W e have all met Mr. Stupid. Heâs the guy that walks into your wood shop with the skeptical attitude about your costs.
Mr. Stupid spouts his own ability to make the cabinets at half the cost, with the scrap wood laying around his garage. He is the same guy that has a cousin, brother or friend who can always make it cheaper.
No matter what you say, Mr. Stupid will always say he has a better source, lower cost or special connection. The more you argue with him, the more you lose.
Instead of fighting stupidity, agree with him. Nothing takes the wind out of these attitudes faster than agreement. When he says, he can get it cheaper, say, âI am sure you can.â When he talks about his great connections, say, âThat must be neat to know those folks.â
While Mr. Stupid settles down, remember that if he had all this special and cheap help, he wouldnât need you. He is at your shop for a reason. Calmly talk about your quality, service and unique offerings. Give him a fair, solid price and then walk away. Avoid negotiating as it will open the door to more of his banter.
You canât fight Stupid, but you can get his order.
What Type of Bait?
My friend Teddy was a 350 pound, Harley-riding, sewer worker with a great sense of humor. More importantly, Teddy could fish. Teddy was a master fisherman long before everyone used sonar and underwater cameras. One of his favorite things was to take out his 14-foot johnboat and row up close to some guy in an expensive decked-out bass boat. As the guy watched, Teddy would usually catch several fish in waters that the bass boat had just covered.
|Shark Hunting at KBIS
Next Week at KBIS in Las Vegas, donât forget to see the Sharks. KBIS
will be holding a Shark Breakfast from
8:00 to 10:15 on Wednesday, April 27th.
The Shark Breakfast is a matchmaking opportunity for manufacturers and
vendors looking for independent sales reps. It is also a quick table top venue
for new ideas and companies just entering our KB market. The breakfast is
not free, but if you have a need for a good established rep group or if you are
looking for a new line, the Shark Breakfast is the perfect place to be.
Obviously this could only go on so long before the guy had to know what type of lure Teddy was casting. Eventually they would all yell over to Teddy, âWhatcha using?â Teddy would look up disdainfully at the big boat with all itâs gear, take a swig of his beer and yell back, âKNOWLEDGE!â
We often forget to talk about how much we have learned in the years of making our products or selling our goods. Knowledge is what makes a professional woodworker or salesperson worth their pay. Knowledge of the market, product, fabrication, overhead, and competition make your value worth more than the hobbyist and homeowner.
Experience has given you the knowledge to provide the exact product your customer wants. (Even if he is talking out his âconnections.â) It is essentially what they are buying, so never be afraid to talk about your background, experience, and knowledge whenever. When customers feel secure in your abilities, the orders will follow.
When No Means âWhy?â
But, what do you do when your prospect says no? The word ânoâ usually creates an end to every conversation. Challenging ânoâ directly may create confrontation. But there is a value to the word.
Every ânoâ means you have an opportunity to learn about your wood products, company, sales pitch, pricing and customer. Your job is to find out the reason for the âno.â
Be frank with your prospect. Tell them you are trying to improve your company and itâs products. Ask if you could hear why they were not ready to buy. Was it the cost that didnât fit their budget? Did the product have something missing? Is this the wrong time for a remodel? Every answer to the âWhyâ will give you more information about how to change your program.
Remember, the more you know about clients, the more you can seal the sale. CWB
Rick Hill (WoodworkingNetwork.com/blogs) is a consultant specializing in woodworking companies that need to find new markets and more sales. He is also an independent sales rep and founder of WoodReps.Com, a national association of independent woodworking industry reps. Reach him through OnPointSales.com.
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