Masks present a unique challenge for home improvement and remodeling sales representatives. They can create a sense of disconnection between the client and the employee. But with the right strategy and training, companies can mitigate the negative effects of masks on the process and actually transform them into a potential strength.
Here are 7 tips from the Extreme Sales Summit for selling with masks. Want even more sales tips and tricks? Get exclusive content by registering for Extreme Sales Summit On Demand.
Give information upfront
Though it may have been customary to hide certain information before the sales pitch, clients have access to more information than ever, and during the pandemic, sending photos or information beforehand can help put the client at ease and ensure the meeting–in person or virtual–goes smoothly. These can be used to clarify safety procedures, staff biographies, or design examples. With changing circumstances around the pandemic, communicating safety procedures is even more critical.
Find the new kitchen table
Outdoor spaces, especially in summer months and warmer climates, are spaces to have social distanced meetings. But that doesn’t mean the meeting has to be everyone standing around twiddling their thumbs. Instead, get creative with creating the “new kitchen table,” whether that’s a set of chairs and a table that you brought, the hood of a car, or a homeowner’s patio furniture set. Setting up a meeting space also gives salespeople time to get to know the clients.
Put the clients at ease–but don’t freak them out.
It’s already a stressful time, so it’s important to put clients at ease while communicating safety procedures and how the process will work. Showing up with thermometers, hand sanitizer, and health waivers blazing could scare potential clients away. Put them at ease with humor and casual conversation combined with clear communication to get to a level both you and the client are comfortable with.
Tailor the experience to the client, and go above and beyond.
Being intune to a client’s level of comfort will ensure that sales pros aren’t pressing against the client's boundaries. Some clients will be very wary of letting people in their homes while others may not want to wear masks. Setting expectations to keep your works safe is important, but it’s also wise to figure out what kind of experience a client wants. Being flexible and ready to accommodate any client concerns can give salespeople an edge.
Use masks as a sales tool.
Masks are not going away anytime soon, but instead of seeing them as a barrier to connection, sales pros can actually use them as a sales tool. Companies can invest in branded masks to create a professional, uniform look. Pros can also use client’s masks as a conversation starter: Does it have a design or logo that conveys information about the client's personality? Using these strategies turns a net negative factor into a net neutral or even net positive experience.
Find your mask voice and practice body language
Masks can make articulate speakers sound like they’re mumbling. Sales reps should work on clearly annunciating–even over annunciating at times–and speaking louder to compensate for the small sound barrier masks make. Smiling while talking can also make the voice sound warmer and friendly even if the client cannot see a pro’s mouth.
In order to communicate most effectively with masks, however, employees should be masters of body language. Pointing feet and torso toward the client, using hand gestures, and channeling Tyra Banks’ best “smize” (smiling with eyes) can bring connection back to the interaction.
Leverage the safety protocol as a reputation booster.
Lastly, companies can use the enhanced safety protocol as a factor of why potential clients should choose them. Instead of pushing the new procedures as necessary annoyances, putting them in a positive light can boost a company’s reputation: It’s not a company that just follows safety guidelines, but one that goes above and beyond to ensure the safety and health of a client because its employees care.
Discover even more sales tips, tricks, and industry trends by subscribing to the 2020 Extreme Sales Summit’s on-demand content!