A System for Selling – Part 3
In this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, we will continue our look at our System for Selling. In the last issue, we talked about how to build, perfect, and implement a powerful script for the in-home sales process. We looked at the critical importance of using a sales presentation and process that consistently yields successful results. This issue, we want to look at how to Properly Evaluate Homeowners’ Needs and Wants as part of that system.
Commonly called “Needs Analysis,” this stage is critical to help move the homeowner from suspicious and even negative on the idea of buying to the point of where they feel the need to do something about their roofing needs. This is the part of the process where the homeowners begin to feel emotional pain, and they begin to actively seek ways to end that pain.
As I always say, someone will even go to the dentist when the pain is great enough. No one likes going to the dentist. And chances are that no one really “likes” buying a new roof. But, when the pain of NOT going to the dentist or NOT buying a new roof is great enough, they will indeed visit the dentist (or sign up for that new roof!)
Needs Analysis is something that starts early on in your interaction with a prospective client, and gets re-enforced as many times as possible. From the time you meet the prospect to when the appointment is set to when the salesperson visits with them, you must ask questions like:
“What makes you think you need a new roof at this time?”
“How has your roof frustrated you?”
“What would you like to accomplish with your next roof?”
The answers to these questions will show you the prospect’s “hot spots” or those factors that will make them get to an emotional point of making a decision to re-roof their home and, hopefully, do it in metal this time.
Each step of the way, when these questions are asked, the answers are recorded. Even the salesperson in the home is writing down the prospect’s answers. If you do not show the interest and concern to write down their answers, you may as well have never asked the question. You need to demonstrate that you seriously want to know what they are thinking and use that information to help guide them to an appropriate answer to meet their needs. As you collect this information, it will help you later when the homeowner sets their criteria for a new roof.
As part of a successful in-home sales system and, in particular in response to the Needs Analysis process, you want to allow the homeowner to determine what they want to accomplish with their new roof. These are their “Criteria.” For example:
- Do they want a long-lasting and maintenance-free roof?
- Do they want a streak-resistant roof?
- Do they want a roof that will reduce their air conditioning costs?
- Do they want a roof that withstands high winds?
- Do they want a roof that has recycled content and can be recycled at the end of its useful life?
On and on. When you present the features and benefits of your product, you want the homeowner to state whether each feature and benefit is one of their “Criteria.” This builds their personal list of goals for their roofing purchase.
In some cases, you may need to prompt the homeowner a bit. For example, if they have never noticed streaks on a roof before, you want to have a neighbor’s roof in mind that has algae streaks on it that you can reference. If they have never thought before about an energy efficient roof, you will want to be able to give them examples of the energy savings enjoyed by your past customers. These examples and stories help them to determine whether those are factors that will weigh in on their final decision.
As you do this, you will want to re-visit the answers that you received during Needs Analysis. For example, if during Needs Analysis they discussed how hot their attic gets in summer, then you want to make sure that they agree that energy efficiency is one of their Criteria.
The Criteria they select, then, are re-visited during your Sales Close, as ways to re-enforce what they want to accomplish with their new roof, and how you can help them accomplish those things. In the end, you are helping them associate a cost with each of their Criteria that builds the value of the entire roof you’re presenting to them.
So, when it comes to Needs Analysis, do the following:
- Start early and record everything
- Use their needs to “make it emotional” for them
- Use their hopes and dreams to help them set the Criteria for their new roof
- Repeat their Criteria during your Close and Proposal Presentation
We hope that this process helps you to close more successful metal roofing sales.
Thank you so much for subscribing to the Executive Report. Please feel free to contact me at my email or at 1-800-543-8938 ext. 201 whenever I might be of service. Above all, we’re here to help make you successful.
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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