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Set-up and the Salesman
By George Porter
A person I know works for a sewer cleaning company. He says
that when people call for his services it is his job to send a
crew out to fix the problem. None of his customers want any details
about what was stopping up their sewer line, they just want it
fixed. All he does is sell the jobs, he is not really interested
in how they do it or any of the other gory details about the job.
His customers are looking for results, not details.
Have you ever seen salesmen (or saleswomen) who have the same
attitude about set-up? It is done by people with dirty hands and
clothes who probably ride around in old trucks and that is just
not part of their world. Have you been to a good car dealer lately?
Every salesman knows all the parts of the vehicle, basically how
they work, and what is the benefit to the customer. What it takes
to make the car function is part of their training.
There are sales people and managers who's only knowledge of
set-up is what it cost and cheaper is definitely better. Cheaper
and faster both would be like a dream come true. It is as though
this was some sort of necessary evil, a mandatory overhead that
the customers demand. Then on top of that there is the state or
federal government trying to make it more complicated all the
time. If they could just sell the homes and let the customers
deal with this mess themselves they couldn't be happier.
I could be wrong but I believe that set-up is a product just
like the house. In fact the home is sort of a useless product
if it doesn't get set-up. You can sell set-up, you can make a
profit on set-up, you can generate more sales with set-up, you
can literately destroy the completion with set-up, and it can
put you out of business if you don't get it right. The days of
the travel trailer type sales organization in the manufactured
housing business are over. There are dealerships now that require
all salesmen to work in the service department for at least 2
months before they will allow them to take customers. They find
that this experience enables their sales staff to better help
their customers make decisions about lot preparation, location,
and pricing of the total package.
Customers are more knowledgeable these days and they want good
answers to hard questions. The sales people of today had better
be able to give in-depth answers to these questions. They had
better be right or the entire organization suffers when they are
not. At the least you wont get referrals and more sales, at the
worst, the dealership gets sued. Teach your sales people about
set-up before it is too late!