The Low-Hanging Fruit: Strike While the Iron is Hot

What should the conversion rate of my salesperson be?

I frequently hear this question, and while it’s a reasonable question to ask, the answer is always that it depends. And, most importantly, it depends on the level of relationship that you have with the person you want to influence into purchasing your products or services.

Clients with high conversion rates

Clients or customers with a broken system or an older system that needs replacing soon are the low-hanging fruit in your business. It’s these customers that offer high conversion rates – even achieving 80 – 90%. Clients and customers in these situations are in pain, and we’ve built trust with these loyal clients; they want to do business with you and respect your business.

Remember the relay race metaphor?

In a relay race, the service technician hands the sales baton to the salesperson. The service technician offers a free appointment with a sales representative. Here, I define an appointment as a day and time on a calendar for a comfort advisor or salesperson to visit the property to outline possible service and product options.

Setting up the appointment

Notice that an appointment is always set on a calendar, and the service technician does not call a salesperson or provide a lead. In the office, an individual should own the responsibility for running the sales appointment calendar. We call these type of appointments turnovers, and these turnovers are the staple – the bread and butter – of your business. Moreover, treat these opportunities like gold because these appointments really are the golden tickets.

Closing a turnover

What many people don’t realize is that it doesn’t take much skill to close a “turnover” with a client, especially when your business has served them for many years. Additionally, this is true when a system is down, and the weather is extreme – think summer and winter. A combination of pain and trust lead to high sales.

During consultation work with many businesses, this simple shift in the process has produced 35% to 40% growth in revenue over the following year.

How can the technician contribute to these results?

The technician has to be trained to ask and set the appointment. Moreover, he should be motivated to ask and set these appointments by a spiff of 2% of the sales price. Introducing another metaphor, think of the service technician as your bird dog. And, by that I mean, he finds the prize by asking and pulling the trigger. Once the appointment is set, it is a sure sale most in most cases.

A successful call script

Let’s look at how to do this correctly. In my popular book The Service Call Blueprint, I reveal, in detail, the key to the service call process.

Technician: Mrs. Jones? Do you have a place where we can sit down and discuss what I found?

Mrs. Jones: Sure.

Technician: I found a concern with your _____ but there is no need to worry, I can fix it. However, your system is about the age where many of our clients consider replacing. Do you want to look at options to repair or options to replace?

Mrs. Jones: How much is a new one?

Technician: Well, that’s a good question, and I hear that a lot. Would you like to set an appointment for a comfort advisor to come out and talk to you about all those options?

Mrs. Jones: Well, when can he come out?

Technician: Let me get Jill on the phone, and she can schedule that for you.

Technician: Jill, this is Roger, and I am standing here with Mrs. Jones, she would like to set an appointment for a comfort advisor to come out and talk to here about the possibility of replacing her system. Here she is.

Pass the baton to a person who sets the appointment. The first step in any sells process is setting the appointment, and it must be sold for free. Do not miss this simple process. Too often I’ve seen businesses lose out because the potential appointments are not booked when the technician is with the customer. When we neglect to schedule an appointment, the customers change their mind – or they the customers are never followed up with.

Set an appointment with the person in the office with the sole responsibility and authority to organize the calendar of the sales team – or salesperson, depending on the size of your business.

Don’t allow the salesperson to answer the phone and book the appointments with leads. A team member dedicated to scheduling books, measures, and accounts for the leads. The salesperson runs the calls and reports results. This is an issue of boundaries and who owns what. Salesperson owns the sales process and another person owns the sales person’s calendar and measuring results of appointments.

Accountability

Without accountability, salespeople are notorious for creaming the leads, whereby a salesperson does not run the lead because he perceives it to be a problematic prospect or situation, or rushes through to the next one not willing to hang in tough. Why is this bad for your business? In this situation, the salesperson always takes the cream of the crop and conveniently does not run the hard lead. Alternatively, he might only communicates with the lead over the phone, not taking the time to visit the property, and build rapport which is a must.

In my upcoming book, Lap 4, I outline why the salesperson must run the hard lead and go through the sale process – even with the difficult leads. As, when they set their appointments, salespeople become idle with the process and only organize easier leads. Remember, always treat these problematic leads like gold, too.

Limit the leads

Do not let salespeople run too many leads. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way when I gave my best salesperson 25 leads in a month, but he would close only about 18 of them. This salesperson worked on commission, and was dependent on this income for his high expenses. When I gave him 40 leads he would close about 22, and when I gave him 60 leads he would close about 22 of them. In this case, he was creaming the leads. Lesson learned.

The right amount of leads is about 40 in a twenty day month. More than that and you risk the salesperson creaming leads. Of course, on some days he may run three leads, however, on some days he may run only one. Three leads is an extremely busy day when you consider travel time and following the skilled sales process. And, remember, these turnovers should always be given priority because they will close and provide income.

The Service Call Blueprint

Let’s take a look at the method from The Service Call Blueprint.  Sometimes a customer says to fix it, even after the technician executes the presentation as taught. When a customer wants the system fixed, the natural question arises. How much is a new one? Then the technician flows right into the turnover script, again, as taught.

Each lap in the relay race must be run properly to maximize results.

  • Lap 1: Book the call properly
  • Lap 2: Dispatching the call properly
  • Lap 3: The Service Call Blueprint
  • Lap 4: Booking, dispatching, running, and selling the call create lap 4, without a successful handover of the baton, your sales team won’t win the relay race in the final lap. In my upcoming book, I’ll focus on the final lap of the sales process, and, how to avoid a terrible lap and probabilities of making the significant $15,000 change out sale decrease.

About the author, Roger

Roger Daviston is a personal growth consultant who gets measurable results. He facilitates and encourages individuals to change behavior and make different choices to achieve better outcomes.

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