A System for Selling – Part 2
I hope this finds each of you well!
I have heard from many of you that the recent rains have extended your backlogs and you are now fighting the never-ending battle of finding installers so to catch up. If there is anything we can do – help train new team members, pass along recruitment ideas, etc – please do not hesitate to let us know.
In the last edition of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, we began a series on our System for Selling – the critical what and how of our sales process. Before we continue that conversation, I want to pass along the below insight from Jeffrey Friend of Forward Media Group (FMG). FMG has long been our partner for our web marketing and has helped a number of our dealers around the country with website design, SEO, blogging, AdWords, and more. Jeff wanted to bring your attention to a new tool to help you evaluate your website’s performance:
Frustrated trying to understand how your website is performing?
If you are like most business owners, understanding website performance is not easy. Google Analytics is a great tool, but it can be frustrating and confusing. Yes, the depth of information it collects about your website is truly astounding, but understanding what all that data means is another story.
That’s where Quill Engage can help.
Quill Engage is an amazing web app that takes the confusion out of Google Analytics reporting. Once connected to your Analytics account, it explains your Google Analytics data in plain English and delivers custom reports to you on a weekly or monthly basis directly to your email inbox. Take a look at this sample report. And here is the best part…there is a free version that provides enough info to help you easily see how your website is performing. Do yourself a favor and sign up for a free account, and get a better handle on how your website is performing.
Neither Isaiah nor FMG have stake in you using Quill Engage; it is only a new tool we have found helpful ourselves. Please let me know of any questions or if you would like to discuss your web marketing efforts with FMG.
Now to continue our discussion of our System for Selling. In the last issue, we reviewed why a systematized sales system is critical for the success of your business and the common objections we hear from companies who have not yet systematized their process. Below is the definition of our System for Selling. We will review each element of this definition in future issues of the Executive Report.
Isaiah Industries’ selling system is a fully scripted process and presentation to properly evaluate homeowners’ needs and wants, educate them on available product and companies, while leveraging psychology and exclusivity to build maximum value in your unique solution, culminating in an exact price and proposal.
The first element and arguably the most important, is building any system around a powerful script, defining the process from arriving at the appointment through signing the contract. So many organizations balk at scripting in fear of becoming too robotic and regimented. Sounding robotic is obviously not the goal. True analysis of homeowners’ needs and wants can prevent this while also leveraging the power of a script. Like we discussed in our last issue, if there is a “best way” to do or say something, why not use a script to ensure the “best way” is done every time? And it is only a scripted system that you can measure, manage, and use to train new salespeople as your business grows.
The importance of scripting is true when selling any product, but especially so when selling a premium and complex solution like specialty residential metal roofing. Our products are often three times more than traditional roofing materials and many of you are facing competitors offering metal roofing 25 – 50% less then you. To justify this premium, we must scrape together every piece of value possible and present it in an order and manner homeowners will understand. I know I cannot remember all my points in the proper order without a script!
When it comes to metal roofing, these pieces of value are not simple topics, either. We must explain the conductive and radiant transfer of heat and how reflective pigments and integral thermal breaks can save homeowners on their summer cooling costs. We must explain how the Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) chemistry of Kynar is far superior to that of other paint finishes and how its tight molecular bonds, similar to those of Teflon, limit the amount of mold, dirt, and grime that can stick to the roof. We must explain how convection causes warm, moist air from inside the home to rise into the attic and condense on the underside of the roof deck if adequate ventilation is not present. These are not simple topics! A script equips your salespeople to articulate them well, without becoming mired in too much detail, so homeowners can understand the value and premium of your solution.
There are some companies who believe in scripting but only script the formal presentation However, the value and principles of scripting apply to the warm-up as well – if there are best questions to ask, why not make sure they are being asked every time? Salespeople tend to believe they are incredibly charismatic and the warm-up is where they charm the homeowners before proceeding to the rest of the appointment. Research proves this is simply not the case. Homeowners allow salespeople into their home with guards up and know they have arrived to sell them something. They largely have no interest in making friends and any attempts to immediately ask about their bowling trophies or fishing trips are perceived as disingenuous and, contrary to popular belief, harm rapport more than build it. This can be overcome over the course of the appointment, but not in the warm-up.
You can instead build rapport by having a scripted warm-up that immediately presents yourself as a consultant by asking high-value questions to evaluate the current condition of the roof and the homeowner’s wants and needs for the next one. We can also be sure to generate answers we need later during in the presentation – How long do you plan to stay in your home? How much do you spend cooling your home in the summertime? Does ice build on any area of the roof during the winter? Salespeople forget these critical questions when not equipped with a script and resort to asking questions of no value to them or the homeowner.
We consistently find that the most successful companies – those selling the highest volume at the highest dollar – utilize a scripted process and presentation. This is only a brief explanation of only some of the reasons we firmly believe in scripting. We would love to continue the conversation if you have any questions or thoughts.
Thank you for being here and participating in this discussion. As always, please do not hesitate to let me know how we could be serving you better.
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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