Double your income in 60 seconds! Sounds ridiculous right? I mean, if increasing business was that easy you’d already have thought of it and EVERYONE would be doing it, right? Actually, no. In fact, you’d be astonished at how easy it is to increase income. It’s so simple that no one ever seems to do it! Before I give you the answer, let me share one old and a couple of recent experiences with you.
Several years ago I toured a very high-end Florida real-estate community with my wife. During the 45-minute tour the salesman on four occasions told us what he thought of “rich” people. (Apparently, as we told him we were looking for only a million dollar house, he did not think us one of the evil rich people!) He trashed the president (Bush), which I know was a popular sport back then, but he should have found out which way I leaned before doing it. To top it all off, at the end of the presentation, he said, “That’s it, no high-pressure sales here!” FINE, and there are no sales happening there either!
Recently, during a membership tour of an expensive golf property in the Midwest, I asked the membership director—who had only been in the position for 12 months—how long it took to play a round of golf. She replied that it took six hours (it should take under four). The owner, who was also in the meeting, rolled his eyes and about dug a hole in the floor. But no one in management had ever offered her sales training, and the saleswoman in question had NEVER read a sales book of any kind! (I asked. And, it’s no longer true, I’m glad to say.) Now, let’s stand by the golf pro shop counter in Texas as the phone rings, although it could just as easily be any business anywhere. “How much are your green fees?” says a voice on the other end.“Fifty bucks,” the man at the counter replies. The prospective player says, “Thanks,” and hangs up! Will he come? Will he call back? Will he spend his money with you or are you just going to let him go down the street?
Sales training for ALL your front line employees may not increase your business 100% but it will increase it significantly, even when just booking greens fees, taking orders, or selling coffee. And the increase will be staggering if you’re selling memberships, rooms, real estate, cars, or any high-ticket item! YOU CANNOT afford not to TRAIN your staff how to sell! Leads are too precious to waste! Let’s look again at our pro shop counter scenario and, instead of merely responding with a price, let’s take the conversation in a different direction. As a good salesperson, YOU, not the customer, MUST take control of the conversation.
Caller: How much are your green fees?
Golf Pro: My name is Andrew. Sir, may I ask yours?
Golf Pro: Fred, have you played our course before?
Golf Pro: Well, let me ask you something, Fred. Do you like
fast, smooth greens?
Golf Pro: Well-manicured tees and fairways?
Golf Pro: And a challenging layout that allows you to use every club in your bag, with five different sets of tees so you can pick the ones you’ll most enjoy?
Golf Pro: Great. Then I know you are going to love playing here at Wounded Frog. Were you looking for a morning or afternoon time?
Golf Pro: Great. I have a 12:30 slot—or would 1:50 be better
Caller: Err, 1:50.
Now, does changing the 60-second conversation to something like that produce more green fee revenue? YES; at least 20%–30% more and possibly significantly more!! Notice that once you engage the customer in a conversation, price is not asked again. This will work in upwards of 30% of your calls (of course, there are other scripts that get you beyond price). Is this approach for everyone? No; it’s only for those businesses that want to thrive and prosper even in a down economy, those businesses that know they must do more to get their share of the market and who realize that discounting alone is a path of doom! Sure, sometimes callers will go back to asking the price, but if you build some rapport and add some value before you tell them the price, sales will rise dramatically!
Change your focus from simply quoting a price to something that builds rapport or value first!
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