Tips for selling on the customer’s home turf
The following tips are directed at selling on the customer’s home base, that is, his house or place of work. However, as with all lessons in this book, these tips can and should be adapted to fit any sales situation, anywhere.
1. If a call of nature is imminent, relieve yourself prior to meeting your customer! Now, before you drop this book in surprise at this tip, let me explain why.
If possible you should stick to your customers like glue, from the first moment you meet them until it’s time to wave goodbye. You should marry them, stay with them and don’t give them an opportunity to scheme up ways of saying no when you’re not around.
2. Don’t be late for an appointment, not even by a minute. A first impression is a lasting impression, so make a good start by being punctual. If you are held up, or a delay is unavoidable, always phone your customer before the pre-arranged time to apologize and reschedule.
3. Never park your car in a reserved snace it might belong to the MD! If you are in any doubt, ask where you can park. Alternatively park at the far end of the car park, the end that is farthest away from the building. (One of the status symbols of anybody who is anybody is that they get to park nearest the building.)
This same principle applies at the customer’s home. Appreciate that there are certain places the customer reserves for his own parking or that of his family. To avoid any possible irritation, don’t park on the customer’s drive, don’t block the driveway and don’t park in front of the window or garage. Not only is this being courteous but it means that you won’t be disturbed during your presentation (or closing) when the customer’s son arrives and wants to put his car away.
4. Leave all your Sales equipment in the car and be empty-handed when you
Greet your customer. If you are carrying all your sales material, samples and equipment, apart from the fact it will be difficult to shake hands, you will appear too impersonal and too ready for action. Think how you would feel, if immediately upon opening the door of a tailor’s shop, the sales assistant said hello and began measuring you with his tape.
(Once you have greet your customer you should then excuse yourself whilst you go and get your things.)
5. When you greet your customers, always shake hands with them- you might
As well get them used to it from the start.
6. As you enter the customer’s domain, make an exaggerated effort in wiping
Your feet. The customer will notice this mark of respect and will warm to you more easily.
7. Always ask wait to be seated. Remember a man’s home (or his office for
That matter) is his castle. If you are invited into his castle you are a guest, so make sure you act like a guest, not an intruder.
8. If we invite someone round to our home, most of us make an effort to make
Ourselves and our home more presentable. We dust and polish and tidy round, we spray a little air freshener, put flowers into a vase and bring out the best chinaware.
If you notice, tidy, clean home, then mention it- compliment your customers sincerely and they will love you for it- because that effort was made on your behalf. Likewise you should compliment a tidy and well –organized office.
9. Don’t jump in with both feet. Don’t move straight into your sales
Presentation. Instead, settle things down and induce a receptive atmosphere. (This subject will be discussed in more detail in step 18)
10 If you come from a different ethnic or cultural background from your
customer, always accept and consume and offer of food or drink. This will
put your customer at ease and show him that you are not prejudiced.
11. Look around and you will see photographs, paintings, certificates, trophies,
Books, plants, record collections, cats ,dogs, model planes, musical instruments ………the list goes on and on. These items are memorabilia or passions to your customer, so mention them. Ask and be sincerely inquisitive and your customers will love you for it. Let them go on and on about the things they have a passion for and they will feel so appreciative – because they’re enjoying themselves and it’s very rare that they get the chance to show off to a willing audience. That appreciation will turn to obligation and they will end up saying: ‘Well enough of that –show me what you’ve got-how much is it? OK, I’ll have one,’
11 .Never ignores the customer’s children. Instead recruit them to your side and they’ll be your biggest ally (In an office you might not recruit the spectator but you should never ignore him.)
12 Don’t invade a customer’s desk with your ‘things’ without asking first. Likewise don’t use a customer’s furniture or floor (as in carpet) without asking. This is especially pertinent when it comes to glasses, cups or plates. Many customer’s are too polite to ask you to move something but the offending object remains on their mind and it festers. When this happens they won’t be giving you their undivided attention – so always ask first.
13 Always get the customer involved in the presentation, not just verbally but physically. Get the customer to help set up your demonstration, get him to compare colour co-ordination or help you measure up. Get the customer to look, touch, smell, taste and listen. (This subject is discussed in depend in step26.) The more involved he is, the more enthusiastic he becomes, because he starts to envisage what it would be like to own your product. Take him, as it were, for a test drive and let him feel what it’s really like to be behind the wheel!
14When you are in the customer’s home or office you are less in control of outside events. Such as an interruption by another member of the family, a knock at the door, or a telephone call. When this happens, stop your presentation and make small talk until everyone returns-then backtrack slightly to refresh their memories.
15It is always a good idea to leave something (of no intrinsic value) behind when you leave. For example you could accidentally on propose forget your folder, which must have fallen under the table, or maybe your calculator, that slipped down the side of your chair. This little trick gives you a legitimate excuse to call back again tomorrow. At the same time you can consolidate the deal or sell them some more, or if you failed the first time, have another go!
Reap Step 10
1. Stick to your customers like glue. Marry them
2. Don’t be late. If it’s unavoidable, phone before your appointment time
3. Park your car with care
4. Leave your equipment in the car until after the greeting
5. Shake hands- get them used to it.
6. Wipe your feet well
7. Ask or wait to be seated
8. Compliment a tidy abode
9. Don’t jump in with both feet
10. Accept an offer of tea or coffee.
11. Encourage talk about passions
12. Don’t ignore the spectators.
13. Ask before you put down your things.
14. Involve your customers, physically.
15. Wait out any interruptions.
16. Leave an object so that they can’t object to a second visit.