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Southwest HVAC News Guest Column

If This Were My Mothers House
By Mark Matteson
When someone I trust and believe, say a technician that comes into my home or business says to me, “What I would do is...” or “If it were me, I would...” I really listen. Hey, that’s what I said when I was a Chimney Sweep to my residential customers in my early twenties. It’s what I said when I was an HVAC technician in my late twenties to building owners. It’s what I tell my audiences when I speak about the value of reading good books and keeping a journal. I spoke in the first person, honestly, authentically and sincerely. What followed was why my close ratio was over 75%...detachment.

Detachment sounds like this, “If this were my mother’s house, this is what I would tell her. But hey, its your house (or building), you do what you think is best. I gotta go!” Detachment is a honest yet assertive indifference. There is no quiet desperation or smarmy manipulation. Its simply your opinion. It’s what you would tell your mother. Hey, who would give a raw deal to their mother? No one I know.

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If you think about it, no one likes to be sold. We like to buy. It has to be our decision. Give me the information, raise my awareness with tact and compassion, offer a few choices, and then shrug your shoulders as if you didn’t care which option I chose. I especially like, “Talk it over with your wife...” or “Give some thought to what makes sense to you...I’ll be back in touch.” Then smile, leave and get back to them in a couple of days. That’s what I like.

Professional persistence is following up when you say you will, via text, email or voice mail (or all three) with that same detachment in your voice. Remind me but don’t stalk me. You are not Ben Stiller, she is not Cameron Diaz in “Something About Mary” so be a pro. Listen to the nuances in their voice and read their body language signals. What is the subtle subtext, the unspoken implication?

Sales is simple. TRUST, RELATIONSHIPS, COMPETENCE, TIMING and FOLLOWUP. Build the TRUST by keeping your word, asking open ended questions and listening; Form the RELATIONSHIP by being considerate and flexible; Do your job by fixing it right the first time thereby demonstrating COMPETENCE; when its time to ask for the sale it’s a
TIMING issue and by all means FOLLOW UP by being assertive and asking for the sale.

Five simple steps.
Earl Nightingale once wrote, “If integrity didn’t exist someone would most certainly invent it as the fastest way to become rich.” He was right. I need to call my mother...

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