March 2014
 
 

images

I sincerely appreciate the questions and commentary I regularly receive from my blog posts. Recently, Jon K., a pest control door-to-door salesman asked this:

“One of the hardest objections I overcome is when a customer says. “I don’t have any bugs”.  What are some of your win-win comebacks?”

Regardless of the product or service being sold, one of the most basic ‘win-win’ statements that can be made at first contact is that the potential customer already has what you are offering.

For example, if I begin my initial approach by introducing myself as “Lenny with Rove Pest Control and then proceed to say, “I’m sure you already have a pest control service but I was talking with the Johnson family next door and mentioning how several people have been switching over to Rove because of…” I have effectively established a ‘win-win’ statement by presuming the person already has what I’m selling.

If my assumption is correct, the potential customer cannot easily dismiss me by saying, “We already have a service” even though most people still reply in this regard. When they do, I simply say, “Of course, as I mentioned, most people already have a service in this neighborhood but what they are finding out is…”

Contrarily, if the potential customer responds by saying, “Actually, we don’t have a pest control service” you have effectively set the stage to explain why people in the area do subscribe to a pest control service. You might respond, “That’s perfect, I’m glad I stopped by then. The reason a lot of your neighbors are using our services is because…”

Effectively using ‘win-win’ statements gives you the chance to qualify more potential customers which of course gives you the opportunity to make more sales.

For more on ‘win-win’ statements, review Chapter 8 of Door-to-Door Millionaire: Secrets of Making the Sale

Thanks Jon…good luck!

 
 LennyGray
 1
 631
 
 
 

Vantage Super Saturday - Crowd 2

Last month I was invited to speak to a group of 400 anxious door-to-door sales reps (pictured above). An entire theater was packed mostly in anticipation to hear from the keynote speaker, Taysom Hill, the starting quarterback at BYU. Knowing that Taysom would be there and the Super Bowl was only a week away, I prepared a message that compared momentum swings of the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens to the daily momentum swings that effect sales reps.

Specifically I identified 3 aspects of sales that can create positive or negative momentum:

  1. In sales, every day is a new season. Oftentimes you will hear football coaches and players refer to the playoffs as a ‘new season.’ Meaning, if a team makes the playoffs, its regular season record becomes irrelevant. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens lost 4 of its last 5 regular season games which virtually gave them no momentum going into the playoffs. However, the team and coaches reminded themselves that the playoffs started a new season. Similarly, when a sales rep wakes up every morning he/she starts a new season and has 0 sales. The great sales reps go out each day to prove themselves despite any setbacks or successes of previous days. The day before my best selling day I sold 1 account which was far below my daily average of 7. However, I woke up the next morning and started the day with a fresh sense of optimism…it was a new season and my lack of production the day before didn’t matter.
  2. Distractions can be momentum killers. In the 2013 Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens had a 15 point lead and were receiving the ball to start the third quarter. Although halftime can oftentimes thwart momentum, the Ravens returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, increasing its lead to 22 points. It appeared the San Francisco 49’ers were finished, however, early in the third quarter the power went out in the Superdome which delayed the game for 34 minutes. Once the game resumed, the 49’ers scored 17 unanswered points and only trailed the Ravens by 5 points. The power outage killed the Ravens momentum. In sales it’s easy to get sidetracked by distractions. Phone calls, text messages, or other plans can derail positive momentum. I sold 23 accounts on my best selling day and on 2 occasions during that day I could have chosen to stop my positive momentum. The first door I knocked on I woke up a lady who wasn’t pleased with me being on her doorstep. It would have been easy for me to wait for another hour or so before continuing to knock on the doors of her neighbors, but I proceeded despite the setback. Then, towards the end of the day I called my wife to reschedule our evening plans knowing that if I stopped knocking I would start the next day with 0 sales and no momentum. Make the choice to eliminate the distractions you have control over while you are selling.
  3. Don’t stop positive momentum. In sales, it’s foolish to think you can stop positive momentum during one day and then pick up where you left off the next day. There is no question that the most difficult sale to make each day is the first sale. The second sale is easier to make than was the first sale, the third sale is easier to make than was the second sale, etc. Therefore, when you are making sales and there’s still daylight, don’t stop selling! It would make far more sense to stop selling during those days where sales aren’t being made, versus the days when you are in the zone. Could you imagine if a professional basketball player who was in the zone (making about every shot he takes) decided not to play in the 4th quarter? The same is to be said for sales reps that are having great days and then quit before the day is over. Think back to last year’s Super Bowl, had the power not went out, it’s likely the Baltimore Ravens would have continued to add to their lead and the final score may have looked more like the score of this year’s Super Bowl. When momentum is on your side, don’t stop!

Momentum will be a vital component to your success or lack thereof. Maximize the days when sales seem to come without much effort because these types of days may be few and far between. Make sure to make momentum work in your favor.

 
 LennyGray
 0
 559
 
January 2014
 
 

SixFigureDogBusiness

Last month I received an email from Ty Brown, owner of a successful dog training business and host of Six Figure Dog Business, a weekly radio show on Pet Life Radio. Unbeknownst to me, probably because I don’t own a pet, Pet Life Radio has over 5 million monthly listeners making it the largest pet radio network on the planet.

Having recently spoken to a neighbor whose contracting business is booming because of door-to-door sales, Ty began searching to find an expert on the topic and came across my book. We arranged a phone interview which aired as the 40th episode of his show.

The audio version of this interview can be found here:

http://www.petliferadio.com/sixfigure_player40.htm

Towards the end of the interview, Ty asked me a question that I get asked a lot:

“What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen made by salespeople?”

Being that I’ve observed hundreds of salespeople on the doors, I’ve noticed 3 Common Mistakes that are repeated over and over again. In fact, I witness these mistakes occurring daily by people in everyday conversation as well.

  1. Lack of Energy
  2. Bad Questioning
  3. Not Listening

To be successful as a door-to-door salesperson you have to be interesting. If you think you can interact with potential customers with the same energy level you typically interact with common acquaintances, you will find that sales are difficult to come by. Think of the doorstep as your stage and accept the role of an enthusiastic salesperson. However, on the flip side, be careful not to over-act your part either.

The questions you ask should help you gather information that will simplify the sales process. Asking yes/no questions will not accomplish this objective. Ask questions that will help you to find out more about the potential customer and their situation. Don’t get lazy in your questioning.

When you ask a question, listen intently to the potential customer’s response. Salespeople who develop routines often forget that each person they are attempting to sell is an individual with distinct needs and wants. Good listeners are able to cater the conversation to the person standing in front of them, making the sales process more natural.

Great communicators are passionate about their message, ask intuitive questions and listen intently to their audience. As you make improvements on these common mistakes, you’ll find it easier to have meaningful conversations and make more sales.

 
 LennyGray
 0
 596
 
 
 

red flag

With the inevitability of summer right around the corner, so too is the inescapable decision you must make concerning who you will knock doors for once you’ve completed your final exams.

Nowadays there are an overabundance of companies that hire door-to-door salespeople…which makes your decision on choosing which one to work for all the more difficult.

For 16 years I’ve observed trends of companies employing door-to-door salespeople which indicate if a sales rep is likely to have a bad experience and possibly not get paid for what they have earned. The following are red-flags that you should be aware of when determining what company to knock doors for this summer.

  • Red-Flag #1: How many sales reps are being hired per office? I recently met with a couple of prospective salesman for my own company and explained the differences between the opportunity to work for me versus another reputable company. As it turned out, the other company was hiring 30 sales reps in a city versus my company only hiring 15 sales reps for a city of comparable size. Many times companies that hire large sales teams are planning on a number of those they hire to quit. Kind of like the Hunger Games of door-to-door salespeople. If a company is overstaffing a market they are planning on attrition which means your decision to quit is playing right into their business model. Find a company where every sales rep is valued.
  •  Red-Flag #2: More sales reps generally equals less quality training. In direct relation to Red-Flag #1, company’s that hire large sales teams typically don’t have the infrastructure to provide quality training to each of its sales reps. Being that I’m the best option for training in my company, we never hire more sales reps than I have time to personally train before the summer and on the doors during the summer. The company you choose to work for should provide you with excellent trainers and training. Don’t settle for a watered-down version of training, your success as a sales rep should matter to your company as much as it matters to you.
  • Red-Flag #3: Who’s recruiting you? Be leery of companies that hire recruiters who have no ties to you once the summer begins. If your recruiter isn’t your manager or an owner in the company, they may only be interested in getting your signature and not your overall experience or success. Recruiters are notorious for painting the perfect picture of what your summer will consist of…lots of fun, sun and money. However, their omission of explaining the challenges and struggles of the job will not be appreciated once you realize these difficulties on your own. Recruiters get paid to recruit, managers and owners get paid when you perform.
  • Red-Flag #4: Was the hiring process too easy? Similar to Red-Flag #3, if a company hires you without a formal interview then they are probably just looking for warm bodies to fill positions. This mindset is common for company’s that hire large sales teams and plan on a certain percentage of sales reps quitting either before or during the summer. Company’s that are truly invested in your success will carefully and thoroughly interview you before offering you a job.
  • Red-Flag #5: Is the pay plan transparent? Before making your final decision on who you will work for, you must have a complete understanding of how the pay plan/commission structure works and specifically how chargebacks work. Chargebacks are commissions charged backed to sales reps if their customers cancel their agreement or refuse to pay for service. Some companies charge back a sales rep’s entire commissions, others only charge back a portion of commissions and some don’t charge back any commissions. Companies use their own discretion to determine if a customer is unlikely to pay for services depending on how delinquent they are on their payment. One company may chargeback accounts that are 30 days delinquent, while another company may only chargeback accounts that are 90 days or more delinquent. These numbers are subjective for each company so it is vital that you know exactly how chargebacks are determined. You should also pay close attention to the average contract value listed on the compensation plan. This number is often inflated and shows unlikely earnings based on selling a certain number of accounts.
  • Red-Flag #6: The sexy pick. To stand out and make themselves known in an industry, some companies use pomp and swag to make them appear to be the best option. Sales reps should realize that the dollars spent on this type of advertising is taking away from commission dollars that they will be earning. Sometimes it’s the sexy picks that end up not paying its sales reps because they’ve went over budget on their marketing ploys.

There is no question that you have a difficult decision to make…so don’t make it without doing your homework. You should know how long a company has been hiring door-to-door sales teams and talk with former salespeople of that company. Google reviews can also help you to decide whether or not the company you are considering will be a good fit for you.

If you have specific questions or comments you are welcome to click, ‘Contact Me’ at the top of this page and I’d be happy to respond. Best of luck in finding the right company for you and in your success this summer!

 
 LennyGray
 8
 853
 
December 2013
 
 

Bill

Earlier this month, Bill Porter, a legendary door-to-door salesman passed away at the age of 81. ABC’s 20/20, the prime time news magazine program, put together a feature story on Bill Porter in the late 90’s that changed my attitude and determination to becoming a successful door-to-door salesman.

The story can be viewed here on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8LnvfpeQDA

My favorite Bill Porter quote in the piece was when he responded to Bob Brown’s statement of dealing with rejection. Bill said, “You realize it’s the job, it doesn’t bother me.” Wouldn’t it be great if everybody had a similar attitude…just because your offerings or ideas aren’t accepted, shouldn’t mean that you become offended or feel that what you have to offer is less significant.

Throughout my years as a door-to-door salesman I would watch this piece as a reminder of how fortunate I was to be knocking doors and providing for my family. No matter how difficult of a day I was having, I would reflect on Bill’s story which served as an inspiration of resolution despite restrictions.

Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian reporter who originally wrote Bill’s story, stated so perfectly, “I think all of us want to think we have a little bit of Bill Porter in us. That’s one of Bill’s great features, is he’s a man really unspoiled by the times. This is a man from a different era, working in a world that really didn’t need a man like Bill Porter but what the world needs is not what Bill Porter is selling but Bill Porter himself.”

Thanks Bill…Rest In Peace.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/12/bill_porter_portlands_famed_do.html

 
 LennyGray
 1
 670
 
 
  •  
  • Follow by Email

    • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
    • We respect your email privacy
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.