Your Personal Pledge
In-home sales is a high-integrity situation. To create a situation where a sale occurs, the homeowners must be able to develop great confidence in the salesperson. Homeowners are by nature and training wary of having someone come to their home to sell them something. Overcoming this trepidation is perhaps the salesperson’s biggest challenge and opportunity.
Some salespeople respond to this by being as un-saleslike as possible. They let the homeowner guide and control the situation. They are easy going and try to keep their own personalities under wrap so as to not scare the homeowner or make them feel uncomfortable. Salespeople who behave like this are doing a few things right but they often are never able to fully present the benefits offered by their company and their products because the homeowner is allowed to be in control. They also often never really ask for the sale, because they don’t want to scare the homeowner. And, of course, guess what? Because they haven’t given a complete presentation and they never asked for the sale, they don’t get the sale.
Some salespeople, on the other hand, try to handle the in-home sales process with extreme control. Their philosophy is that, by controlling the situation, they will be able to coax the consumer to a decision in their favor. These folks often make enemies of the people they do sell to, because they were viewed as being too pushy or arrogant. And, when they do get a sale, they often find themselves dealing with buyers’ remorse which manifests itself in the form of a homeowner who is never at ease and is highly nervous and concerned. This also usually means they get very few referrals from the customer and never see any repeat customers.
So, how do you find a happy medium? Fortunately there are specific techniques for making homeowners comfortable but yet still guiding the in-home presentation. A thorough presentation of your company, its products, and services turns you into the homeowner’s expert, and becomes evidence of your seriousness and your professionalism. And, you can indeed ask for the sale as part of the process because that’s exactly what they expected when they invited you to their home.
Future issues of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report will explore how to handle virtually all aspects of the in-home sales process. In this issue, though, we want to discuss something which we feel is very key to setting the stage for the relationship between the salesperson and the homeowner. That subject is a Personal Pledge from the salesperson to the homeowner. The homeowner must trust the salesperson in order to agree to buy from them. That trust comes in a variety of ways, and there are also numerous ways in which you can destroy the process by violating their trust. However, a Personal Pledge is your opportunity to promise the homeowner exactly what they can expect from their relationship with you. This is done with all sincerity and is something that you must take very seriously when you write it. Similar to how your company’s Code of Ethics which we discussed in the previous issue establishes the “banks of the river” for your company’s behavior, your Personal Pledge establishes the “banks of the river” for your own behavior.
Your Personal Pledge should be printed out nicely and professionally on quality paper. You should review it with the homeowners and then, in front of them, sign it at the bottom and leave it with them. Your Personal Pledge must include your cell phone number printed on it with instructions for them to call you immediately should you ever fall short of your promises.
Below is a sample Personal Pledge which includes a few things that you could consider including in your own pledge.
My name is Joe Smith and I take very seriously the opportunity to visit with you and discuss your roofing needs. I have fourteen years of experience in this industry and have happily served several hundred homeowners in our community. If you are willing to bless me with your business, following is my Personal Pledge of what you can expect from me as we move forward. Please understand that this is my Personal Pledge and is in addition to my company’s Code of Ethics which I will also review with you.
I Pledge to always be available to you — before, during, and after your project. I am as much a part of our community as you are and I will not disappear at any point.
I Pledge to check in with you at least five times during the course of your project, and I will always be available by cell phone.
I Pledge to use my experience to explain things fully and answer any questions you may have. If I do not know the answer, I will get it for you and report back to you promptly.
I Pledge to let the sales process go at your speed, and to not pressure you in any way. I will explain the sales process and even present an “upfront” contract before we start the presentation, for your benefit and comfort.
I Pledge to give you the best possible price that meets your needs, without you having to ask for a better price.
I Pledge that there will be “no surprises” during your project. If something unexpected comes up which requires a change order or anything else, I will contact you promptly and personally to discuss your options.
I Pledge to uphold and support my company’s Code of Ethics and help ensure that our company lives into it well.
I Pledge to consistently do things in ways which make you want to refer your friends, neighbors, and family to me, because I do depend heavily on referrals from past customers.
If at any point, you feel that I am not living up to this Pledge, or you require something different from me, please call me on my cell phone at any time of day at 333-555-1212.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope that I have the opportunity to work hard for your confidence.
Joe Smith, Estimator Triple A Roofing
If you do not currently use a Personal Pledge when working with prospective customers, please consider doing so. It does a great job of “setting the stage” both for you and for them.
As always, if there is any way I can be of service to you, please email me 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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