Why Everyone Should Learn How To Be An Indie Author Even If They Plan To Publish Traditionally, Part 2

Part 2

I was at my first sales call and forgot my rate card, but my boss was on the way…

Well, having the boss here, that’s good and that’s bad. On one hand, I want to quote my price and try to close my deal; on the other hand I didn’t really want to be doing that in front of the boss on my first day, first lead, first pitch. You kinda want to do a few presentations before you have to do one in front of your boss. I also really didn’t want my boss to know that I forgot my rate card. Kind of a rookie mistake, but I was a rookie.

But he was on the way, so all that went out the window.

I had to kill time until he showed up, so I went back into the house and said “I’m not really comfortable with something I saw in the attic, so I’d like to take another look. Do you mind?” They said No. They loved how thorough I was being, taking the time to inspect more.

When my boss finally showed up, I came downstairs.

Now, when you’re watching one of your salespeople do a presentation, you are there as an observer to watch them do their job; theoretically, my boss is not going to close this deal if I can’t do it. If we blow the deal, we blow the deal. Well, I blow the deal, I guess. But he’s not going to save my bacon – although he could’ve – but that’s not how it’s supposed to work.

So he is sitting there in the living room with me as we – I – pitch these folks. He’s looking over my figures, happy with what he sees me doing – and of course, since he’s there, what am I gonna do but do everything by the book? So on a $250-$300 pest control lead, I am going to pitch all three services. To these folks who look like they have no money. Think about that. They are probably expecting a price for between $20 and $30 a month for pest control, a contract price of maybe $240 for a year. A preventive subterranean termite job fumigation might cost $900, and an additional fumigation quote might be $1500 more. These folks were about to be asked to spend close to $3000 instead of under $240.

Did I mention they looked like they had no money?

Well, never forget who your audience is. As we sit down, I have me, I have my boss, I have the husband and wife.

Who is my audience? Who am I really presenting to?

My boss.

I don’t care at that point if I make a sale or not, these folks are gonna get everything by the book. They’re gonna get pitched all three services, and they are going to get closed on three or four times. I’m gonna ask for the deal (ask them to buy) a TON of times if necessary, and if I don’t get it, I don’t get it – but my boss is not going to come out of that house feeling like I didn’t do a good job.

The homeowner might think I was an asshole, but my boss is going to think I did a good job. (As it turns out, I’m not an asshole so that was never really on the table.)

Okay, so remember I’m there to pitch pest control; that’s what they called me for. Probably in this neighborhood a contract is going to go for about $240 but the rate card says $300 for a house this size. I’m talking to a guy who works on a shrimp boat for a living. Well, he was out shrimping for three or four days (think Deadliest Catch but with really warm water – because Florida), which means he didn’t get a lot of sleep before sitting down with me that morning. He’s tired and I’ve already been there a long time doing my “inspection.” So the homeowner can wants me out of there. His wife wants me out of there. Shrimpers have to make the most of the season. He’s only home for a day before he goes back out, and she wants to spend it with him, not with me – and certainly not buying pest control.

Deep breath. Here we go. I said to myself, I’m gonna do what I’m supposed to do.

I tell him how much it will cost to take care of the ants or roaches or whatever the original problem was that he called about. Additionally, I go on, for a house like this you should do subterranean termite work to prevent damage, blah blah blah. Also, you should get a fumigation done because a house this old and in most neighborhoods this age I was guarantee you will have drywood termites, and going forward you can have a warranty and protection against new damage and blah blah blah. (It was a thirty minute presentation, probably; I’ll spare you. Plus, I don’t remember the spiel anymore.) Bottom line, three grand.

I’m holding my breath and I’m trying to be nice, but I’m also trying to close the deal. And really, I just want to put on a good show for my boss. He’ll be happy I pitched the other services and he’ll be even happier if I close a pest control deal at the rate card price. Nobody does that in this area.

The guy asks if he can take a minute to chat with his wife. At that point, I was about to close on them again with some arm twisting, but my boss says “Sure!” and we stepped outside – we needed to return a phone call anyway, allegedly.

That is one of the sales techniques, to let them talk. They’re only going to do one of two things. They’re going to either say yes (deal done!) or they’re going to say no (time to close them some more). So the salesperson steps outside to let them talk, and gets ready for any new objections they might come up with. We’ve trained on those objections and they haven’t, so theoretically we have an advantage. We’ll see.

They open the door and we go back in.

The man is ready to buy. I win! I made my first pest control sale and I did it in front of my boss.

I rock.

“Perfect!” I’m all excited. “So we definitely want to take care of the pest control. And I recommend you do these other services as well…”

The homeowner looks at me through his three days of no sleep shrimper eyes. “Okay, what’s the whole package price?”

What did he just say? I panicked. I said no. See, I didn’t get authorized to give discounts. But I did know that if you pay for a whole year of the pest control in advance, you got like a 10% discount on it.

So I add the whole thing up and it’s like, all together, almost $3000. Just under. Which is a lot of money. “And we have financing…”

He raises a hand and shakes me off, like “No, no, no…”

And I’m thinking, if he says no to my whole deal, I’ll go back to just the pest control. Let’s do that. Or is he saying no to everything? I don’t know!

TOMORROW, PART 3/conclusion. See ya then!

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