The Salesperson’s First Impression
In our last edition of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, we began to look at the importance of first impressions and how to make a good one. In that issue, we talked about how the first impression your company makes with a prospective customer is usually NOT when your Salesperson shows up at their door. It usually happens way before that but is equally important as the Salesperson’s first impression.
Now, though, we do want to talk about that Salesperson’s first impression. And, actually, it too starts ways before they show up at the prospect’s home. The first impression starts when your Appointment Setter (discussed in Issue Four) introduces who their Salesperson is and what the customer can expect from meeting them. This sets the stage. If your Appointment Setter says something like. “Oh, I never know what these sales guys are up to or where they are. I will have to get back with you to confirm a time,” that sets a predisposition in the customer’s mind that their Salesperson is unreliable, unprofessional, and disorganized. That is not a good thing and, as a first impression, it will be virtually impossible for the Salesperson to overcome.
So, it’s critical that the Appointment Setter thoroughly introduce who the Salesperson is, tell the prospect how to identify the Salesperson, explain what the process will be once they arrive at the customer’s home, and say some good things that make the prospect feel good about their Salesperson as a trusted expert who is part of their community. The Appointment Setter must set the bar high and then the Salesperson must live into that. This is critical.
Now, as to the Salesperson’s behavior, here are a few things that help them to make a great first impression which has the highest chance of leading to a sale:
- The Salesperson must do their research and know as much as possible about the prospect and their home before they arrive. While some of this information is captured by the Appointment Setter and passed along to the Salesperson, the Salesperson will also do their own research through Google and by arriving early and spending some time driving around the house and the neighborhood. They need to seek out ways to connect themselves personally to the prospect.
- Part of your process should be for the Appointment Setter to call and confirm the appointment within 24 – 48 hours before the scheduled time. Your Salesperson should not be the one to do this but, if the Appointment Setter does not do it, then the Salesperson must.
- The Salesperson should arrive in a clean and modest but nice vehicle and should park on the street if at all possible to ensure their vehicle cannot mar the prospect’s driveway.
- The Salesperson should pull up at the house 3 – 5 minutes before the appointment time and then ring the doorbell exactly at the scheduled time.
- The Salesperson should appear neither too young to instill confidence and imply experience nor too old to see the job through its warranted life. This is accomplished through clothing, eyewear, hair style, etc.
- The Salesperson must be neatly dressed in business casual attire with a shirt or jacket that has their company logo. They should have no fragrance as far as perfume, cologne, smoke, or body odor.
- The Salesperson must present their business card to the homeowner before asking to enter the home. They need to understand the importance of thoroughly identifying themselves.
- It is critical that the Salesperson has a firm handshake and makes clear eye contact and that they request permission before entering the home. If there is any risk at all of them tracking dirt into the customer’s home, they should ask if they should remove their shoes, or they should carry protective shoe covers and slip those on.
- The Salesperson must smile and be at ease. They should be positive and upbeat – no negative talk – but not giddy. They must be fully “present” in the conversation and listen carefully to what the prospect says. Taking notes can help them remain “present” in the conversation if that is something they struggle with.
- It is important to compliment the homeowner on their home. They are deservedly proud of it and it’s important to honor that.
- Use positive body language through good posture and maintaining a fairly open stance with your arms and legs.
- Great Salespeople make good conversation that draws the prospect in. Make a friend, be a friend.
- Be interested and interesting. Successful Salespeople tell about themselves not through narratives but by sharing stories that are fun and interesting while also giving insight to their lives and personal character.
- Salespeople must remember all of the “be polite” courtesies that they were taught by their grandmothers. Please, thank you, sir, and ma’am should be parts of the conversation. Ask for permission before you do various things in the sales process and continually explain the process, so that the prospect knows what is going on and there are not any surprises.
- The roofing Salesperson proves his expertise by being able to keenly observe and assess the home’s roofing and ventilation needs. Start out by asking the homeowner what they perceive as their needs. Acknowledge and respect what they say and then add in your professional perspective on their roofing needs.
Thank you for reading this issue of The Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. I am always available if you’d like to discuss sales, marketing, lead generation, roofing, or ventilation. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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