One of the more fun parts of my job is talking to sales and service managers who refuse to admit that the results that their people get on their opportunities do indeed, suck. What do I mean by this statement?
First of all let’s face it, I use that word to get your attention and now that I have it, let me explain. When any frontline service or sales professional in your company does not produce the results needed to pay for all the overhead, benefits, pay, education and everything else needed to cover their fair share of these expenses, then they are “sucking” these valuable resources at the expense of other employees who ARE pulling their own weight.
There is an imbalance at many companies that is created by some of the sales team performing at a high level while others do not. Many perceive this as just a fact of life and refuse to believe that EVERYBODY could achieve profitable numbers and reach their goals.
The Price Of Failure Is High
A company in today’s world cannot sustain this type of imbalance for very long before a financial toll is paid. This will result in fewer profits for the owner and, ultimately, less benefits and pay for all the employees. Many companies have high performers who cannot receive raises because others are not performing at the same level and, therefore, suck the resources from everyone else.
That is what makes my job so much fun. Getting people to realize that this thinking is flawed logic and that there ARE companies out there where everyone makes money. When I can get the whole company to think this way, some pretty great things happen for them.
What are the reasons that these moneysuckers exist?
Let me share the 7 Reasons Why Your Sales Results Suck:
1. Low Expectations – Most of the poor performers have a chromosome missing when it comes to believing that most people – given a choice – would PREFER to pay more for great service. Don’t believe it yourself? Find the finest hotel in your city and try to book a room the same day. You will find it is filled. The Motel 6? Always has a light on for you. How about the best steakhouse in town? Try to walk in on Friday night around dinner time. It is packed even though the average meal is over $50 per person. The Denny’s restaurant across the street has a 21-ounce T-Bone steak for only $9.99 and you can walk in anytime and get a seat.
Why do we prefer the top-of-the-line services and products? Because in this service economy of ours, we ALL work too hard and so when we do buy something for ourselves or our family, we want the best because we deserve it.
2. They don’t know what service means – Poor performers rarely treat themselves to the finest service because they are usually too broke to ever experience it. Therefore, they don’t know what it is. Great service is defined by its root word, to serve – to work for. Poor performers that suck, never offer more service. They only offer the minimum needed to get the problem solved today – no planned service for the future and no packaging of a more complete solution that will permanently solve the problem.
3. They try to sell what is already sold – Selling a solution to a problem that the customer has called you for should be the easiest thing to do. After all, the customer wouldn’t have called you if they didn’t want it done. You can assume then that the only reason they would change their mind is something the tech said or did. What is it they are saying to screw it up? These techs feel they are “educating” customers when they explain a problem. What they are really doing is “boring” them. Describe what the parts do, not what they are.
4. They create problems with no solution – There have been many studies on creating dissonance with buyers to get them to act or purchase. This does work. However, when creating or explaining problems, the solution must IMMEDIATELY follow the explanation of the trouble.
Those that suck, explain the problem to the customer way too early, well before they have found a solution. They go into a diatribe about the lack of maintenance and all the problems with the system and then finally tell the customer they need to figure out a price. Don’t describe the problem until you have priced it first. Dissonance should be followed by solution – immediately.
5. They disconnect from customers – Hard to believe, but true. Poor performers LOVE to leave the customer in the home while they go back to the truck to figure out the price. This is the “kiss of death” to a service sale. Why? Because after the tech has explained the problem, he MUST create a solution immediately. A customer left with no solutions to the problem you have stated has no choice but to search for a solution. Where? In most cases, they will look in the phone book for another answer while the tech sits in the truck. Stay in the home with the customer while you price your options.
6. They freeze when confronted with the least resistance – Many customers say no as a subconscious reaction to your price presentation. Poor performers do not realize that the slightest resistance you give a customer when they throw an objection at you can turn the sale around from a no to a yes.
Question the situation when you are losing the job. Ask the customer why their way of buying is the best way. Taking responsibility by asking the customer where you went wrong is another tactic. One thing for sure. Standing there dumbfounded and then leaving when faced with a “no” or an “I’ll think it over,” will never get it done. Say something.
7. They sell to Americans like Communists – That’s right. Poor performers are not “on code” with the average American when they choose only one repair and then present it to the customer. In the days of the Iron Curtain in communist Russia, people would stand in line for hours for a loaf of bread. In those days, there was no choice. Only one kind of bread was given to everyone.
Our country was built on freedom. To give only one choice restricts people and makes them feel as if something is not right. Show your customer the best and most premium option – the one that costs the most. Then show them the options in the middle that have less warranty, service and may or may not include complete repairs. Finally, show them the least that you can do get it running. We love choices. Don’t stand in the way of freedom.
These are the top seven reasons why your sales results suck. What can you achieve? It’s your choice. Do what you do now and lose, or change and reach greatness that is reserved for the few who dare to want more.