin, head—you get the whole set for $3,995, and tails—you get it for $3,500.” The coin was examined and flipped, and it came up tails. The sale was made. This is a far out close but notice that no matter what coin side comes up, a sale is made. By agreeing to the flip, the customer has agreed to buy at some price. The lesson here is that the air of excitement and risk may make customers latch on to a deal when they ordinarily would not. You may want to adapt this to your style and use it when the right situation presents itself.

Price and Demo Connection

Often price problems are tied to demo enthusiasm. I was addressing a seminar of dealers and the topic was price. The usual comments were made blaming some dealer in town for “stack ‘em deep and sell ‘em cheap.” Other dealers lamented the advent of big box stores and the Internet as the end of fair pricing and fair profits. I asked the entire group how many of them do a full demo including hand washing, glass washing, soap flasks and other demonstrations in every home. The result astounded me. Only 10% said they do a full demo in every home.

These results are the same at different seminars I attend around the country. The fact is you are doomed to sell at a low price if you don’t do a full and enthusiastic demo. Ask yourself, what makes people want the equipment more than the money it takes to own it? A skillful and enthusiastic demo.

Many owners and veteran sales people think they don’t need to do a full demo. They say they can sell without it. That may be true, but many sell for less than they could because without a demo, the customer is focused on price instead of the benefits.

During the last 20 years, I have noticed that every town in America has a dealer who sells equipment for $600 and a dealer who sells equipment for $6,000. In every case, the dealer who sells for $6,000, sells more. The reason is, these higher-priced dealers have more money to spend on good sales staff, training and advertising. Furthermore, they have to do great demos because they know no one would purchase a $6,000 system without a demo. Think about it, instead of blaming big box stores and discounts, you could be the reason you face excessive price pressure because of a quick or unenthusiastic demo.

You Cannot Achieve What You Cannot Conceive

Another thing I learned from speaking with dealers in Las Vegas is how little many of us expect. Not all of us, by any means, but many of us expect to be poor and stay poor. At a workshop we did, we asked how many sales per month is a good performance. Most dealers in the room said if they could sell 50 systems per month that would be great. Now any goal is a good goal and maybe 50 systems per month is good for you, but you may wish to aim higher.

If you want to shoot for a fair goal, remember not to rule out high numbers as “too good to be true.” Educate yourself as to what others like you are actually achieving.

Last month, I spoke at a convention where they gave out numerous sales awards. More than 20 sales people there sold in excess of $2 million per year. More than 10 sold $3 million, and a few sold more than $4 million…and that is a performance by a single person, not the dealership.

Earlier I read about a salesperson in Minnesota who sold 70 systems in one month. I also received an e-mail from a salesperson in Arizona who sold 675 systems last year. Now you may ask how do these people do it? Is it horrible water conditions? No, because I met a 60-year-old grandmother who averaged 600 systems per year for five years on 7 grain water. Then you may ask, is it the advertising their companies do? No, these folks generate most of their own leads. In fact, the grandmother doesn’t want to take house leads because she says they are harder to close.

Despite success all around us, many of us insist that the “economy is bad,” “people are too busy,” “telemarketing is killing the business,” etc. In Las Vegas I learned that what you need to be great is to believe that you can be great, and to set goals that are high enough to be great. There is an adage, “If I can conceive it and I can believe it then I can achieve it.” The opposite is true too. If you can’t believe it, you are finished before you start. wqp

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About the Author

Carl Davidson

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