The Secret of Making Prospects Like You

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"Never miss a good chance to shut up."“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Will Rogers

There’s something you need to know about me… I’m really a roofing salesman. I don’t just write about how to sell roofs for a living. Everything I know, I learned from actually doing it.

I found myself in an all-too-familiar situation yesterday. If you’re like I am, you’ll relate to this story all too well…

My phone rang early in the morning while having breakfast with my wife at our favorite little breakfast spot. On the other line was a sweet lady from East Texas. She was very concerned about her Mother’s mobile home located South of Fort Worth. The mobile home had been leaking and she wasn’t sure what to do about it.

As fate would have it, her Mother’s mobile home was right around the corner from where I was eating breakfast. I assured her that I would be there within the hour to check on her Mother’s roof.

When I got to the mobile home park, I quickly found the right lot# (it was the mobile home with the roof that looked like an elephant sat on it in several places). I knocked on the door and was met by a beautiful, sweet Grandma. She invited me in and she started talking…

We Didn’t Talk About The Leak

Nope! She didn’t want to talk about the leak in her roof that her daughter had just urgently called me about only minutes ago.

She wanted to talk about her 95 year old Father who had passed away 5 months ago. She lived with him in that same mobile home until the day he died. She told me all about him… how he lived, how he died. He was a good man — hard working and loved by everyone.

Most importantly, that man was dearly loved by the woman telling me about her Daddy. That man was the most important thing in life to her. It was my honor to hear her tell me all about him. By the time she finished, I felt like I knew him too.

Never Miss a Good Opportunity to Shut Up

You’ve been reading this story hoping to find out The Secret of Making Prospects Like You and I’m about to tell you, but 1st let me tell you how I almost blew it yesterday.

As my prospect was approaching the end of her story about her Father, she finally started talking about the roof… well, kinda. What she told me was that her Daddy had always taken care of the roof. He went up there and rolled on epoxy to keep it from leaking, but he used to have a metal roof on it…

If you’re any kind of roofing salesman, that’s where you would jump in: “… he used to have a metal roof…”

That was my opening…

Time to jump in, right?

We all know the pros and cons of a metal roof. My instincts told me that I should jump in and talk about the cons of owning a metal roof. If you’re selling against a metal roof, you want to talk about how loud they are or the fact that you can’t get good cell phone reception under a metal roof. Isn’t that what you would do?

Right before I opened my big mouth, she said, “I always loved the way the rain sounded when it fell on that old metal roof. It was so comforting to hear the pitter, patter of the rain.”

Time For The Big Secret

Selling isn’t really a hard job once you get your prospect talking. You need momentum to make a sale. If they aren’t talking, you don’t have any momentum.

With a little training and self-control, you’ll learn how to steer the momentum of a conversation into a contract almost every single time. Besides, you can’t steer something that isn’t moving. Keep that in mind next time your prospect wants to talk about everything except the roof.

Finally, prospects aren’t stupid!

They know why you’re there. They didn’t forget that you’re there to sell them a new roof. What they’re really doing while they’re talking about everything under the sun except what you want to talk about is trying to figure out if you’re the person they want to buy from.

The Secret of Making Prospects Like You is to like what is important to your prospect.

Once your prospect decides that you value what they value (e.g. their kids, dog, hobby, home, car, job, a competent roofer, whatever!)you’ll feel a noticeable change in the atmosphere of your conversation.

Your prospects body language will change. They will look you in the eye. They’ll uncross their arms and face directly toward you revealing that they are now open to you. It is now time for you to skillfully steer the conversation toward your chosen destination (e.g. contract).

How do you figure out what they like?

Listen, stupid!

Peace,
Mike

About The Author

Mike Coday

Mike Coday is a retired youth pastor turned serial entrepreneur, roofing marketing consultant, author, speaker, sales trainer, and sentimental family man. His expertise is coaching roofers to the next level of success.

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4 Comments

  • “If you insist on interrupting the silence, at least try to improve upon it.”
    This is going on my quote book.

  • mike quinn

    Reply Reply August 15, 2011

    great advice

  • Patrick Hennessy

    Reply Reply July 30, 2011

    “If you insist on interrupting the silence, at least try to improve upon it.”

    The best advice I EVER got in my life.
    (From an attorney in Omaha, NE – my best friend. But, he happened to be Warren Buffet’s personal attorney so I listened – for once in my life. That sentence alone has paid HUGE dividends in my life.)

    • mike

      Reply Reply July 31, 2011

      Wise advice. I’m going to post that on the Facebook page Patrick.

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