With winter upon us and many companies are experiencing the seasonal slowdown. The fear of not having enough work probably kicked in several weeks ago. The results are to look very closely at what is scheduled. Breaking even is foremost on our minds; the checkbook gets hidden so it can’t be used unnecessarily. The culture of our company changes into survival mode, and what it will take to get through the next few months becomes a major topic.
The companies that make it through winter the best are the ones that understand (and train) that we all need to chip in. The field must take advantage of the opportunities to sell Additional Work Orders (AWOs). Our salespeople get a small window of time to meet the customer, bond and rapport, go over the scope of work to be done, sell their company as one of the best and eliminate the competition. In many cases, they come away with a contract that has the opportunity to built-in.
Crew leaders have a golden opportunity to sell additional work. In many cases, they are in a better position to sell than our salespeople. Why? Crews in the field get to bond with the customer over an extended period of time. They bring to life the picture that our sales department painted of what our company can and will do. For a period of time, the crew becomes part of the customer’s family. The crew is trusted with a key and expected to lock up at the end of each day. Customers are wowed by the transformation of their home. As a result, they are more inclined to add more work. All the Crew Leader has to do is ask! Remember, people like to buy from people they like, trust and respect. Ladies and Gentlemen: let the hunt begin.
Three Important Questions That We Must Always Ask Our Customers:
- Was there any additional work you had hoped to ask your estimator?
- Did you know we also do _______________?
- Who do you know of your family and friends that would benefit from our services? ( the key is to make it open-ended)
Practice these questions often, with yourself or with someone else. Roleplay them during Crew Leader meetings. Having practiced them, you will find them much easier to say when the real game is on. Done well, you will find yourself with raving fans as customers and a little extra breathing room during these tough months.
Luck of the Irish to you and your team!