The Art of Selling Smart

How to get more “smart” sales from your customers

By BURK MORELAND

Meet George Jetson…

To many of us over 40, that line was a call to the living room, to the one television most families shared in those days. I remember watching episodes and dreaming about the amazing features in the Jetsons’ home. The home cooked and cleaned for them. It bathed them, got them dressed, and even walked the dog for them! Now that is what I call a “smart” home.

Fast-forward a few years.

Today, we have “smart” homes that are almost as amazing as the Jetsons’ home. The animated world that left us dreaming has, in many ways, been realized with smart home technology.

Our homes can turn on lights as we arrive, doors can unlock from anywhere, and our homes can sense when we are home or away to save energy. With smart features like these, George Jetson would feel very at home with many of our “smart” home features today.

But not all of today’s homebuyers are as comfortable with this new technology as the Jetsons were. Why not? Selling smart homes should be easy, right?

The problem is that many of our customers do not understand how smart features will benefit them. What people do not understand, they do not trust. And, if they do not trust it, they certainly do not want it taking over their home.

It is our job to educate them. Through careful questioning, we can discover and clarify for them, how smart features can not only make their lives easier, but also more secure. Before we try to sell anything to our clients, we have to invest some time figuring out who they are and how they live—only after we have that information, can we advise them. Our goal is to make their lives better, not just to make a sale.

If we want our customers to be excited about smart home features, we have to show them how the features will benefit them. Once we explain to them how smart home features will change their lives, they will begin to share our excitement. It starts with questions. When you are discussing smart home features, start with the basic questions like:

  • What do you think a “smart” home does?
  • Do you have any features you consider “smart” in your home, such as remotely operated lights or a doorbell camera?
  • What are your main focuses as we build or sell you your new home? Investment? Security? Convenience?

The answers to these questions will begin to reveal their real needs and wants. You can start formulating an idea of what features might be of benefit to each customer once you gather information and ask several follow-up questions.

At this point, you can ask questions that are more specific to the features that you offer:

  • Has your experience with your doorbell camera been good? Have you ever thought about covering more of the exterior of your home with other cameras?
  • You said investment is one of the concerns in this process of buying a new home. Have you done any research into the value these features bring in a resale situation?
  • You said you have no experience with smart home technology. May I show you a few interesting things that you can do with your home today?

The purpose here is to uncover their perspective so you know where to begin. Try not to use jargon and brand names with clients that are not sophisticated about technology. If you do, you will lose them quickly, in part because people do not like to be embarrassed by their unfamiliarity or lack of understanding about technology. Instead of using terms like “hub” or ‘”brain of a system,” say that there is a part “where all of the information goes in and out that controls the system.” Bring the system and its parts to the client—do not drag the client to the system.

In other words, when attempting to help someone make a decision to purchase a “smart” system, do not assume anything. Start the process by figuring out whether you are selling to George or Elroy or another Jetson family member and tailor everything you say to the understanding of each particular buyer.

Make sure you sell only things your customers need or want. Sales people who convince people to buy things they do not need or want give the rest of us a bad name. Do this right and your client will pay you back ten-fold in referrals and good references.

Until next time, be the rainmaker for your team. Make things happen.

Burk Moreland is an executive coach. Burk’s clients are expected to and have experienced measurable return on investment, increased productivity, and up to 200 percent revenue growth. He may be reached at burk@burkmoreland.com or 832-356-4585.

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