The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Finance Center, in collaboration with the...
Simple steps to ease into a sale
Sometimes we chase customers so hard that we forget to make it easy for them to buy from us. Consumers are always weighing the hassle of buying versus the problems they endure. Making it easy to buy can make a big difference in your sales. Let’s take a look at ways you can make the process smoother for your customers.
Make It Easy to Meet With You
You make it easy for the customer to buy when you work the hours they are most likely to be at home. If you work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, they will have to take a day off to see your presentation. In our business, they are unlikely to do that at the early stage of the sale. This means more one-leggers that end with an excuse you cannot easily overcome. Work the hours they are home and your sales will increase dramatically.
Make It Easy to Understand
Many of us are so proud of what we know about water that we talk in terms a customer outside the industry will not understand. Remember that flow rate, resin beads and valve numbers do not mean anything to most customers. They want benefits they can relate to, like easy-to-manage hair and smoother skin. When customers do not know what we are talking about, they have to “think it over.” Make it easy for them to buy by using language people outside the industry understand.
Make It Easy to Decide
Most people need a little nudge when they spend a few thousand dollars. Think about the last major purchase you made and how hard it was to make up your mind. To make it easy to buy, you need a reason why the customer should act now and not put off the decision. If you do not use the soap close, a first night special or some other reason for the customer to act, you are not making it easy for them to make a buying decision.
During the sale, problems will arise such as “I can’t do it until my tax refund arrives,” or “We might be moving.” Turn problems into sales by taking all problems lightly and writing a solution on the order form. For example, if the customer says they are buying in three months, tell them, “No problem. Let’s get the paperwork out of the way now and I’ll put the month you want it installed on your order so we can get it scheduled.” Practice starting with “No problem.”
Making It Easy to Pay
Always quote dollars per month when you say the price. For example, “It’s only $3,995, or about $70 per month.” This tells the customer that you offer financing without making them ask the embarrassing question. Some salespeople have forgotten that asking that question is embarrassing. It means they do not have the money to pay cash. Save them the embarrassment by making it easy to buy.
Another reason to quote monthly payments each time you state the price is to make the decision easy by making the math easy. When we show a customer how much they will save per month, can they do the math to decide if it is a good decision to buy? For example, if a customer saves $80 per month, is it a good idea to spend $4,000 to save $80 per month? Very few customers can do the math and they “have to think it over.”
Make it easy by showing the savings and the payments in monthly terms so the customer can understand the value of buying. “As you can see, you will be saving $85 per month and the payment is only $80. You will have everything we discussed tonight and make a $5 profit per month.”
Make It Easy to Install
Finally, make the installation easy by installing during the hours people are home. The last thing you need is to have trouble scheduling a convenient installation at a critical point in the sale.
Making it easy for the customer to buy will dramatically increase your sales. None of the items mentioned in this article are expensive or difficult. Give them a try and I know you will be pleased with the results.