In every successful roofing company you will find hunters who supply sustenance for the team. They are generally know as sales reps. The immense responsibility that falls on their shoulders to bring back the kill is challenging, tiresome, and overwhelming at times, but it’s the reason they exist. It is built into their God given DNA and it keeps them on the prowl for the next opportunity. What I have personally experienced and seen from 100’s of other sales people is that they have to pay special attention to staying sharp so they don’t lose their edge. Listen, our profession at times is emotionally draining, we are constantly in battle mode, and there is a price to be paid for success.
One of the frustrations and distractions that we as salespeople face from our customers is what I call” Tapping The Brakes Syndrome”, or put another way, “I want to think about it”, or “I need to talk with my spouse.” When you hear some variation of “Tapping The Brakes Syndrome” it often brings our process to a grinding halt. We all face it and hopefully you will gain insight about how to overcome the disappointment that crushes their confidence.
First, we have got to realize that closing the sale is not an event it is a continuous process throughout our time with the homeowner. Treating it as a single event creates tremendous pressure on you and your customer. They are just waiting for you to launch into the close. Whereas with using closing as a continuous process throughout, there is no big gun fight at the end; it’s simply the next step. Now the key; you must use agreement to maintain forward motion throughout your sales process.
Second, you must master hard stops. Hard stops are the times of decision. We have all seen them, when the customer has reached an impasse. This is where the relationship begins taking definition. When they stop, you stop. If you walk on without dealing with the hard stop, forward motion is eliminated. The ability to regain forward motion starts with you staying connected with the stop, and digging into the reason. I diagnose the hard stop by asking this question: “I may be wrong, but I get the feeling that something I have said or haven’t said has made you uncomfortable, am I reading you correctly?” This forces the issue and gives the homeowner opportunity to talk about it or it gives you the green light to continue forward. This is a powerful tip if you will use it. Why wait to ask when you see or feel disconnection in the presentation? The only way to regain forward motion is to embrace hard stops as times for you to forge a deeper more meaningful relationship and clear the deck of concerns, right now. This is process closing. Feel it, deal with it now and you can be comfortable moving forward. If you do it correctly, you won’t have a big fight at the end.
Finally, always give your homeowner outs. Buy outs I mean the right to stop and walk away at any time. Now I know this goes against what most roofing trainers will say but these are the same voices that believe turning up the pressure some how forces the hand of the homeowner. You back somebody in a corner and people come out fighting.
During the sales process, if the customer indicates they’re over what I’m saying or they’ve lost interest, I want them to tell me so that both our time is not wasted. This can be used to your advantage because if you offer outs at strategic times during the presentation, you will know their level of interest and confidence in you and ultimately protect yourself against wasted time.
In closing, hard stops are your friend, not your enemy. They are the defining times of a sales presentation. Hard stops assist us in uncovering what is stopping the homeowner from moving forward. Hard stops or tapping the brakes are your opportunity to discover issues, discuss them, gain agreement, and move on. Closing done continuously, in other words a series of events, rather than just one time, eliminates the pressure by staying in agreement until the end.