What contractors should know about fear, doubt

Dec. 1, 2011
The reason why so many contractors aren’t reaching their financial goals, or worse, going out of business, is because sales training is the most undertrained skill in the industry. Why is this so? Most contractors fear it like the plague. They believe it will turn their team of caring and trusted professionals into a band of thieves.

Aspiring, young contractors going into business for the first time are filled with hope, enthusiasm and excitement. Visions of living extraordinary lives fill their heads and every fiber of their souls; their burning desire for success is unrelenting. Then, reality comes crashing down on them like a ton of bricks. For most, it's a long, arduous road that seldom leads to the success they seek. For those few who have reached their goals, they've come to realize the road to their dreams is paved with training … lots and lots of training.

Many contractors spend their entire lives learning their trade, but few know how to turn that knowledge into revenues. Fancy, graphic-wrapped vehicles equals leads, not sales. State-of-the-art warehouses equals efficiency, not sales. Many contractors invest vast amounts of time, energy and money on issues that, from the surface, appear to be the solution for low revenues, but soon learn they do little for improving the bottom line. The absolute most important aspect for increasing your company's profits rests on one issue: What are your employees doing with the valuable leads you're giving them?

If you're determined to learn the secret the most successful contractors all share, then stop searching. The secret is their employees are expertly trained to sell. There isn't a single issue in any company that can't be solved if there's money to throw at it. Money comes from making sales, period!

The reason why so many contractors aren't reaching their financial goals, or worse, going out of business, is because sales training is the most undertrained skill in the industry. Why is this so? Most contractors fear it like the plague. They believe it will turn their team of caring and trusted professionals into a band of thieves.

The fast-talking salesman, the "I'm going to pull the wool over your eyes and sell you things you don't even need" con-artist has given sales a bad rap.

Making sales isn't about pushing customers into buying things they don't need or want. It's about learning what they like and what excites them. It's about offering them solutions that will make their lives more enjoyable and more convenient. It's about sharing the latest industry breakthroughs to save them money. The bottom line is it's about thrilling your customers beyond their expectations. That's what highly trained employees will do for your clients and your business.

Ripping off customers is the farthest thing from their minds because well-trained employees understand the incredible value in building long-term relationships. Not only does the repeat business generate several times more revenue, but it also keeps technicians and salespeople busy during the slow seasons; reduces the time spent on future visits because rapport has already been built; generates massive referrals; and greatly reduces marketing costs.

Focus on these issues
So, here are the issues to focus on: maximizing your leads, the slow-season debacle, lack of referrals and exorbitant customer acquisition costs.

How do you think your business would look if employees didn't have their blinders on when visiting clients? You know, when they only see the one problem at hand and they miss the dozen other opportunities to generate business. How would your bank accounts look if they maximized every lead?

The dreaded slow season; when you have to send employees home because there’s no work or worse, you've got high-paid technicians sweeping the shop to give them some hours. Now imagine being swamped all year long. That's because your well-trained employees anticipated the slow down and planned for it by informing clients they'll return to work on other issues in the home or business.

Nearly every contractor gripes about the lack of referrals. Getting referrals isn't about asking for them, so, I'll save you and your employees a lot of grief by giving you the secret to unlimited referrals: only thrilled customers give referrals. If your employees haven't been trained on the twelve steps for delivering the VIP treatment, forget about referrals. Think about it, would you refer a friend, neighbor, or family member when the service delivered was mediocre? Awesome service in this industry is rare; hence the lack of referrals.

Did you know for every thrilled customer, they will give you a minimum of three lava-hot referrals? Is your mind racing with all the possibilities for reducing customer acquisition costs and gaining greater exposure? When it comes to marketing, nothing can compete with the power of referrals.

Business owners constantly preach to their employees to get out of their comfort zones and that change is good. Unfortunately, fear, doubt and anxiety are the roadblocks to change. They are also the barriers between you and your success. Sorry to say, but many contractors also share the same fate and fall victims of "the way I've always done it."

As the saying goes, if you continue to do what you're doing, you'll continue to get what you're getting. If you desire change, if you want to start living the life you've always dreamed of, make it happen today. Don't let another day pass without making a move towards your goals. Give your employees the tools they need to make themselves, your company and you successful. After all, don't you [and your clients] deserve it?

Randall Murphy is the CEO or Apex Training. The website offers state of the art online training for technicians. Visit his website at: www.apextraining.org.

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