How to deal with a ‘Procrastinating Prospect’

84 years ago a member of the British parliament stated, “A friend recently told me that there is a Chinese curse… ‘May you live in interesting times.’ There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us.”

Can any of us deny that with COVID-19 we are living in “interesting times”? And yet… our cleaning and restoration industry must go on! In fact, many of our SFS Training graduates have tweaked their ‘first time caller’ procedures with my 3-step COVID-19 strategy! Curious?

1. Initial COVID-19 Phone Format- Click HERE for my ‘phone script’ to convince a ‘price shopping’ caller to let you do a ‘video pre-inspection’ (actually a ‘sales presentation’) of their home. Then…

2. HOW to do a video pre-inspection during COVID-19- Click HERE for the step-by-step of a ‘video walk-through’. And finally…

3. Booking the job after your video pre-inspection- Click HERE for my two ‘key video chat’ questions to close the sale!

Does my 3-Step “Make It Easy to Say YES” Closing the Sale Technique ALWAYS work? Sorry but NO!

NOTE: Even though you will be amazed how many jobs you will get by simply dumping your “Displacement Activities” and implementing the “Law of Large Numbers”! (Too many of us make a few, sporadic sales calls and then GIVE UP!)

Even after using your time-tested SFS Pre-inspection Format some prospects will reply: “Let me check with my husband/ boss/ claims manager, etc.” and your sale is DOA with this ‘Smoke Screen’ objection!

Smoke screen? Absolutely! You see, this “Let me check with…” response is almost always a ‘detour tactic’ to avoid the more accurate (but extremely adversarial) customer reply, “You are waaaaaay more expensive than the other guys!” What should you do?

You must tactfully reveal the true reason they are delaying so you can “NEGOTIATE”. (Isn’t this better than losing the job entirely?) Gently nudge your Reluctant Customer into the open by replying…

“I understand. But before I go let me ask you… does the way I have my recommendations written meet your projected budget?”

This reply has so many advantages…

1. “I understand.” (You are now on “common ground” with your PP.)

2. “But before I go…” (Don’t worry. This won’t take long.)

3. “… does the way I have my recommendations written…” (I absolutely am willing to “re-write” this proposal.)

4. “… meet your projected budget?” (The words “projected budget” depersonalizes the question into a simple and non-confrontational business transaction.)

The Magic Words you want to hear from your client? “Well, your price IS a bit more than I was expecting…” GREAT! You have “smoked out” their Hidden Objection!

Commercial/Restoration HINT: Your PP may hide behind the good, old “Let me check with my boss Charlie…” You simply reply: “I understand. But before I go what do you think Charlie will say about how I’ve written up my recommendations?” BINGO! (Click HERE for more commercial negotiating ideas.)

Now it is a simple matter of lowering the amount while also reducing the scope of the work! (Many times I made more profit per hour on the reduced amount than I would have made on the original proposal!)

(Click HERE for my ongoing series of how to ADAPT TO COVID-19.)

So HOW can you “negotiate down” while still keeping your profit margins up? Hmmm… sounds like I better come up with another QuickTIP!


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