Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Builders Don't Want to Hear This From Their Factory Sales Rep

Modular home builders have salespeople assigned to them by their factories.  In most cases these people are professional in their B2B skills.  When a factory changes sales people or reassigns yours to another territory and you get a new one, you just have to wait and see if he or she are going to be as professional as your last person or are they going to implode.

Here are some phrases that are dead giveaways that your new sales rep might be less than what you had hoped for.  If you hear them say any of these lines, you probably shouldn’t add them to your Christmas card list as they won’t be around that long.

  1. "I was just in the area and thought I’d drop by."  Are you serious!  The professional I am trusting to help me with quotes, orders and service issues has nothing better in the world to do right now than just “drop by” to see me?  If you are not doing business with me already I am probably thinking who is this guy?  Why is he here and how do I get rid of him as quickly and politely as possible.  Unless we really are buddies, don’t just drop by unless you are only expecting to leave something I am expecting with my secretary.  Trust me; she already knows to tell you I am in a meeting, and that if I am interested I will call back.  If I really am expecting something from you she knows that too.  Don’t try to fool her.  She hates that!
  2. "Have you got a minute?"  No I don’t!  I am busy, and I have 100 other things I could be doing.  In my opinion I think you are better off trying to engage me than to give me the easy out and slit your own throat.  If I am too busy to talk believe me I WILL let you know.
  3. "I’ll try."  I really hate this one.  I only want to know what you will or can do not what you will TRY to do.  If you are not confident enough to say you can do it, do not mention it to me.  I would much rather hear, give me 24 hours to do some research on that and I’ll get back to you than I’ll try.
  4. "I’m really not sure."  Again, your default answer should be “give me x hours or days to do some research and I’ll get back to you.  This answer tells me you do not know the answer, but you are taking my concern or issue seriously and want to help.  I am really not sure is not the answer of the confident professional.
  5. "Its not my fault."   Like it or not you are most likely my only contact in the modular factory; everything that goes wrong is your fault.  Even if it isn’t, it is still your issue to fix.  The best way to deal with this is to apologize, and take the most serious and immediate corrective action as soon as possible.  More importantly let me know what it is you are doing to fix it, and how you will prevent future issues of this nature.
  6. "What would I have to do to get you to place that order today?"   This phrase screams “I am a slimy salesman!” and any rapport you have built with this builder is eroding quickly from this point forward.  Don’t you think I want to place that order today?  Just because your Sales Manager is breathing down your neck doesn’t mean that my customer can speed up their loan application, building permit, color selections, etc.
  7. "What you need is…"  Unless you are my Dad or a trusted friend, I think this phrase should be avoided.  I don’t use it with my customer.  If I call you with a problem, and we have been doing business for years, and you are intimately familiar with my issues it may be OK, otherwise, present me with options and let me pick.  I am the ultimate decision maker along with my customer as to what it is I need.
  8. "Trust me."   If you feel the need to tell me this, I am starting to wonder why and will usually assume I shouldn’t. Trust is like love.  It’s built over time and the only way to gain it is to earn it.

I hope this list is useful to you. I know everyone has a list of things they hate to hear their sales rep.  I would love to see you share some of those thoughts by leaving comments below.  

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