Novice sales guys talk too much or not enough. Watch rookies respond to objections. They freeze up, give up or steam roll the customer with counterpoints.
Salesmen must master the delicate art of the buff and the probe.
Customer: I used Lawn Pimps in 2013 and I was very unsatisfied with the results.
Buff: Jeez. I’m really sorry about that. There is nothing worse than when you’re paying for a service and the company doesn’t meet your expectations.
Probe: Where were the trouble spots?
Customer: I don’t use Lawn Pimps. Turf Ballers service my grass now.
Buff: I’m glad you’re still taking care of the lawn. It shows that you take a real pride in your property.
Probe: Why did you switch the service?
Customer: Lawn Pimps is too expensive.
Buff: I totally understand. I’m on a budget myself. You almost have to be with the way the economy is now.
Probe: Just out of curiosity, what are you comparing the price to?
Customer: It’s too early to talk about the lawn. There is two feet of snow on the ground for God’s sake.
Buff: I feel you. I really do. Sometimes I feel like I’m in The Twilight Zone talking about thick green grass when there are ice icicles hanging from my roof.
Probe: How many other lawn care companies have called you this year?
Customer: I’m doing the lawn myself this year.
Buff: Great. You’re the type of person I love to work with. You can cut the grass and make sure it’s watered. You’re going to be limited when it comes to products though.
Probe: What kind of fertilizer are you using.
Customer: Lawn Pimps burnt my grass.
Buff: I’m so sorry to hear that. That must have been really, really frustrating for you.
Probe: What time of year did this happen?
Customer: I used Lawn Pimps last year and I still had weeds.
Buffer: I’m sorry you experienced that. I really am. I never like hearing stories like that because I know these kind of problems are unnecessary.
Probe: How often were you taking advantage of those free service calls?
Customer: I cancelled after your technician went number two in my birdbath. My kids haven’t been the same since.
Buffer: Please accept my condolences. I can understand how an experience like that would leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Probe: What can I do to earn your business again?
Customer: Call me back in Spring.
Buffer: Believe me. I totally feel where you’re coming from. If I didn’t work in the lawn care industry I probably wouldn’t be thinking about the grass myself.
Probe: What exactly am I going to be calling you back about in the spring?
Customer: I’m not interested.
Buffer: I understand. Your priorities must have changed since we last spoke to you.
Probe: Why did you sign up with Lawn Pimps originally?
More Probing Questions
What are your plans for the lawn this year?
What would you like to focus on this year?
If there is one improvement you want to see in your lawn this year, what is it?
. . .
Buff and probe is to sales what push and pull is to seduction.
There is nothing more to say.