by Jim Hinshaw
My wife and I have been watching FBI, a series that ran from 2018 to 2023. It showed what was probably typical FBI encounters from 4 or 5 plot lines. They dealt with bombs, kidnapping, bank robberies, terrorist attacks and any crimes committed in federal buildings. While I am not an expert, I do feel like I understand what will happen next in most of those situations.
When looking at bombings, they find the bomb usually in the lower areas of the building, and cut the red wire and stop the timer with about 2 seconds left. In the cases when there is no red wire, the largest wire is cut. In the case of them not able to defuse the bomb, they move the bomb to an empty lot.
The bad guys, when confronted are told: FBI, we want to ask you some questions. They run. They always run. And if in a building, they run up the stairs, not down. Once you know that, it becomes easier to catch them, one agent goes around to the back door, another comes in the front, or up to the roof if needed. With this knowledge, put together a presentation with collateral that will help defuse the fight or flight syndrome. Letters of recommendation and 5 star reviews are critical to your success. Let the prospect know you have done this before and with excellent results.
The most important lesson from this show is found when they are brought in for questioning. In the small room, usually chained to a table, they are hit with questions that are meant to incriminate them. When they finally confess, they are asked, why did you run, why did you lie? The answer is again, predictable, I didn’t trust you.
So how does this apply to your business today. Take the sales appointment. We can almost predict what one objection is going to be: thanks, I will get back to you, I need to think about it. That is actually a stall, not an objection. We all have been to a sales training event, so we ask: what do you need to think about? It is our company? Is it the product? Nope, almost always it is the money. There it is, the money objection.
If that is the case, and you are losing jobs because you are “higher than the competition”, here is the solution. Don’t drop your price, raise the value of your solution. Spend more time and research in their home. Like the FBI, look at all the details (send those shells to 26 FED for fingerprints). Run a load to be sure the proposed equipment is properly sized, most are not. When I talk to the comfort advisors who are at 60-80% closing ratios, almost all run a load. Some do it after the job is sold, but still counts. Make sure your solution will bring comfort to their home, maybe for the first time ever.
In the case of the kidnapping, in many cases a family member is involved. When confronted, the family member lies, says they would never do anything like that. They may have actually justified the act in their mind because of financial pressures, family pressures, or any number of things. Your prospect may deceive you by either not answering completely or telling you something that is not true. Again, the trust factor is in play. They do that because they are forced to make a decision on a complex product, and they are not sure what to do next. A confused mind will not make a decision.
Go back to the questions you asked in your interview. Every time you go over those questions they become more valuable, and the money objection fades.
Think about the bombs that get defused. If the agent gives up before they stop the timer, bad things happen. So stay with that prospect as long as it takes. Think about this, you are giving them a solution that will be in that home for a couple of decades. A wrong decision now could be part of their lives for 7,300 days and nights, possibly frustrating them every time the system runs.
Next, the trust factor. You must get the emotional connections to raise the trust factor, in fact if they don’t believe, trust and like you, it will not happen. First, you ask some questions. Not Yes or No, rather along the lines of “share with me your thoughts on…” Find out how they live, do they entertain large groups of people regularly, maybe a poker night for the neighborhood once a month, that sort of thing. These questions will get them to open up about their lives and how they run the home. And the additional benefit is that they build trust, essential to a sale.
So there are a few lessons from the FBI show, we finished it this last week, looking for another multi-year series to get involved in. Thanks for listening, we will talk later.