10 Pieces to Solve the Service Sales Puzzle

[IMAGE]12259[/IMAGE]7. Intimidation — Companies that confidently boast about their design and installation prowess far too often speak with less confidence when addressing service. For many their feeling of inferiority is caused by a lack of knowledge and preparation.

Typically installers are intimidated by the large, nationally branded service providers. In almost all cases, the security installer’s perception of the “big guys” is out of line with reality. Doing some solid research and interviewing some of the competitors’ customers can pay huge dividends when formulating an effective sales strategy.

8. Lack of patience — Like a double-reverse on the football field, a service marketing effort may take time to develop. But when it works, it’s a big gainer. Far too many companies panic when projected sales numbers don’t reach fruition. Selling service is a relationship sell. Building trust with prospects takes time and effort. Most service sales agreements are negotiated if sold properly.

The decision schedule is not as clearly defined as bidding a job specification. Patience is usually required. Typically a good service sales person is at full throttle in three to four months.

9. Poor execution — This is a broad category that covers many areas. The most common mistakes include: improperly supervised salespeople; no feedback and correction mechanism; operations is not prepared to handle new business; overlooking the role of field employees; lack of coordination between groups within the company, etc.

Selling service can be a frustrating task. Having to deal with post-sale administrative and delivery issues affects a salesperson’s productivity and morale. To effectively implement a service sales program, operations and sales need a close, if not direct, working relationship.

10. Unwilling to seek help — Reluctance to recognize that marketing service is different than marketing products may be the most common mistake. Companies continue to try to leverage their current marketing resources with limited success.

Security integrators deserve the benefits created by the ongoing relationships and revenues generated by aftermarket service. Losing your job to another service provider is both painful and unnecessary. Not selling a service agreement on you
r installation is just as bad. If your company doesn’t have individuals with experience in implementing service marketing initiatives, go out and get them or provide training to your in-house resources.

Joe Siderowicz is President of AfterMarket Consulting Group in Acton, Mass. Siderowicz has more than 25 years of experience designing and implementing service marketing programs for life-safety installers, integrators and manufacturers. He can be contacted at (978) 929-9790 or [email protected].

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