My 4 key selling techniques from my time in specialty electronics retail that I still use today to close more sales
“I’d like to make that appointment. They are obviously just a bunch of kids playing with wires so I decided it’s better to pay more and get it done correctly.” Classic Stereo & Video Customer in the late 90’s
That was a call I got from a customer who had just left our store because we were too expensive and he went to Best Buy looking for the same solution. Ultimately, he realized that it was worth paying more to get the right products installed correctly.
So how was I able to convince him that we were the right company after he left the store?
I used some techniques that I was taught in the PARA [Professional Audio Video Retailers Association] Training program that I went through while working at Classic Stereo & Video in the late 90’s. PARA no longer exists but at the time they were the leader in sales training for our industry.
The 4 techniques I learned were:
- Setting Expectations
- The Art of the Demo
- The Assumptive Close
Let’s look at all 4 in detail
Sales qualification is about asking specific questions to your ideal client that allows you to narrow down the choices of solutions that they are looking for.
Wait, what’s an ideal client? Your ideal client is your dream client. They have the right budget, they know exactly what they want, the project location is ideal and they want to buy everything you sell.
But that doesn’t exist.
No…it doesn’t but you can use that framework for generating a list of questions that help you narrow down what this potential client is looking for. These questions are specific yet generic at the same time because they should be able to be used on any potential client that walks through your door.
By the time you go through your questions, you should have a clear picture of what the client wants and more importantly…if they are the right client for you.
Setting expectations with a potential client will help improve communication, overcome objections, build trust and also increase your chances of closing the sale.
Using them to overcome an objection:
Client: “Can we use Nest for the Thermostats”?
Sales Person: “The Nest products are awesome. I had one in my old house but in your project, you have 3 different air handlers and a lot of rooms are sharing spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows. The Nest product does not have an averaging function so you will have to select which room you want to control the temperature which may cause issues. For example, if we select a room with floor-to-ceiling windows, the other rooms may be hotter or colder depending on what registers. You may want to consider a centralized HVAC system that has the averaging function”
Using them to help close a sale:
Client: “This sounds great. Let me get back to you”
Sales Person: “Thanks for meeting. Now a project like this would typically take us 3 months to complete. We are currently booked out for 2 months which would be the first day we could start if you signed a contract today. The other issue that we’ve been facing is supply chain problems with our manufacturers but what we’ve been doing is ordering products shortly after clients sign their contract so that we can make sure the product is available”
Most salespeople think that if they try to set expectations too early, it may turn off the potential client and they will lose the sale. So they skip them and go right for the close…only to find themselves having to clarify parts of the sale later with the client who might now be upset that you didn’t discuss this early on.
Do yourself a favor, and set every expectation you can in the beginning, your future self and your client will thank you.
The Art of the Demo
A proper demo is a powerful tool that can further set your client’s expectations and increase the size of your overall sale.
Here are 3 easy steps:
- Tell them what they are about to experience experience –
Example #1: What you are going to hear when I play these speakers is Flea on the bass guitar in the left front corner of the room and Anthony Kiedis’s vocal’s right in dead center while the drums will appear right of center and just above your head.
Example #2: What you are going to notice when I push this button that says “Entertain” is that the lights will come on in four rooms to 80%, Frank Sinatra will be playing just below a conversation level, the shades will be open in four rooms and the climate will drop to a 68-degree set point.
Be specific! (make sure you are playing the appropriate demo material for the client which is part of your qualifying exercise).
- Show them – Step back and conduct the demo and when it’s finished…
- Ask them if they experienced it – As soon as the demo is over, pause it and ask them if they experienced what you told them. Don’t play the entire track, just the little snippet that you told them about. Or if you triggered a scene on a control system, ask them if they experienced the change in the environment.
When you make the demo short and ask the question before it’s finished, it will leave the client wanting more and potentially lead to you closing the sale.
A GOOD salesperson will ask for the sale but a GREAT salesperson will assume the sale is closed.
When you ask the client “Are you ready to sign a contract”, they can say yes or no which gives you a 50/50 chance. An assumptive close assumes that they’ve said yes so you need to move to a question that forces them to really decide or give you a good reason why they don’t want to which can then lead to a discussion that may help you turn it around.
“Right now we are booked out for two weeks but when are you looking at getting this project started”?
They can’t say yes or no…they have to either give you a date which is a yes or tell you why they are not interested which opens the door for you to discover why and overcome the objection.
Always Be Closing!
If you use 1 of these techniques, your chances of closing more sales will increase but if you can adopt all 3, you should have no problem closing the majority of the potential clients that you meet with.