Maximize Your Time by Qualifying Customers at the Door
No salesperson wants to spend time trying to turn around a potential customer who just isn’t going to change his or her mind. Sales efforts are best spent with people who actually want to hear about the offered product or service, and any energy spent otherwise is wasted time.
However, it can be difficult to tell, just by appearances or a quick conversation, whether the resident who just opened the door to a salesperson is likely to buy in the end. Let’s take a look at some best practices for qualifying customers from the get-go. Avoid spending time with the wrong people with these door to door sales tips.
Know Who You Are Looking For
Before you even leave the office to hit the streets, you need to do some homework. Narrowing down your field to an area that’s populated by your ideal customer is the first step in successful sales. For example, if your door to door training taught you to sell lawn care products or services, you don’t want to target a suburb that favors wooded areas over lawn or where senior citizens have chosen artificial turf instead of real grass.
Likewise, if you know what your ideal customer looks like as far as demographics, income, gender, age and other factors, you’re one step ahead in getting the sales figures you are aiming for.
Watch for Signals
Once you’re in the field doing d2d sales, you can really hone your skills in prequalifying the customers. If they hear your introduction and ask about the price of your product or service, that’s a good sign. It means they are at least interested enough to inquire about details. People usually ask about price first because they don’t know what else to ask.
They might mention that they are having a problem, to continue the lawn care analogy, with brown spots in the grass as a result of pet damage. This is your chance to tell them how your lawn care system can help with not only this problem, but with others.
If the customer indicates he or she already uses a lawn care service, you can work with that. Compliment them for understanding the need for the product, and then tell them how yours are better. Finally, if you walk up to the home and see yellow spots in the lawn, you can use that as an opening for a pitch. Don’t, however, criticize them for doing poor lawn care.
Don’t Lose Them
The door to door guide for successful sales always includes some “don’ts” for qualifying customers as well. For example, be careful at which point you mention price. If you throw out a dollar figure before you have explained the value of your products or services, the customer will only focus on the number, not the benefits that come with the number.
Also, if the potential customer is already using a competitor’s products, tread lightly. You can show admiration that they believe, as you do, that lawn care products are vital to a healthy lawn. It’s not a good idea to bad-mouth the competition, but you can certainly explain why your products or services are superior to theirs (Again, this goes back to the research phase. You must know what your competitors offer just as well as you know your own products).
Finally, you must take the time to acknowledge the circumstances surround the conversation. As mentioned above, look at the homeowner’s lawn to see if your products might be demonstrably necessary. That’s an automatic “in.”
However, there are other factors that will influence your success; is there a barking dog lurching at the front door? Can you hear children crying or screaming? Is the person you are talking to exhibiting body language that makes it clear he or she is closed to hearing your pitch? In cases like these, your likelihood of closing a sale is lower and it may be time to move to the next house. After all, you’re all about maximizing your time.
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