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The Secret Sauce of AZFS Engineering Success … the 5th Why

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This is the 5th in a series documenting why AZFS engages with customers in a 3-step process that utilizes engineering methods and personnel. The reasons covered here are customer rapport, customer psychology, and the ability to ensure that customer needs to match our needs.

One of the most important things for a sales consult do with a customer is to develop rapport with them. There are probably thousands of books written on this subject. It is super important to build that trust with the customer that conveys to him that we are looking out for him and doing what is in his or her best interests. Identifying what the customer’s values and preferences are and developing a good working relationship.

Engaging in a consultative process and consummating it naturally builds that rapport. The sales consultant can explore signs of stress, look at the report that was not produced by him, and explore it as a joint effort. The customer has provided money for this report to receive a fair, balanced, and objective assessment. This assessment has a lot to it, and the customer and the consultant can explore it together. A natural rapport-building process.

This is not a fake type of rapport building. Identifying common interests… Sports teams, hobbies, cars, travel trips, and then trying to use that to build rapport by pretending to be enthused about their interests. This is genuine exploring with a common goal of understanding things that are not always easily grasped. Since the customer does not have his guard up wondering if the sales consultant is trying to pad the job for a bigger sale, he can be open to exploring together.

I have usually found that the first amount of money spent makes the following money easier to invest…. Even if it is substantially more. The customer is invested in the process and wants to get a full bang for the buck. Often the customer will supply their own reasoning to make their choices…. Whatever reasoning that is. The point is that it has started making the subsequent steps easier. This is the customer psychology referred to earlier. It's almost like sunk costs, and most people are reluctant to lose sunk costs.

The 3rd item discussed is matching customer expectations with our expectations. Most foundation repairs are relatively substantial. We want to insure before going into a lot of trouble and effort that the customer matches our level of commitment. If customers are not ready to invest in an assessment to fully understand the existing performance problems, their causes, and recommended solutions, then it is unlikely that they are very serious about investing a substantial sum to repair those problems.

This allows us to match the customer’s level of commitment in order to avoid investing our valuable time and resources with someone without that same level of commitment. Rather than doing a lot of work for free and hoping the customer will be indebted to us, it really is better to have an equal standing with the customer.

Those customers that relish being falsely elevated are the ones who will take advantage of a contractor with a given opportunity. Rather those that recognize the fairness of a mutually beneficial transaction, with fair consideration for a valued service are more likely to be those types of customers that will treat the contractor as equals.

So building a genuine rapport in solving the customer’s issue with no “dog in the fight” for the consultant who is working collaboratively with him is key. Building that trust with a smaller transaction that demonstrates competency and avoiding making the customer feel obligated for doing a “free investigation” are important factors. Just as important is the contractor’s ability to weed out tire kickers and allow some over-assertive personality types to an unequal relationship.

Being trusted with real rapport and no conflicting interests, engaging with customers in a way that helps them be more comfortable, and making sure we are the right fit for each other. Three more great reasons why the 3-call close is superior.