Early Connection Questions
When a service provider or in home salesperson arrives at a customer’s home, they arrive as a stranger. Sure, the customer may have done some research on the company, and they may have even been referred by a friend, but this experience in the heat of the moment is a new experience for this customer and it's wrapped with all kinds of unknowns for them. I call them "unknowns for Mrs. Jones."
By the time a technician begins to cover the options they've discovered in a home, a few things must be in place. Customer options need to be delivered on a well put together options sheet. The person delivering these options can no longer be a stranger to the customer. By this point a technician must have accomplished a new role in this relationship and it goes far beyond technical expertise. Now they must be trusted, likeable, believable, and viewed as an expert that is the right person to perform work in this home.
When I'm doing onsite training and ride alongs, I see technicians struggle with the art of relationship building all too often. There are certain steps we can take and questions we can ask that will help set the table for a customer to give us their full attention as well as remain open to options.
I'm a big believer in helping technicians set themselves free by developing a set of certain questions they can ask on each and every single call regardless of call type. When performing live technician training I always facilitate exercises to help them develop their questions and ability regarding effective questions.
Effective questions are a major difference between average producers and top producers regardless of trade. The better producing team members understand and value the importance of connection in the service call process while lower producers have a tendency to think they are just there to make a repair and ‘get out of there’ as quickly as possible.
This month I'll be recording a brand new training video about this topic to help your techs understand my perspective and share some proven results. However, don't wait for the new video to come out, get engaged with your team and have a brainstorming session about simple, yet necessary questions to demonstrate expertise and connection early on in the process.
When we're building these lists in our live schools we get the usual questions like, "How long have you lived here? How long do you plan to live here? How many people live in the home? Who does this situation affect the most? How old is the home? How long has this been going on? What are we looking to accomplish today?"
The list goes on and on. We all know this but a lot of technicians are not asking these questions! How do I know? Because I work with some of the top contractors in the country and I see things happen live in the field all the time that can differentiate from the topics taught at weekly meetings.
Embrace building a great list of questions and train technicians when, why, and how to ask questions in their own and authentic way and enjoy higher tickets and more satisfied customers. As long as technicians understand why we want them to do something and they can believe in it, they’ll perform at their highest level possible.