Training Your Techs to Close the Sale
As a service business, you probably rely on your technicians in the field to help sell your services and products. However, technicians may be brilliant at installing furnaces and not be sure how to close a sell. No one wants to be pushy and it can be hard to know where to draw the line. It’s important that techs know how to close a sell. One study by DemandGen showed that leads that are nurtured result in a sales increase of 20%.
There are some very specific things you can do to train your techs to close the sale.
# 1: Ongoing Training
You likely trained your techs when they came to work for you in how to sale your products and services to clients. However, you should be conducting ongoing training sessions that will continually improve selling skills for every person in your company. Even though this article focuses on technicians in the field, don’t forget your point of contact people in the office and anyone else who deals with customers at any point in your service process.
Charlie Greer, author of “Sales Training for Your Service Techs: What Kind of Company Are You Running?” calls your technicians your “reluctant sales force.” He points to the fact that training technicians to be a vital part of your sales team only makes sense and that the benefit to them can be in the form of bonuses. Who doesn’t want to make more money?
# 2: Role Playing
Since your technicians aren’t used to selling, take the time to role play scenarios with them and make them aware of statistics. For example, you can share that Marketing Donut says that 80% of prospects say no four times and then say yes. Learning how to ask in different ways without seeming pushy is not an easy attitude to master. Role playing will allow your technicians to practice before they speak to an actual customer.
Set up scenarios where there is a difficult customer who only wants a deal, an uncertain consumer, and any other type of customer you know your techs might deal with while out in the field.
Greg Chambers, founder of the sales-and-marketing consultancy, Chambers Pivot Industries LLC, offers this tip: “Before they get to the ‘closing questions,’ carefully restate the customer’s desired outcome. The customer called them in for a quote, but they have a specific outcome they’re trying to accomplish. The tech can’t guess what it is, they need to hear it from the customer. ‘They’re finishing the basement,’ and ‘They want to add space for a second bedroom because Mom is moving in,” are materially different. One is an assumption that leads to low close rates and the other came straight from a customer’s mouth leading to higher close rates.”
# 3: Give Them the Proper Tools
If you want your technicians to sell your product/service, you must give them the proper tools to impress customers. This can include brochures, placards with information broken down, and even tablets.
Rick Levinson is the Chief Revenue Officer for Service America. Service America offers full services to residential and commercial customers in Florida and covers their needs for plumbing, air conditioning, and appliance repair. “We have recently supplied all of our service technicians with tablets to allow them to have access to a customer’s complete history and found that this has really helped them close a sale,” shared Rick Levinson. “Having all the customer information at their fingertips allows our technicians to make on-the-spot recommendations that fit individual client needs based on the customer and their repair history. This seamless approach has upgraded the overall customer experience and we’ve seen a lot more sales as a result.”
# 4: Allowing Them Decision Making
If you want your techs to sell more, you have to give them some decision making ability. If they constantly have to call the office to okay pricing or discounts, the customer may grow weary of the process and decide to forgo additional services. Instead, train them that there is a range of offers and that they can offer this first and then move to discounts as need. Whatever your internal policy is on discounts to try to secure the sale, or if you don’t offer discounts, train your technicians in this process so they can apply it and make quick decisions about what to offer to customers when trying to close the sale.
# 5: Just Ask
There is an old saying is sales circles and that is to “ask for the sale.” It sounds so simple, yet many people fail to close the sale because they fail to ask for the sale. While it is equally important to know the product/service inside and out and explain it thoroughly, once the tech reaches the end of his presentation, he should simply say, “Can we sign you up for this service today?” Or, he might say, “Are you ready to install this new unit and reduce your energy costs?”
Remember to train the tech that the customer will likely say no at first. This is where the additional decision making and asking comes into play. The technician should then point out any specials being offered if the customer goes ahead and makes the purchase today. Train them to ask at least four or five times, but in different ways. If the customer still says no, then your technician has done all he can do. However, many customers will say yes, increasing your bottom line and helping your techs earn bonuses.
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