People who are there for a reason are comfortable talking to field technicians because they are working. Some other person had taken the first action – contacted you and hired your company to do the work. It’s easy for them to follow someone else’s lead. Another reason is their first point of contact is a tradesperson (who could be your direct employee or subcontractor) rather than a salesperson. Often, prospects are more comfortable initially speaking with a tradesperson to gain general information, without having to potentially be subjected to a hardcore sales pitch.
Indeed, potential buyers are generally looking for the easiest ways to satisfy their buying needs. This could go one of two ways. Maybe the potential buyer searches the Internet and narrows down the vast choices of kitchen and bath firms (which may or may not include your business). They speak to someone on your sales team and agree to an appointment, where they might or might not feel pressured by the sales process.
Alternatively, they might stop by a job, on their own time and terms, and have a casual conversation with one of your field technicians.
The second circumstance is the easiest, both for the potential lead and for the salesperson. Salespeople can sometimes be perceived as having an agenda, where tradespeople in a non-sales role are often viewed as more likely to be offering information that benefits the buyer. As a salesperson, let that possible perception work in your favor while always striving to be seen as someone who also works to benefit the buyer, not just close the sale.
Small and large businesses alike can benefit by implementing this approach for their field technicians. How effective this sales tool could be will depend on what products and services you provide. You’ll also need to think of the best ways to implement this method, relevant to your specific needs.
The key is to get your entire field staff sales motivated. To do that effectively, you need to provide an incentive. You could offer a flat rate on jobs closed where the field tech initiated the lead, or perhaps a percentage of the commission, or bonus of some sort. Regardless of the incentive, get something implemented right away and watch the potential prospects line up!
Bryan Reiss, CKD, CBD, is an award-winning designer who serves as partner owner/president for Charleston, SC-based Cabinet Concepts. Reiss, a 15-year veteran of the kitchen and bath industry, is an active member of the Carolina Chapter of the NKBA who specializes in sales innovations and business stabilization.