I consider myself a positive guy, so I usually try to focus on good news.
But today I’m afraid I have to share some bad news with you… for your own good. Here it is…
You have a popsicle’s chance in a heat exchanger of getting your clients to buy anything other than a minimal repair from you if you’re making this one very common mistake.
The bottom line is that your customers aren’t going to listen to you or choose your best solutions if you run your calls the way most techs and salespeople in this industry do.
And unless you’re a veteran of our Total Immersion training, that’s likely exactly what you’re doing.
The ‘Old Way’ of Running a Call
How does the average tech run a call?
They walk in the door, introduce themselves, and make a beeline straight to the problem they were called there to fix.
As they work, they tell the customer all about every single system and part in their home. “This thing right here is an “X”, that thing over there does “Y”, and the problem with that thing over there is “Z.”
Then they say, “I thought so. Your (part) is broken. Its costs $X to fix. Take it or leave it.”
They may not say it just that way, but that’s exactly the message they send by their actions.
That’s called an ultimatum.
“Here’s the one way I’m willing to fix this. It costs this much. Yes or no?”
Maybe you’ve even done it yourself from time to time. And if so, I’m not beating you up over it.
If you’re a skilled tech, you’re probably very proud of your experience and expertise – and you should be. But that doesn’t mean that you should barf out everything you know in front of the customer and make the call more about you than it is about them.
Customers want choices. What’s more, they want to be able to choose a solution that shows you understand them and their situation.
And you can’t do that if you jump the gun and start offering your own solution before you take the time to demonstrate that you understand the customer.
For one thing, it’s rude. Even more importantly, it’s an ineffective business strategy that will keep you from anything more than average results.
Your customers don’t want to be talked at. They want to see that you understand what they’re going through, and they want to know that you have their best interests in mind.
Take a couple minutes and watch this video to see what I mean…
Ok. So that’s pretty funny, right? But let’s dig down a little for the deeper message in this video.
It’s Not About Sex
While you might think that the video is just a funny, stereotypical joke about the differences between men and women, there’s actually a more important psychological interaction going on here. One that can greatly impact your success or failure in this business.
This is really an empathy issue. It’s more a matter of, “you’re not even trying to understand me” than it is about gender.
Consider how you usually react toward people who are telling you what to do without making an effort to understand you first. It makes you feel skeptical, hesitant, and guarded.
And that’s exactly the opposite of how you want your customer to feel about you. You want them to like and trust you.
The Secret Ingredient Revealed
In the beginning of the video, the woman had a problem and complained about it to the man about it. And what did the guy do? He immediately hit her with his solution. Boom. “There’s a nail in your head.”
He was right, wasn’t he? The problem was, in fact, that the lady had a big old nail sticking out of her head. But how did she react to him ignoring her complaints and diving right into the solution? She got mad at him.
Then the guy tried a different approach all together – and the woman responded with gratitude. What was the secret ingredient that magically turned her attitude around?
Listening makes people much more receptive to your solutions.
Stop Trying To Fix It… For Now
Look, you and I both know that you want to help – and that you know what the problem is. But if you want your customers to buy into you and your process, stop jumping straight to the solution. Instead, follow these 3 tips to show them that you’re there to provide world-class service.
1. Follow the 80/20 rule on your calls.
The customer should be doing the talking 80% of the time. If you find yourself doing more than 20% of the talking, you’re making the call about you, not your customer.
Not every customer is naturally talkative, so you’re probably wondering how you can get those types of customers to talk 80% of the time. Great question! And the answer just happens to be tip #2.
2. Ask questions and listen to the answers.
In our Total Immersion training, we go into great detail about which questions to ask in specific situations, but in this article, I’ll give you a quick overview.
Ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered without conversation
For instance, “How many children do you have” can be answered with, “three.” On the other hand, “Tell me about your family” requires a longer answer that usually leads to a discussion.
Sincerely listen to their answers and ask follow-up questions
To learn more about your customer and their situation and to show them you’re sincerely engaged in the conversation, ask follow-up questions. Here are some great ones to get you started…
– How did that impact you?
– That’s interesting. Tell me more about that.
– Then what happened?
– Why do you think that happened?
3. Create solutions that show you’ve listened and you understand them.
When you’ve taken the time to get to know your customers and their situation, then you’re in a position to create personalized solutions for them that will truly resonate with them.
Imagine the difference between, “Here’s how I’m fixing this and here’s what it costs – take it or leave it.” and…
Bill, I put this in here because of what you were telling me about how much you travel and how much you’ve had to worry about your system breaking when you’re out of town and Jill and the boys are here alone. Handling the problem this way will ensure you won’t have to worry about them while you’re gone anymore.
See the difference?
In the first scenario, you’re peddling a commodity and offering an ultimatum. In the second, you’re a trusted advisor who understands his client.
You’re offering a custom solution to solve not only the mechanical problem they called you out to fix, but a bigger problem you wouldn’t have ever known about if you weren’t taking the time to get to know your client.
Don’t be an Amature
When you run a call like the average tech, you’ll get average results at best. Take the time to get to know more about your customer than your competition does. Make the call about them. Talk 20% of the time (or less) and ask questions to engage them… and the present personalized solutions that demonstrate you’ve been listening.
If you consistently follow these tips, you’ll see your average ticket and your customer satisfaction rate skyrocket!
We’ve created an incredible tool that makes creating customized solutions for your customers a breeze called The Best Ever Flat Rate Guide. It’s the industry’s most powerful and simple way to build options that resonate with your customers and increase your average ticket. Get all the details here.
So tell the truth…
Do you ever find yourself delivering solutions before you listen to the customer?
Do you have any tips or suggestions on making the call about the customer instead of yourself?
Let’s talk about it in the comments.