How To Piss Off The Homeowner?

How To Piss Off The Homeowner?

When you’re in the sales arena, you focus on pushing your products to everyone or anyone you meet. To do that, you’ve got to have the energy and the spiel to complete your presentation, making sure to avoid pissing off the homeowner. In this episode, Sam Wakefield discusses how you can communicate better; ask the right questions, and find out if your client is a good fit. He also touches on the investigation process to know what your clients want to buy.

This is a cool topic we’ve got. It is when to say when. Go back and read about How to Build Instant Rapport because that will be basically the first half of this, but there’s an entire story behind what I’m going to teach you. It’s when to not continue down that path of sales. Are there people in your career that you’ve come across that you raised the white flag and said, “This person does not want to buy? This person is maybe combative. This person is angry. This is not the right time to try to sell them anything and we should just move on and not waste life on this person.” Have you ever had that situation? Have you had that experience in somebody’s house? Yes, that’s what we’re going to cover because there’s a story to back this up.

My wife calls me earlier and she is livid, she’s angry. She’s telling me about this door-to-door salesman. First of all, the first question, do you know people who make door-to-door air conditioning sales? Is that something that happens in your market? Shoot me a message and let me know about that because that’s very interesting if that is actually happening. Door-to-door air conditioning sales, I’d love to talk to you if that’s going on in your area. More importantly, that is so last century, door-to-door sales. People don’t want to give up their time to anyone, a total cold stranger knocking on their door. Companies still do it. People still pursue that way and they’re so forceful, it’s ridiculous. Back to the story.

This guy knocks on the door. My wife is at home with the kids. It’s the middle of the afternoon. She has three kids under eight years old and doesn’t want to answer the door so she doesn’t answer the door. The guy knocks three different times and then moves on down the street. He comes back several hours later. It’s about 7:20 at night. We’ve got some young kids, so, she’s working on getting into the bed process, getting them to the whole routine. You know that there’s a whole bedtime routine that you have to go through. She’s in the middle of the process and this guy comes back to the door. He knocks, she doesn’t answer. He rings the doorbell again. She doesn’t answer.

He rings the doorbell again. This is the second visit to the house. She answers the door angry. She answers the door and he’s like, “Did you know you have bugs in your trees?” She’s like, “I don’t care.” He’s like, “What about the bugs?” She’s like, “I don’t care what you’re selling.” He says, “Would you even know why I’m here?” She’s like, “I do not care why you’re here. I’m busy.” Through this conversation, five times she tells him, “I’m busy. I don’t care what you’re selling. I don’t want any. Go away,” and he just keeps talking. In talking to her about this, she realized as soon as she answered the door angry, what this guy did, he matched her energy and became combative and said, “You’ve got to care about the bugs in your trees.”

She was like, “What bugs? Are you selling me something?” He’s asking her, “Do you know why I’m here?” She says, “Is it for the alarm system?” He’s like, “No.” She doesn’t even know what bugs he’s talking about. The point is in this lesson, because we talked about building rapport and we talked about how to use matching to build rapport because people buy from people they know, like and trust. They like people like themselves. When you match the energy, you match the tone of voice and tonality and you match body language, people are much more receptive to open up to have a conversation with you. This is an example of the wrong way to use matching.

The other point of this is within 60 to 90 seconds, you need to come to educate yourself and use your perception skills to know if this person’s energy if you’re matching them, if it’s appropriate or inappropriate. If their energy is fixed, if it’s in a fixed position at that moment and can’t be changed or if it’s stuck there. In this situation, my wife’s anger and her energy level were in a fixed position. It was not going to be changed. By matching her, it only made it worse. It was not going to change the fact that her energy was in such a place that this guy better get off the porch or she’s fixing to punch him in the face.

Piss Off The Homeowner: Use your perception skills. Know if the person’s energy is appropriate or inappropriate, if it’s in a fixed position or if it can be changed.

For whatever reason, he didn’t get the picture because he’s still talking about the bugs and the trees and selling his stuff. He didn’t in one moment stop to pay attention to what she was saying or what her energy was or any of that. He still goes through his spiel and she’s telling me she closed the door and said, “Go away, get off my porch, best wishes.” She can still hear him going through his spiel about the bugs in the trees. In the middle of the process, he tells her, “Who do you use for your exterminator?” She tells him. He says, “Ask your neighbor across and over. They switched from them to us,” when we know for a fact that the company has never been in our neighborhood other than coming to our house. He was lying on top of it, which was obviously just the nail in the coffin for him. She’s closing the door on him and he’s still sputtering his sales pitch to the door. Is this an example of great salesmanship? Absolutely not.

The lesson here is to learn to recognize very early on what a person’s energy is and figure out if it’s fixed or if it can be changeable. Is it something that you can start to ask questions and open them up? In her case, she’s like, “I’m trying to get kids in bed. I don’t have the time. Go away.” At that point, if you’re like me, I would have asked, “I’m sorry, ma’am. When would be a better time to come back?” That’s it. Go away. There are plenty more people to talk to. I wouldn’t be doing door-to-door either. That is a whole different world in itself. Please send me a message if somebody is doing door-to-door in your area or if you do door-to-door and you’ve found it effective, let me know. That’s the story. It’s like, “Don’t match somebody’s energy if it’s in a place that you don’t want to be.”

Sometimes if people are angry about something, maybe they’re angry about the service bill. This is a great segue into my sales experience. I go into this house and the guy is telling me it’s a turnover for my technician who was there the night before who replaced the capacitor, added a hard start kit capacitor and it was an after-hour service call. He tells me, “I was really sticker-shocked at the repair price. I don’t know why it was so high, but we just wanted to get the cooling going. I felt like I was over a barrel.” I asked him, I said, “Did it feel like this?” You can name what he’s feeling. He didn’t actually say that. I said, “It felt like you were over a barrel and you had to, but you didn’t have an opportunity to question the price because you knew it could get your cooling right then.”

He’s like, “That’s exactly how I felt.” Clearly, we need to work on our systems to communicate better. At the same time, I was able to ask him those questions and diffuse the situation and communicate with him enough to be like, “Let’s break this apart and explain why the price is what it was.” He’s like, “After you break it down, I completely understand the price. I have no problem with it.” He’s in the moment it didn’t feel like it. We’ve got some work to do. Moving forward, after we accomplished that, then I was able to, by asking the questions and explaining, able to match his energy. I brought it down to where I wanted it until I led his energy and the excitement about the new equipment to where I wanted that to be when we ended the call.

It was a great sales presentation, but that was an interesting lesson, is to ask the right questions and lead the energy. They can start angry. If you lead it in the right direction but be able to recognize out very quickly if they’re not going to be able to be changed. If they’re in a fixed position and their energy level cannot be changed, then don’t waste your time. Don’t give the time. Say, “This is clearly not a good time for you. You’re very angry about this. I feel that you’re angry. It feels like you’re upset about this situation.” If they don’t explain themselves and come down at that point when you’ve labeled their energy and you’ve labeled what they have going on and just called it out, if they don’t change, if they don’t start to explain themselves, move on. Do not waste your time. Say, “You’re clearly upset about this. Maybe we could reschedule to a time when it might be better for you.”

The other lesson out of this experience is don’t try to sell something to someone who’s not interested in buying it. Think of if you’ve ever seen The Wolf of Wall Street, you’ve got Jordan Belfort and he’s telling the guy, “Here. Sell me this pen.” I actually listened to his book and he tells the full story. The version in the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio is not exactly as it happened. In the book, it’s very interesting because he’s got a new recruit that he’s got in his office. He’s working with him on when and how and why to sell. He hands him this pen says, “Here. Sell me this pen.” The kid goes into all of the details about, “Check out this pen. It’ll write upside down. It’ll write underwater. It’ll do all these things and it’s only $500,” and he hands it back to him.

Piss Off The Homeowner: Walk into a house with your own benefit in mind, not that of the customer’s.

He looks at it, he’s like, “It’s just a cheap BIC. What are you talking about? It’s a silly little pen.” The recruit doesn’t understand what’s going on. One of his top salesmen walks in, he hands it to him, and says, “Here. Sell me this pen.” Instantly his demeanor changes. His tonality changes. He looks at him and says, “Mr. Belfort, how long have you been in the market for a pen?” He says, “I’m not in the market for a pen.” He throws it back at him and says, “Keep your pen. I only sell things to people who are in the market for them, not like this rookie who tried to sell anything to anybody,” which is such a powerful lesson. In what we do, thankfully for most of the time, people are calling us. By calling us, that means they are in the market for what we’re selling. They have a problem and they called us to solve their problem.

Now when we get there, we all have experienced it. If you haven’t yet, you’re going to experience it. You get there and when you open up your full offering and ask the questions, you’ll find out what people are in the market for. Do I go through my entire presentation every time? Probably 90% of the time. I will very quickly figure out if someone is in the market for a top-of-the-line communication system. By questions, you’ll find out if they’re selling the house in a few months and they don’t want to invest. If they have other things going on in their life, they would like to have a better system and more comfort in the house. They’ve got indoor air quality problems, but they’re working on balancing the budget.

You can figure it out quickly a good way to find a good fit for that client. What happens so many times though is say the company’s running a contest on, “The first person to sell ten of the highest and fully functional variable speed systems gets $1,000,” or whatever the contest is in the company. I’ve been guilty of this myself. I’ve had some of my team follow-up after with the clients and with the homeowners. They’ll say, “All he ever offered was the highest-end system and I’m moving in and I didn’t even want it, but that’s all he talked about. I went with another company.” He said, “I liked Joe’s company. I would’ve gone with you if I knew if I even thought I had another option.”

Clearly, they didn’t offer what the customer wanted to buy. They didn’t investigate enough to figure out that they were not in the market for the most expensive, highest-end system. Because of what they were doing, they were walking into a house with their own benefit in mind, not the customer’s benefit in mind. When your focus changes, your focus has to shift to their benefit. In fact, this is going to be a fantastic next topic which we’re really going to dive into a little bit, but that’s it. You don’t sell something if someone’s not in the market for that thing. Figure out through your investigation process through your questionnaire. What do they want to buy?

We all know people write checks for what they want, not for what they need. I’ve gone on about that. That’s my passion. I hope you feel my passion. I definitely am calling together a tribe of HVAC sales professionals who serve on a deeper level. Your intent is to help the customer and by helping enough people get what they want, you can have anything you want. It’s a classic Zig Ziglar quote. If you don’t know who Zig Ziglar is, then research him. He was a personal growth titan. Go read See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar. It’s on audio. I love audio because that’s your drive time at university. Go read that book. That’s the recommendation.

I would love to connect with you. My name is Sam Wakefield. Thank you for reading this. You can reach me at and go to That is the website. That’s the landing place for this. That’ll get you connected to our Facebook group. We’re building an online community of sales professionals who will want to crush it in your environment, crush it in your area, in your market. If you want to double, triple, quadruple, 10X your sales, double your ticket price, work less and earn more. Who doesn’t want that? Do you want to have that bottom line? Go up and up. Thank you for reading.

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