Buying a Little More Confidence…
For a whole lot less than a $10,000 DVD.
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
If I threw you into a small panic last week with my recommendation to go get a $10,000 to $45,000 DVD, then today’s advice may bring you some relief. This powerful little do-it-yourself sales tool will only cost you about $200 and a few days of your time.
Remember my comments about a shortage of confidence, and how it’s getting harder to close a deal? I said the sales reps need to be more comforting, more convincing, more compelling and build more confidence. Well this little gem is such a perfect fit, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.
You’re probably familiar with some of these on-line photo companies like Flicker, Snapfish Shutterfly, and others. And surely by now you’ve seen someone who’s taken a collection of family photos or wedding photos, or photos from a special trip, and turned them into a beautiful hard-bound photo album.
Why not do that for your company?
After all, if I’ve learned one thing about this industry, it’s that the prospective pool buyers love to see photos of your work. (It builds confidence, you know….)
For starters, it clearly shows them what you’re capable of doing. But it also gives them a hint of how many pools you’ve built, which is more important to them than you might think. And thirdly, it helps them get a better sense of what they really want. That too builds confidence, as it makes them feel better about this great big no-turning-back-I’ve-never-done-this-before-gosh-I-hope-I don’t-make-a mistake decision they’re about to make. Yes, this is definitely not the time to look like an amateur.
Something else I’ve noticed – it seems that no two sales reps use the same method of showing off their portfolio of your pools, even when they both work for the same pool builder. (Maybe you’re the exception to this, and if so, I applaud you.) It’s usually some form of a 3-ring binder, with various photos slipped inside a vinyl sleeve. This isn’t bad, but the reps seem to decide for themselves what photos and other info they want to include and/or exclude.
You could do what we’ve started doing for our clients, to crank this up a notch. We collect all the primo photos we can get our hands on, and upload them all to Shutterfly.com. We then arrange them in a logical order that’s ideal for any designer on a sales call. For example, we may group all the vanishing edge pools here, and the formal / traditional pools over there. We’ll put all the waterfalls together in one area, and the water arches, fountains and other water features in another.
But then we go a few steps further, to class it up a bit with some extras. For example, we’ve created professionally designed “title pages” with logos and a tag line, so it looks like a real published book instead of just a homemade photo album from Aunt Mary. We’re creating “About Us” pages and a “10 Reasons To Buy From ABC Pools” page. Then we throw in several pages of testimonials, with photos of the homeowners if we’ve got’em. And we’ve found some really nice quality labels that we apply to select pages, to separate each of the sections.
When we’re done, it’s a beautiful 12″x12″ leather-bound “brag book” that’s inviting and easy for any homeowner to browse while the sales rep is out measuring the yard.
Now I’ll admit, I’ve never finished one of these books with less than 20 to 50 man-hours of effort. But in this slow season, maybe someone on your team can tackle the job in their spare time – with or without those “extra pages.” Once you’ve got it together, you can print as many of these as you want for less than $200 each.
Beats the heck out of $10,000 to $40,000, eh?
So once again, if closing ratios are an issue, take a closer look at your sales tools. The DVD’s and these photo books are just two of the many things we do for our clients to help them sell more pools.
Let us know if you need help selling yours. Till then, good selling!
2009 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin Inc. May not be used without permission.