How to Beat the
Wintertime Blues Part 3
The Decision Makers
1. Find the Decision Maker. Someone in this business has the authority to say “yes or no” to you. That is who you want to talk to. So when you encounter the secretary, salesperson, receptionist, etc. just hand them your card and say, “I would like to talk with the person in charge of your carpet maintenance program.”
2. Get to the point. IF you get to talk to a real, live Decision Maker (DM), here is your “presentation”:
a) Introduction: Look them in the eye, smile, and introduce yourself while handing them your business card.
b) Keep it simple and direct: “I would like to give you a proposal for your regular carpet cleaning.” If the DM says “yes”, bring out your Commercial Carpet Analysis (CCA) form and explain you would like to ask a few questions to help give them better service and the best price. If they agree use your CCA form as a guide to quickly interview them, along with asking them to show you any special wear or high traffic areas.
c) Always “demo” something: If it is a small account or the person seems ready to sign up anyway, just locate a badly spotted area and ask if you can “test for residue removal.” Then use some general spotter with a clean white towel and make a sparkling difference. On the other hand, if the prospect is wavering OR it is an important account, try to do a demo cleaning in their worst area. (If their traffic allows it, this is a good reason to make your sales calls in a truck containing your equipment.) There is nothing like being able to say, “Give me 10 minutes to get set up. Then I’ll come to get you and show you the results we can provide.” Or you can schedule the cleaning demo for after-hours, but this definitely adds to the hassle factor for both the prospect and you.
3. If you can’t talk to the DM: Ask when they will be in and available. Hopefully, it will be sometime during this Dedicated Sales Morning while you are in the area.
If not, at least ask for their extension number and when would be a good time to call. Then leave your card and commercial brochure for them. Be sure to write all the info down, including when you are supposed to call back, in your Commercial Route Sales book. If the account is one you want, you can make a return visit. If not, either call the DM or just add them to your newsletter list and move on.
4. Give them their options: When writing the proposal, be sure to include at least three options. One at a fairly high price (what you might call a “Restorative Cleaning“) which is very likely what the carpet needs now. Then give them at least two “Always Stay Clean” options where you come in on a regular schedule at a greatly reduced rate. (Your goal is long-term regular cash flow, not a one-time job.) This may be routinely cleaning all the carpet but more likely you will “zone” the building into different cleaning frequencies. “Mr. Jones, my professional recommendation is to clean the entrance area and center aisles monthly and then …” You get the idea.)
5. Don’t forget to “ask for the order”: After presenting the proposal and if you are getting positive buying signals from them move right into getting the logistics of the job set up.
Remember the vast majority of businesses you walk into will not be interested. But by setting a weekly reserved day to do this route selling along with a goal of contacts to make, you will be getting the “Law of Large Numbers” on your side. Remember, you are going to call on at least 20 people per Dedicated Morning, and as the weeks and months go by, these contacts will add up! The key? When rejected, politely leave your card and get back on the horse that threw you by quickly moving on to your next sales visit.
You can, at times, skip all of these steps and just “stop by” when you are driving around, especially when you see a new business moving in or a new building going up. It is called, “Being in the right place at the right time!”
Of course, you will substantially increase your odds by starting AND staying with your Weekly Sales Visit Morning.