Winning at the Kitchen Table

Written by Michelle LaFrance

You’ve been invited to a seat at the kitchen table; however, dinner is not served. And to make matters even worse, your competition has been invited as well!

Selling at the kitchen table isn’t easy. Consider the fact that homeowners shopping for plumbing, a new HVAC system, or a remodeling project seem to have it built into their DNA to get three competitive quotes (some are even more enthusiastic and get four or five quotes). You can start to see that your time at the kitchen table is like an audition. Who will land the leading role?

It’s showtime! How you handle your time at the kitchen table is key. And just like a performer needs to read the audience, your ability to close the sale has everything to do with your ability to accurately read the prospect and understand the set of values that will be driving their buying decision.

There are two very important things to understand:

  1. What causes your prospect to say YES to you and your offer?
  2. What drives your prospect to say NO to you and your offer?

It’s the greatest discovery in the history of business. People buy based on a certain personality profile is key to winning at the kitchen table.

 

TIP #1: LET YOUR PROSPECT DETERMINE YOUR PRESENTATION

Pre-determined sales presentations only work with some people some of the time.

Some sales teams use an iPad that some people like, and some won’t.

Some sales teams use a pitch book, a series of set questions designed to gather data that can use in ‘the close .’ However, the answers to these questions may not have anything to do with your prospect’s actual buying behavior.

Any canned sales process that does not consider your prospect’s values will miss out on the very reason that people make buying decisions. On the contrary, when you address values, you’ll not only get the sale, you get a higher level of satisfaction, positive reviews, and referrals.

 

TIP #2: LEARN TO SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE 

People’s criteria to make a buying decision are so different that you can think of it as speaking another language.

Consider this: Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, identified four distinct personality types, each so different from the next that he learned to treat them differently medically based on their personality profile. He categorized people into categories that he called the Four Temperaments.

What does this tell you? It points to the fact that any canned presentation that doesn’t consider the four personality types will only work sometimes. It makes sense that to increase your effectiveness, you need to adjust your presentation to match your prospect’s personality type.

The good news is that the solution is easier than you may think. It all comes down to understanding your prospect’s values and knowing how to deliver the right message to the right person.

 

TIP #3: THE ANSWER IS IN THEIR HIDDEN SET OF VALUES

Learning about what motivates each personality type is easier than you think. The best advice is to stop thinking like you. Get out of your head what you think is needed to close the sales and place all your attention on your prospect because they tell you who they are and what they need from you.  

Values are important because they drive behavior and drive buying decisions. 

You can gather a great deal of data from a person’s behavior. You’ve noticed that people behave differently, right?  

  • Have you ever had someone take the wheel from your sales presentation and start driving the process? This is a personality type.
  • Have you had the feeling of your prospect quietly examining you…like you’re being vetted? This is a personality type.
  • How about the person that welcomes you into their home, offers you something to eat, and wants to get to know you before you start addressing their issue? This is a personality type.
  • What about the person that wants the case studies, consumer reports, stats, datasheets, and everything else? Yes, this is a personality type too.

 

~Each of the above behaviors is just one way to identify the personality type you’re dealing with. Many behaviors will indicate who you are dealing with. 

 ~ Each personality type has a hidden set of values that need to be addressed for them to say YES to you.  

 ~Each of these personality types has a hidden fear when deciding who to do business with. Alleviate the fear and increase your odds of getting a YES.

 ~Each personality type has an internal ‘tripwire’ (something that turns them off) and will cause them to say NO to you and your offer.

 

 The more you learn about personality types, and what they value, the better you can successfully move through your sale process. You’ll be able to discern when to break out that iPad and when to leave it alone. You’ll know what to say in response to the set of questions in a way that will make sense to them.

Now…about the invitation to the kitchen table. When you learn to speak your prospect’s language, you can gain confidence in your ability to deliver the right message so that your company will be invited back to do that HVAC install, plumbing, or home remodeling project.

Bon appetite!

 

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.

Customer Service Best Practices: Importance of Live Phone Support

Written by Savannah McDermott

 

When it comes to the daily routines, the regularly scheduled appointments, and other things of the sort, modern consumers want digital, self-service experiences. They want to book online.

But there’s also a reason 911 is a phone number and not a form filled on a website. It’s human instinct to pick up the phone when something’s complicated, or worse yet, an emergency. In high-tension situations, you make a call to receive authentic, person-to-person interaction, understanding, and quick resolution of your issue.

Having live phone support in the home services industry is as important as having online booking and live chat services. Don’t believe me? Let’s dig in a little deeper.

Why Is Live Phone Support So Important in Home Services?

Let’s play a quick game of “What Would You Do?”:

It’s 2:00 in the morning. You wake up to use the bathroom, and blurry-eyed, you stumble down the hallway to get there, only to find that a pipe has burst and you’re ankle-deep in sewer water. What do you do?

Do you, A: Pull out your computer, search for a plumbing company, and book an appointment online for the next morning?

Or, B: Pick up the phone.

Situations like this one—which are uniquely common in our industry—make it incredibly important to offer around-the-clock live phone support. Having a real person with real empathy, understanding, and the ability to ask the right questions to help solve an urgent issue can help:

  • Improve the customer experience
  • Increase booking conversions
  • Retain valuable customers

 

Here’s how.

How Live Phone Support Improves the Customer Experience

Beyond emergencies, there are other less-talked-about aspects of why offering live phone support is valuable.

  • Live phone support allows customers to book over the phone at any time, including after-hours.

In a scenario like the one described above, a customer wants to speak to someone “in-person”—not hit an answering machine and leave a message. If you offer 24/7 live phone support with a home services expert, a customer can count on your company to be there, any hour of the day, ready to empathize with and help solve their problem. Not just any live answering service can do that.

  • Live phone support empowers quick issue resolution.

When a customer calls your company, they want a solution to their issue as quickly as possible. If a company has a long wait time or no phone support at all, that customer will hang up and move on. Same goes if a company does answer the phone but doesn’t schedule an appointment or get them the emergency help they need. By offering live phone support with an expert that’s ready to serve, you can be there for your customer in their time of need and help relieve their stress by booking an appointment immediately.

  • Live phone support shows customers you care and enables their trust.

Interactions in the home services industry can be intimate and vulnerable. Homeowners must open their homes to strangers to handle emergencies, which can be both stressful and expensive. As a result, customers seek genuine empathy, sensitivity, and trust from their provider. By offering live phone support with people trained in the trades and understand home service issues, you can show your customers authentic care and help ensure confidence, encouraging them to choose your company when emergency strikes again.

As you can see, live phone support helps ensure a positive customer experience in stressful circumstances. With this improved customer experience, conversion rates improve as well—and it shows in the numbers.

How Live Phone Support Improves Conversion

While many homeowners start their home services consumer journey online (via search engines), several still convert by calling. According to a study by Invoca, the percentage of consumers (by trade category) who call after searching is:

  • Appliance repair: 92%
  • Electrical: 82%
  • HVAC repair: 84%
  • Plumbing: 93%
  • Roofing: 84%

Many of those call-in interactions result in a close/purchase. According to the same study, 40% of consumers who call from search convert, making phone services one of the most valuable conversion tools for a company. On average, the amount of money spent after search per home services category is:

  • Appliance repair: $162
  • Electrical: $597
  • HVAC repair: $908
  • Plumbing: $614
  • Roofing: $4,589

As you can see, when there’s an emergency or large project at stake, the consumers will call. And when they call, they will need service (and that service might bring in some revenue).

By catering to how your customers want to communicate, you’ll set yourself up to be their go-to home service provider every time.

 

Savannah McDermott is the Head of Customer Success at Schedule Engine.

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.