Are You On Commission?
The homeowner asked that question when the maintenance technician offered her a surge protector for her compressor. The technician hesitated for just a brief moment, which was noticed by me, and by the customer. He replied that he was not, which we both knew was not the case. The homeowner smiled and said she would think about it. It was an awkward moment to be sure.
Later, when we talked about it, the technician couldn't think of any good reason why he didn’t acknowledge he received a small commission, other than he thought it might cause her to think he was only recommending it for the money that he would receive. My take on it was different. She had said a couple of times that she really appreciated him and that she only wanted him to work on her equipment. I thought her question was intended to make sure that he was rewarded in some way for his outstanding service.
Whatever her reason, the best way to respond to that question, and any question for that matter, is with the truth.
“Yes ma’am, I do receive a small compensation from this if you choose to have me install it. It’s our company’s way of rewarding those of us who offer other products and services to our customers. What’s important to me is that you are taken care of and have peace of mind knowing that your system is working as well as it can be and your are protected from any surprise problems such as power surges. It’s of course up to you. If you are interested I can put it in now or we can wait until another time. What is best for you?”
Not too many people would find fault in that. Heck, in a way, everybody is on commission. Even if someone is paid a salary that salary still represents a percentage of the sale.
If, like my technician friend, you have a mindset that sees “selling” and “commissions” as a bad thing, then I hope this alternative way of looking at the situation will help you see it another way. Appropriately offering products and services to customers is professional salesmanship at it’s best and one that deserves to be rewarded.
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Open Sales Leads –
Making a profit in any business includes generating a constant inflow of new and repeat customers who demand the products and services that you offer. Acquiring and keeping these customers begins with leads, sales leads, and it is the lifeblood of a contracting business.
We expend an enormous amount of time and resources to generate these sales leads, but as an industry we do a very poor job with following through on each and every lead until the customer either “buys or the lead dies”. It’s debatable these days about the average lead cost but it’s safe to say that they are in the several hundred dollars per lead range. This kind of investment is something that should not be taken lightly, no matter how large or profitable your business is.
So how do we maximize the value of each and every lead?
• Record and track ALL leads in a system that is manageable – it all starts with the lead, so there can be no compromise with making sure all sales leads (residential, commercial, replacement, remodel, new construction) are registered and tracked. It is not enough to simply write them down, you need a system that can track and manage your leads.
• Make sure you track all leads by lead source so that you can validate your lead generation activities – this requires that you keep your source of leads up-to-date with any changes to your lead generation activities
• Have a clear and enforced policy on following up on leads. All sold leads must be registered, but eventually all leads need to be closed per your policy. Potential clients expect a follow up on the basis that they have indicated their consideration of buying from your company. I have often found that clients (given all else is somewhat equal) will buy from the company that promptly follows through. Consider an immediate follow-up communication in writing to reinforce why your company is the best choice.
• Make sure your system has the ability to record and track follow up activities so that comfort advisors can monitor they are being consistent in follow up activities and management can document that valuable leads are being treated with the respect they deserve
• Record the reason unsold leads were not sold
• Record the sales price of each sold job by source of lead.
With all the different alternatives available these days to spend your advertising budget, it is critical to be able to accurately track and measure your lead generation results and closing rates. This is easily doable if you have a firm and comprehensive Sales Lead Tracking Policy that is uniformly enforced.
TRUST PRO® online has this Sales Lead Tracking structure seamlessly built in with all the documentation needed to get the feedback you need to measure your sales productivity and make wise lead generation investments. With its new added feature, KPI Management Dashboard, you can instantly view a live snapshot of the four key factors, (Revenue, Sales leads, Service and Maintenance Agreements), in being able to actively manage your business. Five Sales Lead Reports are immediately available to show you multiple views of the situation both by company and individual sales person. Plus, you can view sources of new clients that came in through your service department.
To learn more click here to go to our website where you can click on any of the “Sign up for a free demo” banners. Or if you like, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-284-5024 ext. 100.
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