Increase Closing Rate by Up to 300%

Selling at the kitchen table is a big deal. Every opportunity a contractor gets to be inside the consumer’s home is a HUGE opportunity. Most consumers get three quotes, so you get your chance at the kitchen table…but so does your competition.

What causes them to say YES, and what causes them to say NO to you and your offer? The secret to success is discovering the answer to this question.

It would be great if people had sticky notes on their forehead that told you how to communicate with them. Imagine how easy it would be to close sales…peel that sticky note right off your prospect’s forehead, and there would be instructions on how to sell to them. Sales would go through the roof!

But since people don’t wear a sticky note on their forehead, your success in closing sales has everything to do with how well you understand the individual in front of you. A one-size-fits-all selling solution is not going to work. Delivering the right message to the right person is the key to success.

People can be tricky; what worked with one person doesn’t always work with the next. What makes one person happy is a turn-off to another. Sometimes you get a husband and wife at the kitchen table; one engages with you while the other is quieter; you walk away confused because you didn’t close the sale. Sometimes, you wonder why a similar presentation triggers a YES in one person, but the same presentation with another gets a hard NO. What happened?

 

The simple explanation is that people have personalities

 And personalities have preferences. However, those preferences are invisible to the untrained eye and the untrained ear. Yet, they are so important to be aware of because those preferences (values) drive your prospect’s behavior and buying decision.

Some people are methodical and precise; other people feel their way through situations. Some people need to know your credentials to do business with you. Others need to know you offer the best product or service. Some people require a lot of data, while others wish you would get to the point – and the sooner, the better!

Additionally, each personality type has a fear that’s built into their code. It’s important to know what that is, not to mention that each personality type has a stress code. Bad behavior is usually a sign that someone is experiencing a level of stress. Understanding their stress is like having supernatural talent because reducing a person’s stress can be magical.

You can see how important it is to learn how to understand others! Learning how to “speak the language” of another is a necessary skill for every business owner, sales manager, and salesperson.

 

How do you get better at communicating with others? 

Hippocrates, often regarded as the father of medicine, recognized four distinct personality types as far back as 400 B.C. He referred to these types as the Four Temperaments. Each one was so different from the other that he treated them differently medically. Fascinating.

It stands to reason that your ability to understand another can dramatically impact your business, both positively and negatively. On the positive, you can create super-strong sales forces that deliver the right message to the right person, which could increase your sales by as much as 300%.  

 

Consider this: 

 The first step is recognizing that every person has a four-part personality code with a specific sequence. We call this their BANKCODE. Think of it like the four-digit code to your ATM. The money only comes out when you put those four digits in the machine in exactly the right order.

In a sales situation, your prospect will say YES to your product or service when you speak their language in the right sequence. We call this hitting their “triggers,” which are values that they align with and make it easy for them to say YES to you. The sequence is important because you don’t want to hit one of their ‘tripwires’ (things they dislike). Tripwires are what cause them to say NO to you or your offer.

It becomes plain to see that people require different things from you. Increasing your skill level in communication is hands down one of the most important skills because it will impact every aspect of your business.  

 

How do you become a more skillful communicator? 

 There are just two things you need to know; the first is the personality code of your prospect, employee, or vendor, and the second is learning how to modify your communication in a way that lands with them.  

Understanding people is the key to closing more sales; it’s also the key to hiring the right people, resolving conflict, and building stronger teams. Once you understand people, you are in a position of better communication because you understand what makes them tick and what ticks them off.   

 

The good news is that today you can predict buying behavior. 

 How do you take a lead and turn it into a sale? It comes down to how well you understand people.

People are telling you who they are in a hundred different ways. As a BANKCODE trainer and coach, I help you see the signs so you can close more sales in less time.

 

Want to learn more about BANKCODE? Join this webinar!

Michelle LaFrance is a Certified and Licensed BANKCODE Trainer.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Writing a Confidential Information Memorandum or Known as “Getting Naked”

If you are interested in selling your business and in the process of understanding how to secure the buyer and your prices, you must “get naked” and provide the potential buyer with a detailed package of information about your business. Merger & Acquisition professionals refer to this as Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM). The purpose of the CIM is to provide the buyer with enough information to generate an initial offer, called a Letter of Intent (LOI).

The CIM is a detailed brochure about your company that includes the facts that communicate your business differentiation to other businesses. It is also a marketing document that discusses both the features and benefits. According to “The Art of Selling Your Business” by John Warrillow, the sections that should be included in a CIM are:

Your business and its operations:

  • What makes your business model unique? For example, do you have a specialty that is superior, and you have many accolades in your area?
  • What do you do better than your competitors?
  • What have you figured out that an acquirer could leverage? You may outsource all your accounting, for example, versus doing it internally.

 

Products & Suppliers

  • List your services, organized by the percentage of annual revenue.
  • List your services, organized by the percentage of Gross Margin or Cost of Goods Sold.
  • Rank your top three to five suppliers by your annual spend.

 

Sales & Marketing

  • What is your customer “win” strategy?
  • How much does your customer acquisition cost for a new customer?
  • What is your market share?
  • Explain and emphasize any recurring revenue models (service agreements). Provide churn rates and the lifetime value of a customer.

 

Barriers of Entry

  • What makes your company unique and difficult for competitors to compete with?
  • What type of investment would it take to build what you have created, both time and money?

 

Trends and Opportunities

  • What is exciting in your industry?
  • What is growing or innovating?
  • What have you done in your business to embrace the trends and innovation of the future?

 

Financials

  • Include three years of adjusted P&Ls along with two years of projections.
  • Make sure adjustments are made to the financials to remove any one-time expenses and income that a new buyer would not incur.
  • Replace your compensation expense (salary and bonus) with a market-rate salary for a general manager who would do what you do.

 

Customers

  • Describe your customers by zip code, product sales, and average sale per customer. Do not provide a list of your customers.
  • What markets or products could you offer if you had more resources or capacity?

 

Management Team

  • Describe how well your company would run without you.
  • Show a visual organization chart that includes divisions and salary ranges of the employees.
  • Include a bio of each person in a leadership position, their compensation and incentives, and roles.

 

As you see from this list of items, providing a CIM is tricky when selling your business. You reveal some very intimate details about your company for an audience that may not use with the best intentions. Be careful of the buyer who just wants to learn more about what you do, like your fees, your processes, and your key customer strategies. If something is proprietary, do not expose that in the CIM. Even when a potential buyer signs an NDA, it is difficult to prove they used your proprietary asset to improve their business.

The CIM is not something you take lightly. It takes a lot of work and should not be given to any potential buyer unless you are committed to selling your business. Be prepared to be uncomfortable and know your leverage with a potential buyer.

Lynn Wise is the Founder and CEO of Contractor in Charge.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Cause and Effect – Finding the Root of Your Business Problems

Recently one of my Regional IAQ Training Reps mentioned that during a manager’s meeting with one of his dealers, they pinpointed some problems in the business that were causing a significant decrease in IAQ sales. It is customary for my training team to meet with our dealers’ management team after our onsite sessions to review and analyze the status of their IAQ sales and their effect on top-line revenue and bottom-line profit. This meeting was especially interesting because this dealer’s IAQ sales were down 17% over last year in a booming market. Consumer awareness about IAQ products is at an all-time high, and our dealers’ sales have increased substantially in the past two years. So why the decrease in IAQ sales for this specific dealer? Some of the reasons were obvious, and others were uncovered during this meeting. An action plan was put in place to affect a positive outcome on future sales.

Whether it’s challenges with sales, marketing, financial, manpower, or whatever, problems have always been part of businesses and will continue to be. So as business owners, we need to continually analyze our business, identify the problems, and understand the underlying causes and the effects that follow when they persist. Once establishing the cause of a problem and its effects, you can then tackle the problem better by proposing viable solutions. To this end, the need to undertake cause and effect analysis is vital for business success. It is necessary to understand the root cause of a problem. Whether it is analyzing why equipment or accessory sales are down or any other business challenges, determining the best methods to solve the problem may include implementing new management policies, changing a process, or even repositioning your team members to effectively achieve desired business outcomes by identifying and addressing the root cause of the business problem faced.

Analyzing these problems involves looking backward to what caused the problem, then looking forward with a plan.

Only about two-thirds of startups survive past their second year in business, and many companies that make it past their second year in business continue to struggle to be profitable. There are underlying reasons why this continues to happen, so it is crucial for your business to survive profitably to discover and understand these reasons. Looking backward into your business to find the root causes of your challenges calls for an analysis of past mistakes and problems. You must identify where these past issues have come from and put a plan together for avoiding them in the future.

Once this cause-and-effect analysis has taken place, it can be used for future planning. Looking forward into your business, this analysis is your basic planning tool to create a better future business outcome than you have experienced in the past.

This becomes a five-step process.

1. Identify and describe the problem. Describe the nature of the problem and how it is affecting your business.

2. Brainstorm with your management team the root cause of the problem. Break it down to the people involved, current processes and procedures, the material used, working conditions, etc.

3. Identify all internal and external causes.
a. You have control over your internal causes since they are mostly operational and employee relationship issues.
b. External problems such as supply chain issues, changing laws, weather conditions, the economy are out of your control but still need to be considered so you can adjust your business practices to account for some of these issues and have as much influence as you can on others.

4. Analyze your discoveries in steps one through three and prioritize what you can control and act on. Decide what action can be taken immediately, list what you have control over, identify where you can implement change, and influence what you can with issues out of your control.

5. From here, you can develop your plan of action. This plan should reflect proposed solutions to the problem and identify specifically who is responsible for the appropriate action. A point person should be assigned that holds others accountable to stay on task with target dates set to accomplish all implementation.

Although this process may sound time-consuming and laborious, depending on the issue at hand, it can also be fun. Over 30 years ago in my previous career, I worked for a janitorial and maintenance supply company owned by Howard Teidt. Howard used to have occasional problem-solving meetings that he called “Green-light / Red-light” sessions. We were a small company, and he would invite everyone into the conference room for a meeting. In the first part of the meeting, he called the “Green-light” segment. Howard would present a company problem then tell everyone to turn their green light on. This meant that anything goes. We would throw out solutions no matter how serious or ridiculous they were, and he would write them on a whiteboard. Not only did this foster creative thinking, but it was usually fun and hilarious. Once we exhausted the solutions, Howard would yell “Red-light,” then we would all stop and examine the ideas. The funny nonsense ideas were crossed out, and we were left with some great ideas.

As an example, in one session, the company problem at hand was our increased fuel and delivery cost. We had a company policy that if you placed an order by 2:00 pm, we would deliver your product the next day for free. Howard proposed the question: “How can we cut delivery expenses by $3,000 per month?”  “Green-light!” – on the funny side:

  • Fire John, our driver (he was in the meeting…)
  • Sell the delivery truck and save on insurance.
  • Stop delivering and have our accounts pick up their orders.
  • Quit selling so much.
  • And so on…

“Red-light!”

During the red-light segment of the meeting, after we stopped razzing each other, one of John’s ideas (our truck driver) stood out. He said because of our next-day delivery policy to all our accounts that he was driving all over a four-county area every day fighting traffic and racking up miles trying to get to everyone. John said, “Why don’t we map out our deliveries into smaller territories and offer deliveries only on certain days of the week to each territory?” The sales team was the first to object because “that’s a great selling benefit and we can’t change it now. Our customers will object!”

So, we surveyed our top accounts and discovered that no one really cared if they received their shipment the next day or not and set delivery days would be just fine. We implemented John’s plan, and it saved us thousands of dollars on fuel since he wasn’t driving all over our coverage area every day. This even gave John more time to organize our warehouse, solving another problem!

Green-light / Red-light problem-solving sessions can be fun, and they work!

Taken at face value, this is just another problem-solving tool. Still, any problem-solving process takes commitment to conduct the initial exercise, follow through with the implementation of the set plan, and holding people accountable for making it happen. The causes and effects of business problems won’t just go away. Any analysis and planning process is only as effective as the folks involved want it to be and how capable they are of taking the appropriate action to carry it through to its fruition.

 

Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.