From product peddler to sales concierge, Part III
Be a business development consultant to develop sales.
If you think builders build for a living and remodelers remodel, think again. Before the first nail is pounded, a sale has to be made. In this last installment of the “Concierge” Sales Leader series, you will discover how to enhance your role as a profit resource your customers can depend on.
I learned this years ago when a husband and wife walked into my showroom looking for product information. An introductory dialogue with them revealed their confusion and insecurity about getting the products installed correctly. It was easy to recommend a valued and loyal customer that I considered a patient shepherd for his customers. The couple happily gave me their contact information and a day to work on finding the right contractor for their home.
The next day I delivered the lead to the contractor with detailed information about the products we discussed and the homeowner’s timing. My customer leaned back in his chair after our dialogue and said, “I can’t think of another salesperson who has ever taken the time to give a lead as valuable as this…heck, any lead for that matter.”
That was the moment it became clear that my role as a salesperson means more than selling a product. I got inspired to learn how builders price their projects and achieve proper margins. I learned how challenging it was to manage labor and insurance costs. It became clear that leads were the lifeblood of any remodeler and most homebuilders. In short, my products and I were not the most important thing on the buyers’ minds. They are focused on their business first and, if I could tap into ways to help, I would develop much better relationships.
Top sales leaders are students of the profession and, as importantly, deep thinkers who study their customers’ businesses. It’s not enough to only know product details. The Sales Concierge is a consultative expert who recognizes he or she can provide resources in accounting, marketing, scheduling, sales, insurance, labor and more.
Be a student of marketing and sales for contractors.
I like to say you don’t know the first thing about your customers if you don’t know where they get their leads. Pride yourself on becoming a student of Google search engine optimization, costs of leads, in-home sales processes and all the unique ways your customers market, sell, and close deals. The more you know as a student, the better you’ll be as an advisor.
Develop skills that provide meaningful operational support.
Think less about prices when you deliver your next bid and more about the total cost of installation. A Sales Concierge provides subcontractor referrals, labor saving advice, scheduling assistance, and more. Recognize that your customers are so often working in their business that they lack time to work on their business.
Earn the role as an unpaid employee on the board of directors.
Product peddlers are a dime a dozen, beating down the contractor’s door every day. Consultative sales concierges are rare leaders who distinguish themselves as profit generators for their customers to produce unbreakable customer loyalty. If you’re reading between the lines, you realize that the concierge sales formula is more than a single sales performer. It’s an organizational mindset in which the company differentiates itself from the competition by providing the usual services like products and timely delivery along with additional resources such as seminars, installation services, field trips, preferred provider networking, and more.
There are two ways a client makes money: increased sales and reduced costs. Help them do that and they will find reasons to do business with you. By the way, that client who received the lead from me never negotiated a price again.