Sell Naked, Then Put Your Clothes Back On To Get Your Product Samples
I bet the title captured your attention and curiosity. I’m glad because I think selling naked is an important consideration if remodeling contractors want to (1) differentiate themselves and their businesses from other contractors, (2) be strategic about who they will get referred to in the future and (3) make more money in the process.
I recently discussed selling naked with a great group of remodelers who were attending an event call a “Remodeler Summit” sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors and held at their Warroad MN Training Center. During the two days I spent with these remodelers I shared the theory of selling naked and used what they learned about Marvin products and product options to help them take advantage of the three benefits I listed above. The discussion went over well so I thought I’d share it here on my blog with you.
First some set up and then we’ll discuss 1, 2 and 3
Don’t take me literally and show at up your next sales call without any clothes on. When I refer to selling naked I am suggesting that you do not take any product samples in with you when you go to a sales appointment. Rather, before you bring anything in to show your prospect, spend time to find out what your prospect wants, why they want it and what they need to see to confirm you have what they want. Then, if you have the right sample or information in your vehicle, go get exactly what you have that you feel will serve your prospects’ purposes and desires for why they are remodeling to begin with and try to close the deal. If you have to get something other than what you brought with you, don’t try to close the deal yet. Schedule a return visit to do so as soon as possible.
Marvin Windows Remodeler Summit Attendees, August 2013
This strategy is important because prospects only need one reason to say no. If for example, they want a high performance window product, but you start out showing them a low end product, (or vice versa) they might just shut down right away. They might be thinking the window sample you brought in is the only one you sell and as a result they may think you will try to convince them to buy something they don’t want. That’s a reason to say no!
Differentiate yourself and your business from other contractors
Selling naked will definitely make you stand out! Doing so forces the salesperson to have a thoughtful and meaningful conversation with the prospect. On the other hand most contractors make the false assumption that their prospects only want to save money. This may be true, but what if they want the new windows to help them save money after they are installed. That being the case they may want more expensive windows. For example, baby boomers may want windows that will last them through their retirement years without the need to replace them ever again in their lifetime. Or maybe they want windows that will help them reduce their energy costs for heating and or cooling when they are on a fixed retirement income. Also, if they haven’t considered the long term benefits of a better window, selling naked helps keep their attention on the discussion you are having instead of the product sample.
They may not know it yet but you are doing them a favor by selling naked!
Be strategic about who you will get referred to in the future
By practicing the art of selling naked you will, over time, start to see a change in who buys from you, and even more importantly, who you get referred to by those who buy from you. People who buy on value rather than price usually hang around with other people just like them. Use selling naked to help you find prospects and sell to customers who want solutions rather than low price. Selling naked can help you find people who value a trusted adviser, people who want someone who can help them buy what they really need, not try to convince them of what they need. If you do get referred be sure to ask the prospect what the referring party said that motivated them to contact you. That’s probably a great place to start when you show up naked at their home!
Make more money in the process
When I owned my remodeling business it was always my experience as a salesperson that when prospects really understand their options for solving their problems they spend more money than they originally thought they would. Armed with good information they stay away from the low cost options. If, as a contractor, you markup up all your labor and materials by the same markup percentage, then material intensive jobs bring in more gross profit than jobs with a low cost for the required materials. Selling a more expensive window and or adding options to windows that help make them solutions to the prospect’s purpose in replacing their windows means more money on every job, often without needing any more labor to do so.