Dealer Keys to Success
by Joe Mills
May 3rd, 2017

Convincing Versus Letting

Today, let’s tackle the second part of our “Convey, Convince, Convert” conversation. (Read the first part here.) When we talk about convincing, I’m guessing most of us in sales and marketing think we’ve got that part down pat.

A couple of the definitions that Webster’s uses for “convince” include “…to persuade by argument,” or “to cajole.” Thinking back to my old in-home, retail selling days, I was a great convincer, at least based on those definitions. So good, as a matter of fact, that there were times that the rescission would beat me back to the office the next day.

Ben Franklin once said: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Definitions aside, the word “convince” itself  almost implies some level of coercion.

In today’s marketplace, the best “convincers” understand that Franklin’s statement not only tells you what doesn’t work, but, if you look close enough, what does.

There’s an old sales fundamental that I believe is more true today that at any other time…

People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. Think about yourself and your best and worst buying experiences.

I get the focus on hiring the right people. I also believe in using tools to identify potential strengths and weaknesses. I’m a high D/high I on the DISC test, which identified me as a good closer, then a sales manager and then a general manager.

I also believe in training on closing techniques and all the different ways to get to a “yes.”

But I didn’t really become better until I figured out what old Ben was really trying to teach me. When it’s their will, instead of mine, EVERYONE wins.

The difference in the way leads are generated today and when I was in the home is night and day. For people to let you into their home today, there absolutely has to be a decent level of interest/need.

So you’re halfway to letting them buy when you get there. Here are some ways to complete the process:

  • Knowledge—Your team HAS to be the expert in the home. Given the proliferation of information available today (some true, some not) not knowing more than them is inexcusable. Make sure your team can answer any question that gets asked.
  • Take the pressure away—I used to tell a story about how my dad taught me things that ended with me promising that I would walk out at the end of the visit before I ever asked them to do anything against their will. Pretty powerful stuff, but your presentation better meet the test.
  • Different instead of better—Most everyone understands the pitfall of degrading a competitor in today’s world. Talk more about process, and the difference in your process versus another one. Your customer will respect you, and they’ll feel more like the buying decision was theirs. This leads, of course, to lower rescissions.
  • Passion—For me, this was the biggest “convincer” of all. I absolutely believed that the products my company sold were the best fit and best value for the homeowner. I can’t tell you the number of times — if I was convinced that I had someone who was going to buy windows in front of me — the number of times that my passion about not letting them put the wrong product in their home was the thing that “convinced” them. Are your salespeople that passionate about getting the customer what they want and need for their home?

Next time, we’ll talk about the holy grail of conversion.

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