i5-Steps to the In-Home SaleStep gears

Remember, nobody wants what you’re selling!

You’re in, you’ve set the tone so that there is no pressure on you whatsoever, and you’ve transitioned to the dining room table, so you don’t waste any of their time. Remember, they invited you out there, expecting to be sold; they want something, and they are looking for you to help them get it. If you give up professional control of the appointment, you’ll be reduced to simply price, just like every other run-of-the-mill salesperson.

At this point, you should have a list of potential discovery questions you ask clients to help establish what they’re trying to accomplish. A preprinted list or form is very helpful, and demonstrates you have a professional process. Don’t read the questions; instead ask them conversationally.

Take notes, write down responses, drill deeper by asking follow-up questions -

• “What do you mean by ‘your furnace is unreliable’?”

• “Why are you considering replacing your AC at this time?”

Don’t Ask About Other Estimates –

It sets off alarms in the consumer’s mind, and it’s bush league. Leave the old-fashioned, worn-out, blue-suede-shoes sales gimmicks to the hackers.

• “In the short time I’m going to be here, I don’t want to waste your time telling you something you already know, or showing you something you’ve already seen.”

• “Tell me, have you been online doing any research?”

• “What’d you learn?”

• “Can I ask, have you seen anything you really like?”

• “Typically, you’ve seen or heard something you like. Tell me about it.”

Find Out About Urgency –

You’re there, probably for free, giving expert advice, and you deserve to know the time frame of the project. After all, I doubt the client would go to work for free without knowing the expected outcome, right?

• “Before I make any recommendations about what I’d suggest for upgrading your heat pump, typically when I’m visiting with folks like you, there are other projects that you’re thinking about or planning. Everybody has a honey-do list.”

• “It could change the way I make my recommendations, so what other projects are you considering? So, this is your next big priority?”

If there is more than one buyer present, and one is doing most of the talking, engage the other one by turning to them and simply asking, “Mr/Mrs, what’s your opinion?” Make sure everyone is on the same page, otherwise you’re wasting your time, and you can pretty much plan on the “think about it” later.

Find Out How Long They’re Planning On Staying –

You’re going to be introducing a big investment, so how long they’ll be in the home to enjoy the benefits will absolutely factor into their ultimate investment decision. You are not in a one-size-fits-all business.

• “Before I make any recommendations, especially in terms of how long the system might last, how it operates, or warranties, give me some idea, how long do you think you might plan on staying here?”

Again, if there is more than one buyer present, and one is doing most of the talking, engage the other one by turning to them and simply asking, “Mr/Mrs, what’s your opinion?”

Reframe Answers To Goals –

If they don’t understand how it relates or it doesn’t relate to what they want to accomplish, you jeopardize the sale by not clarifying the point.

• The client has indicated they are thinking about replacing their heat pump to save money: “To help make sure you get exactly what you want, can you share if you’re looking to save a little money or as much money as possible on your utility bills?”

If they’re only looking to save a little money, then a basic upgrade will suffice, because it will surely be more efficient that their existing system, right? If they’re looking to save as much money as possible, showing them a basic, code-compliant system is not giving them what they’re asking for.

Learn Their Lifestyle –

• “Where does your family spend most of their time?”

• “How concerned are you about ‘green’ products?”

• “Where do you normally set your thermostat?”

• “When was the last time you had your furnace serviced?”

Indoor Air Quality –

• “Who in the family suffers from allergies?”

• “Do you use portable air cleaners in any rooms?”

• “Do you have any visible mold or mildew anywhere in the home?”

• “When you wake up, do you have dry sinuses, itchy eyes, or a scratchy throat?”

Relative Humidity –

• “Is your home too dry in the winter?”

• “Is your home muggy in the summer?”

• “Do you use a dehumidifier in any part of the home?”

• “Are there any rooms with a musty odor?”

Comfort –

• “On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate your overall comfort?”

• “Are there any areas that overheat or overcool?”

• “What’s the hottest room in summer?”

• “What’s the coldest room in winter?”

Energy Efficiency –

• “On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate your overall energy efficiency?”

• “What do your average monthly utility bills run?”

• “Is your insulation all original to the home?”

• “What have you heard about energy efficiency?”

House Information –

• “Do you get ice dams or icicles in the winter?”

• “Does your basement ever get wet?”

• “Do you use your attic for storage?”

Company Background –

• “Are you familiar with Acme Air?”

• “Do you know anyone we’ve worked for?”

• “Have you seen our trucks around town?”

Million Dollar Questions –

After you’ve gathered as much during Step-1 Inquiry to discover the client’s goals and objectives, you want to sum up before embarking on Step-2 Inspection.

• “Is there anything else I should know about that I didn’t ask?”

• “Of everything you want to accomplish, what interests you the most?”

• “Do you have any preliminary questions for me at this point?”

You should know have a detailed understanding of why they took time out of their busy schedule to invite you into their home, and what they are looking to accomplish. This information will make your inspection incredibly more efficient, effective, and appropriate. And, imagine the trust you’ve earned by asking all the right questions, but never getting off track talking all about you or your company!

Step-1 Inquiry is all about the client.