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10 Ways to Really Make it in Residential Remodel/Replacement Sales Part One

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Yet, every day salespeople "pre-qualify" prospects over the telephone before making an appointment to go out and see them. What's up with that?

Here's how I "qualify" a lead: if they'll set an appointment, I'll go see them. If they won't set an appointment, I won't go see them.

1. Run every lead you can get your hands on.

2. Never pre-judge a lead. You don't know in advance who is going to buy and who isn't. How can you? I've sold systems to people who:

  • Didn't own the home 
  • Were selling in the home in the near future 
  • Had informed me they weren't buying anything; they were "just getting bids" 
  • Had recently purchased the same home improvement I was there to sell them from someone else.

3. Send "Thank You" cards. Sounds like a "no-brainer," doesn't it? Here's a different twist: Send them to the people who don't buy.

Before you run a lead, write the prospective customer's name and address on the envelope of a "Thank You" card and put a stamp on it. After running the sales call, whether they bought or not, jot a quick note in the card and, if possible, drop it in a mailbox with a late pick-up time. With any luck, it will be in the prospect's hands the next day.

That's professionalism and I know it's made me sales I wouldn't have otherwise made.

4. Listen to motivation and sales training tapes and CD's in your vehicle between calls.

Here's a list of some of my personal favorites:

  • See you at the Top (Zig Ziglar)
  • The Psychology of Closing, The Psychology of Selling, The Psychology of Success (Brian Tracy)
  • The Secrets of Power Persuasion, Confident Decision Making,
  • The Secrets of Power Performance, Roger Dawson's Secrets of Power Negotiating (Roger Dawson)
  • In Search of Excellence (Tom Peters)
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert T. Kiyosaki)
  • Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt (Harvey Mackay)
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey)
  • Million Dollar Habits (Robert J. Ringer) 
  • Charlie Greer's "NO EXCUSES!" audio tape series
  • Charlie Greer's "Overnight Success in P.M." audio tape series

5. Follow up on every lead you run, even when you know they're not going to buy. Don't just call and ask them if they've made up their mind yet. Don't be ridiculous. If they'd decided to buy from you, they'd have called YOU already.

Instead, call to clarify a point or to inform them of something you "forgot" to tell them. Call for a reason. Get the conversation going first. Get their attention. Break their pre-occupation first.

6. Keep your presentation short. Every word that comes out of your mouth is really nothing more than an opportunity to get yourself into trouble. Say as little as possible in order to gain a commitment.

Don't say everything you can think of to say, then ask them to buy. If they put you off, you've got nothing left! Save your bullets!

7. Stay honest. Think only of solving your customers' needs during the sales call and NEVER think about your commission while you're in the home.

8. Keep after that customer who's difficult to reach or is just plain difficult. Remember, this person is giving your competition just as hard of a time as you're getting and the one who sticks with this person will get the order.

9. Remind yourself during the sales call to relax. We communicate with our bodies in nonverbal ways that are only picked up and interpreted by the subconscious mind, and people tend to "mirror" each other. So relax yourself and you'll help to relax your prospective customer.

10. Practice your presentation in front of a video camera. Watch it, then have yourself a good cry. Then do it again and again until you're doing something you believe you can be proud of. Most salespeople aren't as good as they think they are, and the camera absolutely refuses to lie to you.

Good salespeople are not born, they are made. There are three things you have to do to get good at sales:

  • Practice
  • Practice
  • Practice.

There's one problem. You've heard it said that "practice makes perfect." That's not completely accurate. It's more a matter of PERFECT practice makes perfect.

I suppose that it would be something of a crime for me to neglect to remind you that if you've got the guts to be videotaped doing your presentation, Charlie Greer (that's me) can make you a better salesperson in just four days at the Sales Survival School.

At the Sales Survival School, you're videotaped and receive one-on-one instruction by plumbing and HVAC's top salesman and sales trainer, Charlie Greer (me again), four times. That's in addition to classroom style training and other role-playing type exercises.

The Sales Survival School is serious sales training that produces serious results. A recent attendee sold $37,000 in replacement HVAC equipment his first day back on the job after attending the School. Others are gaining national recognition for their sales figures. The next Sales Survival School success story could be you!

NOTE: This article is the first of a series. To read the second installment, click here: More Ways to Really Make it in Remodel/Replacement Sales