Sales Integrity in a Hurried World

© 2006 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2006
Author: Scott O’Neill
Page 74

Sales Integrity in a Hurried World

By Scott O’Neill

Today’s fast-paced world has changed the sales process. We have sped up the process and often eliminated important steps that ensure satisfied customers who get what they need.

A responsible garage door sales professional will practice ways to ensure that the sales process is carried out with integrity before, during, and after the sale. Are you?

Before the Sale: Asking Questions

First off, when a customer calls and asks for an estimate, how are you handling that call? Are you simply getting their name and address and just sending someone out? Are you just providing them with what they ask for, without probing deeper?

My suggestion is to ask questions to find out their needs. Who is going to use the garage door? For what purpose? How long do they expect this door to last?

A Call From Iris

For example, a woman named Iris recently called me for a garage door. I learned that she planned on living in her home for another year, and then might rent it out for five years.

Would a non-insulated steel door fit that application, knowing that the future renter(s) and their conditions are unknown? The possibilities for activities, amount of use, care, and other conditions could make for a hasty decision, so I let her know that.

When I asked her if she understood the strength of insulated steel doors, her response was merely, “I don’t need insulation!” I then explained how thin the steel is, and how bonding insulation against the steel can really make a strength difference. It got her asking more questions.

During the Sale: Touch and Feel

Iris thought it might be worth looking at an insulated door. She came into our showroom the next day, where I pointed out the door’s strength and some design options that might suit her home well. After hitting the door with her hand, she immediately remarked how much stronger the insulated door seemed.

She then mentioned that she was sick and tired of hoisting up the old door. I asked if she planned on using an opener for this new door, but she said she didn’t want to spend the extra money.

I countered that it would add a modest amount of expense, lessen the chance of throwing the cables, and especially benefit her if she rented out the house. I added that she might mention the automatic door to her future rental prospects, making the rental more enticing. She liked that a lot!

Iris ended up ordering a modestly priced, mid-level insulated door with two sides of steel. It wasn’t my best door, but it fit the bill for her needs, and I got the sale. And she did opt for that operator as well, based on my recommendations.

After the Sale: Follow Up

We installed that door and operator last week. She called me yesterday to tell me how the installation went.

“Everything was installed and runs great,” she said. “And can I just say to you, Scott, how much I really do appreciate the extra time you took to explain these concerns …” She went on for quite some time about how happy she was.

I thanked her as well, and offered her painting advice for her son who would be custom-painting the door to match the house. And a card is in the mail with my business card for future reference.

The Lesson: Speed Kills

Yes, all these extra little and large details added some time to the sales process. When Iris first called, I could’ve just given her a couple prices over the phone, and went on with my busy day.

Instead, the sale was much more fruitful when I took the time to show genuine concern for her situation and to meet all of her needs. As a result, we earned the sale of a new door, a new operator sale, and we gained a satisfied customer who will likely come back in the future.

Better yet, I gained some pride in a job well done and differentiated myself as a salesperson with integrity.

Scott O’Neill has been in the garage door business since 1986 and a sales manager since 1992 at Madden Door, Martinez, Calif.