After two months of knocking doors selling pest control contracts he was at 19 accounts, and quite frankly I was ready to give up on him. His manager had thrown in the towel and told me because he couldn’t figure out how to help him, he was going to quit training him.
On July 1, I spent an hour on the doors with this rep hoping to figure out what it would take to help him. After watching him attempt to sell three potential customers I was appalled at the basic mistakes he was making.
First of all, every one of his initial approaches was identical. “Hi, I’m ______ with Rove Pest Control, how are you doing today?” Then he’d continue, “That’s great…the reason I’m in your area today is we’re letting people know that we’re going to have a truck in the area tomorrow to service homes for some of those ants and spiders…”
He suffered from the classic case of ‘The Robot’ as I’ve identified as one of the ‘Three Deadly Sins of Sales’ in my book, Door-to-Door Millionaire.
Second, which is a product of ‘The Robot,’ he made no attempt to break the ice with any potential customer even when the perfect opportunity presented itself. A woman was pulling weeds in her yard and instead of approaching her by saying something like, “I’m going to make a deal with you, I’ll finish your yardwork if you’ll finish my job for me…” he proceeded as he had done at the other doors, “Hi, I’m ______ with Rove Pest Control, how are you doing today?”
The worst part…after we stopped knocking doors and I asked him why he kept using the same initial approach he said, “I thought all of our approaches were supposed to be the same.” And then when I asked him why he wasn’t breaking the ice with people he said, “I am! I asked everybody I talk to how they were doing.”
I responded, “You’re kidding me right? Haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve been teaching?” I then coached him for about 20 minutes and told him he had two weeks to start selling consistently or he’d be going home. In his own words, here’s what happened when I left:
“I’m not going to lie, I cried. It was hard because I thought I had swagger and then you came in and told me how I was wrong. So I used your advice for the next few houses and focused on just talking with people, not pitching them and BAM I got a sale!”
And he’s had many more sales since our time together. In fact, yesterday he sold 4 accounts…his all-time best, and he will finish this month with over 20 accounts serviced. His confidence is sky-high!
Here are three important lessons from this experience:
- The sales rep deserves most of the credit for being humble enough to take my advice and use it as motivation.
- Every sales rep learns at different speeds. Trainers and managers need to exercise patience when training their reps.
- With the proper training, anybody who works hard and wants to improve can sell.
This is exactly what my consulting company, D2D Millionaire is all about. We teach owners and managers how to maximize the potential of every one of their sales reps.
You can also visit my website HERE.
Opportunity is Knocking…Answer the Door!