Sales Tip: Do some research

Sept. 4, 2019
If someone isn't buying from you, make it your goal to find out why and see if there is anything you can do to change that.

Sit down and make a list of the technicians’ facilities you call on who purchase nothing or almost nothing from you. They are buying from someone, why not you? If there is some “hard stop” reason, like their brother is the competitive mobile jobber, then scratch them off the list. With the others, try to figure out the answer. Did you tick them off in the past? Did they not like your financial terms? Do they feel you have ignored them? Do you have no logical idea why? 

Whatever the reason, develop a plan to get them on your side. Maybe it will work and maybe not, but if one out of ten starts buying from you it will be a nice income boost. Success with three out of ten will mean some nice money. If you have an active customer list of 300 and you add just 15, that’s a 5 percent boost in customers, and that means more income, too. 

So what do you do? Simply talk to them. Yes, yes, I know it may feel really funny doing this, but tough beans — do it anyway. Take this customer aside in the shop or on your truck and just talk to them. It might sound something like this:  

“Joe, I would like your help. I call on your location every week at the same time on the same day and enjoy excellent business with most of your coworkers. I’m curious, is there something I have done that turns you off about buying from me? If I can figure out what I did to turn you off to buying from me, and I can learn my lesson, I will be sure not to do it to someone else.” 

Let him answer. And no matter what he says, do not be defensive. Thank him for his thoughts. Then hand him your latest promo brochure and let him know you are there for him anytime he needs something. 

Sometimes you will find out that there is some minor issue, like a broken tool or some other thing, that you can correct on the spot and get him (back) on your books. 

Now be sure to at least say “hi” to this customer on every stop in the future and personally hand him your literature. You will be surprised how many times simply speaking with a non-customer will turn them around. 

Try this for 30 days. Pick a closing style and work it hard.

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