"Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust."
You’ve met with the client. You’ve demonstrated the system for them. You’ve gone over the quote line by line, but they’re still on the fence. Mr. Ziglar, an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker, has simplified sales hiccups for us. One of these five obstacles is what is holding your client up. Let’s break them down.
No Need: Well, here's the thing—most of the things we sell, one does not need. You can desire our products and services, but they are rarely needed (like air, food, and shelter). Your goal is to show the client how your products will solve an issue (“you only have to use one remote!”), make life easier (“just press this ‘goodnight’ button and all your lights turn off”) and make one more relaxed (“Nothing like a glass of wine and some great jazz at dinner time.”)
No Money: Unfortunately money is required to make the world go round. It is also necessary for a custom system. If money is what’s holding the client up, then there are solutions. When quoting, I always start with “the recommended quote.” This comes from seeing their house and current equipment and a conversation with the clients. I balance my quote with that information. Recently, I’ve started asking the client for a conversation, asking them if they will look over the quote and then talk about their thoughts. This keeps the door open. If it is financial, there is always a step down, and I explain what they would be losing while expressing that I understand that every dollar counts. In our business we rarely are asked for financing options, but we do offer a payment plan, depending on the timeline of the job. This way they are only paying for the phase we are on.
No Hurry: This could stop your job in its tracks. Most of us need a sense of urgency to make a big decision. Ever get those emails from a store with a discount promotion? Every other day it's the “last-chance sale.” How many times have you seen, “biggest sale of the year?” This is obviously a way for the motivation to buy. We have to do the same thing, sometimes on a smaller scale. Maybe this month there is a discount on your most popular remote. Or maybe you can offer a percentage off if they sign by a specific date. This can be just the thing to get the client to cross the line.
No Desire: If there is truly no desire, you will be very hard pressed to make the sale. You need to find a way, a hook. Maybe it's the wife who thinks the TV is just too big and this makes it unnecessary. Ask her what she watches. Is the living room open to the kitchen? Does she watch the Today Show? That bigger TV may allow her to read the scroll at the bottom of the TV and give her the desire to bite on the system. You have to find out what drives them. Is it movies, TV shows, music? Find out, than base your system and the sale around it. Make sure you prove how easy the system can be and how it can improve their way of life. Create the desire.
No Trust: I would rate this one most important. Without trust there is no relationship. Sure one may buy a TV from you, but that's it. They won't be coming back. Gain their trust, and you've won a long-term client. This may not be the most profitable solution off the bat, but will be long term. Having a relationship—a partnership with a client—will ensure they come back throughout the years for their needs and upgrades.
If you’re quoting a large system for your client, and they don’t trust you. Cut it loose and move on. You’re best client will be the ones you’ve created this partnership with. You will become their ‘Tech Expert.’ This is a very happy place to be. It’s a better world to live in. You’ll be working with your clients instead of for your clients.
The next time you’re ready to make the sale, make sure you have these five obstacles ready to overcome and you’ll be on your way closing the sale in no time.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is project manager/designer for Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.