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Sales Training - Stay on Top of Sales Leads

By Steven J. Schmidt

I have always been a big fan of trying to close the deal while you are at the door or business if you can, of course. However, if you cannot close the deal, or if the customer really refuses to make the decision at the time you're there, then you need to come back later, which would be one type of lead. And, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all; in fact, a lot of sales that professionals get are generated through leads.

I have had multiple leads turn into very solid deals. Earlier in my career, I was knocking on doors residentially and spoke to this future customer. The services that I was offering were cleaning windows, power washing, unclogging gutters and installing gutter protection. I told him, "I'm here to give you a free estimate, and it will only take me a few minutes. We offer window cleaning, along with unclogging gutters." He responded, "Well I would be interested in having the windows cleaned; unfortunately I just had them cleaned two weeks ago."

Instead of pushing further or giving up, I replied, "No problem at all, and I don't think you want your windows cleaned twice. However we also power wash. Is that something you need?" The customer replied, "As a matter of fact, yes I do, and let me show you what I need done."

I walked around the perimeter of his house, and he wanted all of his gutters power washed. This gentlemen had over 500 feet of gutters, which is a lot for a residential house. A normal three-bedroom house usually has around 120 feet of gutters. So, that give you an idea of how much gutters he actually had.

I came back to him and gave him a price, and told him that we can get the job done whenever he wants us to do it. I tried to be a bit pushy, but he said, "Why don't you write me up an estimate with a few references and send it in the mail to me."

I went home and wrote up the estimate, and I mailed it to him on a Thursday. I called him that Monday to make sure that he received it. You have to stay on top of your business when it comes to solid leads. He called me the following day, and we booked a day and a price of $900 to clean his gutters.

Another day, I had a very nice lady, whom I explained to that I was in the neighborhood giving out free estimates. She told me she wanted her windows cleaned and power washing done on her siding and porch. I said, " I completely understand, just give me a few minutes to walk around your house and then I'll give you a price once I'm done."

I came back and I gave her a price, and she was very interested and kept saying, "I need to have this done, so my place looks much better." I responded, "OK, why don't we book a day and we will make it look beautiful." She replied, "I want to have this done, but I have to run this by my husband."

I tried to negotiate and offered her a discount for booking on that day, but she insisted that she had to run it by her husband. I wasn't going to disuade her without losing the sale, so I said, "No problem, let me take your information down and I'll call you in a few days if I don't hear from you. How does that sound?"

I called her in a few days, and booked a window cleaning and power washing job for $450. The interesting part is that when I called her back, she told me, "I was meaning to call you, but it slipped my mind. I talked to my husband, and he is as interested as I am." This just goes to show you that you need to get the customer's information and stay on top if they show even the slightest bit of interest.

You can build as much value as you want, but if they are not ready to make the commitment at the door or on the phone, they are just flat out not ready. However, that is why you must take the information down, because as long as you leave a good taste in their mouth, they will bite, and it'll turn into a sale, just like mine did!

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