Like the swallows to Capistrano or Ohioans to Florida, each spring Advantage Cleaner unleashes their well-trained, highly-motivated, enthusiastic young salesforce for the hardest job in the world … door-to-door sales.
You’ve probably seen the YouTube videos or experienced them firsthand, right? They swoop in like a whirlwind, not giving you a chance to talk and making you laugh while scrubbing anything that they can get their brush on in an effort to demo their wonder-product.
Some may call them a nuisance, some may be annoyed, but they are effective. Here’s why:
Energy, Differentiation and Fun
Thanks to YouTube, Kenny Brooks has become Advantage’s poster-child, but every time one of their kids are at my front stoop, it’s the same style spiel. They open with a joke (often about their race since they’re in a mostly white neighborhood), they are manically high-energy with a huge smile. They make you want to listen to what they are going to say next … unlike ANY other door-to-door intruder.
If these kids can be this excited at every home, in any weather regardless of how many doors are slammed in their face all day, your team can be enthusiastic about sitting at their desk interacting with people who chose to sit in front of them or call them.
Trust Through Community
“Do you know Bob and Tammy from across the street? They liked…” Often, they will name drop. If Bob and Tammy listened to this guy, he can’t be all bad, right? “This is what impressed your neighbor.” Oh, they were impressed. Tell me more.
As bankers, we should be doing this too. Every new accounts and loan officer in your branch has a story about how they helped someone get a loan when others turned them down or helped someone get out of a bad investment or lowered someone’s monthly payments by refinancing to our lower rate. Use those stories! When you deal with people’s money, they just want to know that you’ve successfully handled problems like theirs before. Tell them how you’ve helped their neighbors.
The hallmark of every Advantage pitch is their demo. I still have light scrub marks on my front patio from where someone showed me how magical this cleaner is.
But, Eric, you crazy nut, how do we demo a loan, checking or investment? Easy, do the math for them. Ask, “what is your current rate and roughly how much do you have in the account?” From there, my 8th grade son could do the math to show a benefit. What about checking, it’s all about access, right? Turn your computer monitor and show them your online banking product. Heck, help them set it up right then. Or get on your ATM locator and show them how many options they have close to their home and work.
Watch the video and notice all the high-fives and questions. Kenny pulls you in by getting you physically and conversationally involved. And his questions are never about buying the product. They are a tool to transition to the next point.
“Do you got a maid or butler or do you do your own cleaning?” He knows the answer, but let me tell you how this will make your life easier.
“What would you use this on first …?” then list examples (in the video, Kenny asks this several times). This is meant as a soft close. If you talk about how you will use something, you’re already imagining it.
“What would you do with the extra $200 per month refinancing would get you?” “With this investment, would you retire early or let it accumulate more?” Not sleazy, but engaging.
“How much is it?”
When hit with the inevitable price question, these entertainers don’t just blurt the answer out. Instead, they turn the answer around and build value BEFORE getting to the price. Then follow it up with more value, “That’s cheaper than bubble gum.”
You may have the best rates in town, but sell everything else you do first. When I present to bank and credit unions, I always say, “We don’t sell loans or checking accounts, we sell trust.” And I believe this whole-heartedly. Someone can get a good rate anywhere, heck, they can do it in their jammies online. We don’t trust rates, we trust people. Rates don’t make our lives easier, advice and access do.
Facts Don’t Sell
In the video, Kenny has Consumer Report data in a brochure. But, he doesn’t mention it until the end and as an aside.
What would your team do in the same position? If they are like the hundreds of bank and credit unions I’ve been into, they would start by reading me this information from the brochure. No trust, no engagement, no fun … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Ask For The Sale.
“Do you think one bottle will be enough?” He assumes the sale and asks for the order right then.
In shopping banks and credit unions from sea to shining sea, I’ve had hundreds of in-branch sales interactions. Fewer than 5% effectively ask for the sale. Most of the time I hear, “if you have any more questions, feel free to call.” Not, “Let’s get an account open today and start planning on how to transfer the balances from your old, high-fee bank.”
Yes, they are intrusive. Yes, they often infuriatingly don’t take “no” for an answer. Yes, my “BS meter” spikes with their pitch and I doubt the product is even legit. But, there’ a lot we can learn from these young, ambitious door-to-door sales people.
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