To open this year’s Best of Success conference, Ron Marks gave a detailed presentation to contractors regarding how to respond to the sales stall. The session laid out how to create urgency for the buyer, as well as the rules for dealing with clients who aren’t quite committed to you and your product just yet.
Marks, partner at Southwestern Consulting, has been entrenched in the sales training industry since his high school graduation. A certified speaking professional and author of a best seller on sales management, “Managing for Sales Results,” he’s leveraged his experience to help companies around the world improve their sales tactics.
He began his presentation by giving an overview of the reason people make buying decisions – urgency. And how contractors can create that sense of urgency for customers in their own market.
“Urgency is both emotionally driven and intellectually justified,” Marks said. “The buyer must have a strong desire for purchase or the urgency factor will not be a factor.”
Marks presented the audience with a triangular graphic that illustrated the options buyers have. The triangle had three separate items, and customers can willingly choose two of the three — good, fast or cheap. All three are not always attainable, so buyers must decide for themselves what matters most.
To close out his session, Marks elaborated on how to navigate through a customer’s objection using six basic techniques — relax, re-state, re-affirm, respond, re-confirm and re-close. By following these steps, contractors are better equipped to handle a sales stall, and in turn, circle back and close the sale later.
One of the great parts about Best of Success is the interesting stories that are shared by both speakers and attendees. Chuck Thokey, sales manager at Able Roof/Mr. Roof, struggled growing up as a child with a severe learning disability and was determined to work that much harder to be successful. He began his professional career working with Bombardier/Learjet as an aerospace flight test engineer in 1997, and was laid off following the Sept. 11 attacks. He then worked as a mortgage broker, where he excelled at training salesmen. He later joined Mr. Roof, one of the largest residential roofing contractors in the nation, and Roofing Contractor’s 2016 Residential Roofing Contractor of the Year.
He started with a story only a roof salesman with an aerospace background could. During his time at Bombardier/Learjet, Thokey conducted several safety tests including one where a packaged turkey is stuffed into a cannon and shot toward the front of an aircraft (commonly called the ‘bird-splitter’ test). In one instance, they launched the turkey and were surprised to see it fly directly through the front of the aircraft to the back wall. Turns out his supervisors had forgotten the most important part of the test — thaw the turkey.
That attention to detail served as the theme for Thokey’s presentation, which gave an overview of the entire customer experience and how contractors can find ways to use it to their greatest advantage. “100 percent of customers are prospects first,” he said. He detailed the fact that 80 percent of the game is already played before a customer ever picks up the phone for a quote.
Thokey elaborated on the different types of salesman, the techniques they use, and what works and doesn’t work well. Take, for example, the “hitman” representative. “The era of sending in a guy that you have to kick out of your house, that era is over. If you have a guy like this, fire him, because he’s not doing you any favors,” he said.Check out webinars from Best of Success on demand until December 26!