PPM Menu

Laying the Foundation – Part 1

June 6, 2024

Today’s concept applies to everything, really. When we are selling, we have a very simple objective – to get the homeowner to accept our recommendations. Plain and simple.

Now, of course, that is prefaced by making sure we do several other things beforehand, like finding the problems or pain points they’re facing, making sure you are likable, finishing your demo, and about 30 more topics covered in our sales training. And then it’s followed by asking for the sale, multiple times, if needed.


But the crux of it all revolves around having the customer believe in your professional opinion and then taking action on it. It goes without saying that your recommendations should always be honest and forthright. We don’t sell or attempt to sell things they have no need for or things that will not improve their quality of life.

At the end of the day (and it doesn’t matter what kind of lead it is), the bottom line is that at some point in the call, you’re going to have some recommendations to convey to the homeowner. And the hope is that the homeowner will accept those recommendations.

We know that the degree to which they will accept your recommendations is a reflection of the relationship you’ve made with them. It’s common sense. The stronger the relationship, the higher the level of trust and the more likely they are to accept your ideas as good ones. Now, we know there are no guarantees in sales or in business. There are no absolutes.

Even the Odds

You can do a wonderful job on a call, build a great relationship, and the homeowner can tell you to go pound sand, right? We all know that can happen. But it’s an issue of probability. And there are steps we can take to swing the odds in our favor.

The better my relationship, the deeper the level of trust that my homeowners have in me, and the more likely they are to trust that I’m a professional with their best interests in mind. So what drives the relationship? Well, time plays a big part. There is a direct relationship between the amount of time that we spend with a homeowner that determines the strength of the relationship. If you’re rushed out the door, there is little time to build a strong foundation. You might as well be a Little Piggy building a house of straw.

The Time Factor

The amount of time spent can have a lot to do with the average ticket. The more time we spend with people, the better our odds are of leaving the house with some deal in place. Obviously, you’re building a relationship throughout the course of your call, but the reality is that it has actually begun before you arrive. When they called your office, the relationship with your company began, and that’s one reason it’s so important to have well-trained CSRs.

Number one, you cannot recommend a solution to a problem that you don’t find, right? The reality is that you get paid based on the number of problems you solve for the homeowners, right? If you solve one minor problem, you get paid X amount of dollars.

If you solve four or five problems, your average ticket will be higher, meaning you’ll make more money.

You have to think in terms of the number of problems that you solve. And you have to understand that homeowners are going to call us because of the problem that is annoying them right then. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have other problems. That just means those other problems are not a pain in the ass right now.

Problems Boiling Over

As some of you know, I live in a pretty old house. I think it was built in the 1970s, so it’s 50 or 60 years old now. We have 100-year-old trees out in the front yard, and we all know the impact that has on the main sewer lines.

For years, we had gurgling toilets in the basement and a major potential problem brewing, literally. But during the two or three years that this was happening, my wife had several plumbers in the house working on other projects.

She would call them about the thing that was a pain in the ass at the moment, which was a leaky faucet or a garbage disposal that didn’t work or a sink that wasn’t draining. So she would call them about the thing that was a pain in the ass right then, but it’s human nature not to think about the other problems because we get focused on the problem at hand.

But when the plumbers came to work on those issues, she wasn’t thinking about the gurgling toilets. Why? Because she was only bothered by hearing the toilet gurgling while she was watching TV or doing something where that noise stood out.

So as a result, the core problem never got addressed until one week when I was out of town and the main line pretty much collapsed.

Over the course of a week, every time they flush a toilet in the 2 upstairs levels, every time they shower, every time they brush their teeth, the toilet backs up in the basement. I came home at the end of the week with a catastrophic problem on my hands.

The bathroom had backed up into the bedroom, into the bar area, into the living room. Now, here’s the thing. What do you suppose would have happened if even one of those plumbers said, “Well, Ma’am, we’re going to take care of the leaky faucet or we’re going to take care of the garbage disposal, but do you have any other problems in the house?”

Like maybe gurgling toilets when someone flushes the toilet upstairs, etc. That might have made her remember and say, “Well, as a matter of fact, there is a problem downstairs.” That might have triggered the plumber to grab his sewer camera, drop it down the main line, and see that there’s a problem with the main line and then he could have fixed it proactively.

Wouldn’t that have been nice?

The Here and Now

The point I’m trying to make is that homeowners call you about the problem they’re experiencing right then. But I guarantee you there are other problems in the house. But if you don’t ask, or if you don’t check for yourself, you’re not going to know.

My assumption is that you want to be the very best. When you think about performing at a very high level in whatever you sell, such as electrical, IQ, HVAC service, etc., having the homeowner trust your recommendations is key.

We’ll continue with this thought next time, as there’s plenty more to say. Have a great week.