How do you help your sales team improve their close rate?
It doesn’t matter how great your fencing is or what reasonable prices you offer. If your customers don’t hear that message, it does not matter. Your sales team is the backbone of your fencing business.
How many times have you walked into a store prepared to purchase an expensive item only to walk out again in frustration? Chances are good you didn’t get the answers to your questions.
A successful fencing salesperson anticipates questions and is prepared with knowledgeable clear responses.
Whether you are looking to hire a few new salespeople or motivate the ones you have, here are seven key ways they can increase their close rate.
1. Know your product.
Your sales team should be able to answer the following questions with ease and confidence:
How long has your company been in business?
What is your Better Business Bureau rating?
May I have a list of customer referrals to contact?
Do you install using outside subcontractors or do you have your own installation crews?
Will I have a manufacturer’s warranty?
What are your down payment and financing requirements?
Additionally, product education should be an important part of your sales training process. For example, be sure to include your sales team in informational sessions when you add any new products to your line. Finally, make sure you come prepared to any meeting with a prospect with brochures, profiles, samples and up-to-date information.
2. Listen more than you talk.
Too many salespeople mistake customer relationship-building with talking about themselves. Successful closers ask key questions of potential customers, listen closely to their responses and then ask relevant follow-up questions.
In other words, they talk little about themselves.
Train your team to listen for information that makes your fencing a good fit for that individual.
Perhaps they are worried about the installation time. You can offer your flexible scheduling options.
Finally, encourage your team to be direct but tactful. If a customer seems interested but is hesitating, ask what is holding them back. This clarity offers your salesperson the opportunity to resolve a potential roadblock to the sale
3. Offer incentives to act now.
After listening carefully to your customer’s story, a successful salesperson may offer discounts or other incentives that will make your fencing product difficult to refuse.
No one wants to waste their money. Your fencing sales team should be ready to offer a guarantee on your products or services. A product or service guarantee provides them with important peace of mind.
If another company matches your “complete” offer (which includes product, install date, BBB rating, all the other good things you offer) then you can stand behind your guarantee.
For example, if another fencing company beats your price for the same product, you can meet or beat their offer. Be creative.
4. Dress and act professionally.
Your sales team is a representation of everyone else in your business from top-level management to part-time employee. Appearances matter in every sale, so make sure your team makes a good impression.
Is it time to provide your team with new shirts with your company logo on them? Is your staff well-groomed and well-spoken? Train your team in how to politely address a customer by name and in the importance of a sincere smile and a handshake whether they make the sale or not.
We all value our time, so instruct your staff to know the signs of when to back off on prospects if they clearly reveal they are not interested. In other words, help your team learn to distinguish a lead from a customer and then act accordingly.
Remind them that each prospective client will remember the way they were treated and may call on your company for a future sale.
5. Give them a checklist.
Many times prospects are comparing fencing companies. Help them out by giving them questions to ask:
- Are you insured?
- Can I see your certificate of insurance?
- How long have you been in business?
- Will you obtain the permits?
- When will the job be completed?
- Will you put all this in writing?
6. Follow up on conversations.
When it comes to sales strategies, many people have the perspective of a used car salesman who believes a sale is lost if the customer leaves the lot. Not true.
Today’s customer is savvier and more informed than ever. For example, your prospect simply may want to do more research before making a decision.
Therefore, train your team that the immediate sale is not the only way to success. However, a sale may require some friendly but persistent follow up through phone calls, emails or direct mail. That means you should provide your team with fresh marketing materials that make those follow-up communications engaging.
7. Keep a positive outlook.
The most successful salespeople work on maintaining a positive mindset. Customers pick up on the confidence and the mood of a sales professional and react accordingly.
Sometimes, all it takes is a change of perspective to gain this sense of positivity. Your sales team is not just selling fencing; they are helping people find solutions to their problems. Here are a few examples:
Fencing offers an answer to a security issue for a home or business.
An attractive fence adds to a home’s value.
New fencing provides safety for children and pets.
Good fences help define property lines and help make good neighbors.
Thanks to the information age, your customers are more aware of the competitive landscape than ever before.
However, you can always provide something more than your competition when you offer a quality product, friendly and knowledgeable service and a genuine interest in each and every fencing customer.
When you view sales as helping people rather than selling people something, it opens up so many possibilities.