I know that this is going to be a great post for you, and I can only hope that you can see the power behind it.
So here’s the story.
Yesterday I was at home and there was a knock at the door. Maybe you know where this is going, and it’s funny because I mentioned this recently in earlier episode of this podcast, and I’ll touch on that later in this post.
After hearing the knock the first thing I thought was, whoever this is, I wonder how they got through the gate. I must of left it open. The only other person it could have been was my Mum who is the only other person with a key.
So I opened the door and there he was, a clean cut mid to late 20’s guy holding a clipboard and he says “hi there, I was just talking to one of your neighbours so I thought I’d drop in here too, I’m looking for any of these guys..”. He hands me a piece of laminated cardboard with about 6 energy company logos on it. Energy Australia, AGL, Origin I think, and some others.
“…this is an ok ice breaker so far.”
I enjoy going through these processes because it’s fun to see and hear what these professional sales people are saying and doing to make a sale. You don’t need to push your product down people’s throats or knock on their doors, but you’ll sometimes find something you can relate to and transfer over to your business, that will help you get more clients. Whether it’s online or by email or on your website.
I told him that I wasn’t with either of those companies, and that wasn’t a lie – that is just good fortune, because I was now interested to see how he will handle this. I told him i’m with XYZ company and it’s just month to month and I pay in advance to get the cheapest rate.
He asked me “what rate do you pay?”
I told him and I can’t remember exactly what he said next, but it must of been some sales talk to smooth over the objection without admitting that he probably couldn’t beat the price all that well – and he also knew I wasn’t under any contract – so his chances of signing me up were dwindling.
He mentioned something about the pricing and how there could be a better deal for me, and that his company was a 2 year agreement, etc, etc. Anyway, long story short. He left and I went back to doing what I was doing, after closing the front gate that is.
I wanted to break this whole situation down for you, as I am sure there is something that you can take from this. I took a whole lot from it, and it will no doubt add to some extra dollars within my company one way or the other.
So consider what I’ll go over next for yourself and how you can transfer this into your business.
Firstly, when you knock on someone’s door, or someone knocks on your door – It’s very obvious that you are there to sell them something. And It used to be kind of smart and a good sales technique to mention something not related first to why you were there first. For example: “nice flowers” , or “lovely house”. As if you could distract the person inside the house from why you are really there.
But now, when everyone knows why you’re there and it’s 2018 and no one has any time for romance, maybe it’s just better to name and highlight the obvious big elephant on their doorstep, and replace it with something else, almost like a game. That’s going to be a much smoother ride.
I spoke about pattern interrupts and getting people’s attention a little while ago here on the blog, if you haven’t read that episode yet go back and read that after you’re done here with this one.
I was thinking about this guy on my doorstep for about another 30 minutes after he left. Just remembering my time as a “door knocker”, and also I was asking myself what would I do if I had to go out and do his job tomorrow.
How would I position myself and try to sell what he was selling, and how would I try and do it better? What do I think would improve the results. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself I guess.
I think that if you’re in business, you’re in sales. If you like it or not. And being in sales doesn’t mean that you need to scheme up tricks, and ‘one liners’ to persuade people into buying what you’re selling.
There is a difference between marketing and sales, but I’m roughly grouping these two things together for now. If you haven’t really considered this before, about the difference between marketing and sales, I think it was best described by Joe Polish who may or may not of heard it off someone he studied. How he described it was something like “marketing is what you do to get the person in front of you, and sales is what you do when they are in front of you”.
As you can imagine, sales is just the part of doing what you would do when they are there in your shop, or they are booked in for a consultation, etc.
So in summary, if you’re in business or you want to be in business you really need to know as much of this stuff as possible. That’s the only reason why I write this blog, it’s free and there’s a lot of takeaways that will be very beneficial to you and to everyone else who reads it. But only, only if you actually do it. That’s the hard part (and that’s good news!).
Back to the door knocker. I was thinking…
What would I do and say if I had to do his job tomorrow?
And going back to an earlier post of this podcast, I would of-course use a pattern interrupt. That is almost compulsory in this situation.
But at the same time, I would not try and avoid or hide the fact that I’m there on his doorstep. I would not do the usual small talk that I think is frustrating for the customer than what it is beneficial for the sales rep.
What I thought up, and of course this is just a test. Because no matter how good a plan sounds in our own heads, and inside our own meeting rooms – the only way to really test it, is with 100 customers or more. So what I thought up was this:
- I would knock on however many doors I needed to, to at least speak to 100 customers. And each of these 100 times I would test something like this:
“Hello my name is Craig – I’m here to give you this $10 if I can’t save you money on your electricity..”
- I would reach out and show them and even hand them the $10 note before anything else is said.
- You can see that I said exactly what I was there for, so the customer knows that I am not trying to trick him and he can be comfortable knowing exactly what I am there for within the first 2 seconds.
There is no long romancing and fake rapport building, that only helps the customer build up their barriers and prepare themselves to say no and close the door. I would just get it out on the table and see how good or bad this approach goes on 100 different people. I believe that it would get me further down the path of seeing if I could help them or not.
Now this would only be if the company I was working for, did actually have the cheapest electricity rates on the market at that time. And If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be much sense in working for them and door knocking in the first place would it? Because then I am just knocking on peoples door and saying “would you like to change electricity providers and also pay more? In not so many words of course, but that is what it comes down to. Even if that’s not spoken, it’s still said.
The goal for me, is to check their electricity rates and see if we can help, looking at the black and white facts. All I really need to is get up to that point, that’s the biggest obstacle I have.
And you can relate this to your own business I’m sure. The biggest obstacle you have is just getting people in the door – if only they would check out your product or try your service, they would see how good it is, and the rest would be easier.
For the door knocker, the biggest obstacle he has is just comparing the prices in black and white for the customer.
Now for the second 100 people I speak to, i would open with a slightly different sentence. Because one of these opening sentences WILL have a 5-10% or more higher acceptance rate. I would be able to check 10% more customers electricity rates. That will be 10% more sales.
At the end of the month, that will quickly mount up.
It would no doubt put me near or at the top of the sales leader board for that company, amongst all the sales agents. And then of course I would continue to refine it from there.
Putting $10 on the line is a ballsy conversion strategy – no doubt. What if I lose $200 in one night?
That’s why it is really really important to have faith in what you’re selling – before you go out and sell it. If you know what you’re selling is great, than put some of your own skin or dollars in the game.
This is why you see people offering money back guarantees, and try it free for 30 days.
Here’s the thing, if you can’t offer something like this – maybe you shouldn’t be selling. Add something else to the deal that does make it a no brainer for people. Add something else, even if it means increasing your price. Do whatever it takes to transform it into something you can stand behind and say “ try it, if it doesn’t do what I say it does, i’ll give you $100”. Or, I’ll give you a complete refund and I’ll come and pick it up too.
This will be one of the most powerful things you add to your business, in my opinion. This is irresistible offer, or a “mafia offer” as people in the marketing industry call it. A mafia offer comes from the famous Godfather movies, “make it an offer they can’t refuse”. If this isn’t making sense, don’t worry.
Just sell a version of what you’re selling that is a total no brainer, with a no brainer guarantee. And you will start to see some movement I’m sure.
Talk to you soon.