“Listen to what potential customers’ issues are. Sell a product that solves a problem and your product will sell itself.”
Whether you’re running service calls or chasing new sales, you’re always selling a solution, not a product. Jerry Hanessian, Principal for New Construction at ServiceTitan, shares how listening to people and identifying problems unlocked profitability throughout his career. Hanessian talked about the techniques that have helped him earn more than $200 million during a virtual session during Pantheon 2020, ServiceTitan’s annual conference for the trades. Here are key takeaways:
1. Sell by solving a customer’s problem.
“In my first job, I was selling vacuum cleaners door to door and asking people if they wanted to buy one,” Hanessian says. “Doors were getting slammed in my face.”
He says when he finally figured out how to stop just asking for a sale and started inquiring what problems people had with their vacuums that he could solve, sales began to build.
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2. Take customers off the market with recurring sales calls.
Keeping in touch with current customers is a way to earn their trust, which can lead to discovering ways you can help them by upselling or recommending best practices.
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“When I saw that one customer had a number of recurring service needs, I looked at her history and noticed her unit was 23 years old,” he says. “Since she knew me and trusted me, I was able to recommend that she buy a new unit. She did and everybody was happy.”
3. Train your team to be “virtual technicians.”
Most techs don’t like to be salespeople, Hanessian says. They usually enter a home and go straight to work. That’s leaving dollars on the table.
“I train them to be virtual technicians and to look around the house for upgrade possibilities,” he says. “I tell them that they are using their professional expertise to solve problems, not to sell customers.”