Creating success through sales isn’t a mystery formula. Lawrence Castillo, Regional Manager of Southern California for Rooter Hero Plumbing, sits down with Tall Paul and Chris to lay out what makes a salesperson effective, key metrics you need to be successful, his thoughts on sales trainers, and what it takes to create a sales process that will help you take your business to the next level.
With over 20 years in the residential HVAC/plumbing industry, and experience as GM of three companies with 150+employees and 100+ vehicles, Lawrence knows exactly what it takes to foster masterful processes and procedures in the trades. Whether you’re a selling technician, a manager, or even a GM, Lawrence has advice for success you can apply to your business today.
Sales is the lifeblood of a business, and the market is saturated with sales trainers and systems designed for trade companies. Each trainer packages what they feel is a better way to do sales, and it might work for some. Lawrence notes, however, that going back 30 years to what Ron Smith and Jon Abrams taught, not a lot has changed. Many extremely successful salespeople are still following the same template decades later.
The wheel hasn’t been reinvented, and if you’re using a variety of tools in your process from all of these sources chances are you’re doing pretty well. In all likelihood, you don’t need to write a big check and have someone sit on site for months telling you how to run calls. Watch your metrics like time spent on site and revenue per lead, and room for improvement will make itself known.
How much time is too much time spent in the home? According to Lawrence, that’s the wrong question to ask when evaluating this important metric. In fact, too little time is one of the biggest reasons for unsuccessful sales. If you aren’t in the home for at least an hour, there’s simply no way to build value and connect with your customer. The process of getting to know your client and getting them to like you can’t be forced, and certainly can’t be artificial. Spending a minimum of 90 minutes naturally creating a real, genuine relationship is how you set yourself up for a successful sales visit.
For Lawrence, it always starts in the call centers and the dispatch. It’s where opportunities are missed and miscategorized. Dispatchers are controlling the fate of your business. Whoever is answering your phones holds the key! Your involvement as an owner in the dispatchers has to be heavy, and daily. Make sure calls are booked properly, going to the right people, and not missed.
Secondly, the structure and procedures of the company are your backbone. There has to be clear communication and effective structure, procedures, accountability, and discipline. Changing processes and getting team members to buy into a new system is hard but absolutely necessary for success. It all starts with the leaders. An owner is a reflection of the business, and having a management team that enforces process and procedures makes a huge difference in a well-maintained operation.
Lastly, you need to have a great process and follow it every single time. When was the last time you wrote down your process? Find out where you’re having problems and correct them. A written plan on how to run a call is a written plan on how to make money.
Your non-negotiables should be a clean truck, the right uniform, and the right mindset. At Rooter Hero, Lawrence trains his sales team to build value, make a friend, create urgency, handle objections, close, and post-close. And that process never changes.
His techs are out of the truck in 60 seconds or less. They show up to the door with no tools and knock. Remember, strangers ring the bell and friends knock! Once they’re in the door, they prepare the customer for 5-star service. Techs should set a great level of expectation, and that happens right on the doormat. It’s vital to get the customer involved and educate them. Show them your hard work, and they’ll understand why they paid and feel the impact of the service. Let them see what you’re going through. That shows off your effort and expertise and builds an authentic relationship that builds the foundation to suggest additional or continued services.
We’ve never had an opportunity to build value like today. You may not be able to stand within 6 feet but you have more in common with your customers than ever. We all have a story to tell right now, and recognizing this common ground will allow you to foster a true connection with your customers during this time.