True Service Sells: The Tactical Process of Continuing the Sales Cycle

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2008
Author: Scott O’Neill
Page 69

True Service Sells
The Tactical Process of Continuing the Sales Cycle

By Scott O’Neill

Since garage doors have so many parts, they need servicing. Service calls can often lead to future business, or more than what was intended at the time. In tough market times, as we are experiencing now, service work can be more important than ever to fuel your sales.

Is your garage door company selling service? How?

Fix It or Ditch It?

A customer, Nancy S., called me the other day in a frenetic panic: “I just backed into my garage door. My husband’s going to go crazy. Can you come out right away?”

Empathetically I answered, “First off, don’t be too hard on yourself. This happens probably once a week.” She then slowed down and explained what had happened.

She had hit her steel sectional door between the bottom and second sections. Her initial thought was to have us “pound out” the dents.

I outlined her options, explaining that repairing was not a likely alternative. Replacing a pair of sections was feasible, but the cost would be relatively high, and she’d still have an entry-level door.

Damaged Doors Open New Doors

Nancy and her husband had bought the home just months earlier, and their intention was to stay long term. After I listed her service-repair options, I suggested replacing that door with a stronger one that also matches her home exterior.

She decided to buy a new insulated door and added windows with the idea of making the best of a bad situation. The new door was a better door and a nice visual improvement to her home.

From Complaints to Compliments

Charles T. was another case altogether. He called complaining that our service call last year on his very old one-piece door “wasn’t done right.” Fortunately, our service technician had wisely written down details when he did the service last year: “Door is warped ... may need replacing soon ... also, hardware bent.”

This was the exact detail that I needed to explain that the warping would never go away, even with new hardware. Another service call, I said, might not be wise. I explained that new hardware would be expensive, and these old one-piece doors are difficult to adjust and lack the safety features of sectional doors.

He got it! “Well, I do have grandchildren who come to visit, often playing around the garage area.”

I offered a little explanation about how the hinging of those old doors works. That was all he needed to make him consider replacing that dangerous old door. Within two weeks, he called back and had us replace that door with a safer steel sectional door.

Service Leads to ... More Service!

What about those cases in which the door simply requires a repair?

Vickie T. had one of my technicians out to adjust her 20-year-old wood sectional door because of “sticking.” When there, he noticed that the sections were still in really great shape, probably because of little exposure to weather.

Since we’ve been her garage door company for 30 years, she trustingly asked, “This door is getting up there in age. Should I replace it?”

Because of the door’s great condition and her tenacity in keeping it properly maintained, he honestly told her he would just keep it! He then performed the service, was paid, and away he went.

The Rest of the Story

But the story doesn’t end there. Later that day, I got a call from her husband, who said, “I love you guys. You are honest and didn’t try to sell her something we didn’t need. I just cannot say enough about your company in today’s untrustworthy age. Thank you, thank you!”

A week later, two more folks on the same street called me, mentioning the specific recommendations by Vickie and her husband. One bought a new garage door operator from us, and the other is considering a custom garage door.

What’s the moral of our stories?

True service is providing your customers with patience, honesty, and long-term solutions. This kind of service will build your business now and well into the future.

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