"Set The Hook" With Your Pitch At The Door

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This is a guest blog post by Adam Bensman from Referral Storm.

First, some background…

I met Adam last year and after learning about his background and experience which is wide spread as somebody that has personally done door to door sales, managed others doing such, then consulting companies and finally as the founder of a software called Referral Storm which automates the process of getting referrals and leads from your existing customer base and having been successful at all phases I figured myself and everybody related to SPOTIO could benefit from what he had to say.

So, I asked Adam if he would be up for contributing some content for the SPOTIO blog.  He was all about it so this is the fantastic result.

And if him writing the blog wasn’t enough I asked Adam to jump on the phone with me for a few minutes to talk about some of the things that made him, the companies he manages and consulted with successful and that turned into a 30 minute in length discussion that you need to hear.

Click here to listen to our conversation

No matter what industry you operate in, if you do door to door, field or face to face sales and marketing there’s something for you.

Without further ado –

“Set The Hook” With Your Pitch At The Door

The number one reason canvassers and salespeople fail at the door is they don’t “set the hook.” Rookie canvassers think, “Well, all I have to do at the door is be myself and start a conversation.” Rookie salespeople think, “I’ll just close them!”

The truth is, “opening” and “closing” are two very different talents that take very different techniques. You can’t “close” a customer at the door. You must “open” the dialogue and lay ample groundwork for a future closing conversation. Let’s take a look at the fundamental differences between “opening” and “closing.”

Opening. Setting the hook

Closing. Landing the fish

You can’t land a fish without setting the hook, and if you can’t even get a nibble to set the hook you’re doomed!

Canvassing requires mastering the art of setting the hook. Know your bait and what intrigues the needs and desires of the prospect. Remember, needs and desires are very different.

Having a need is an objective experience.

Need example: I need my tire changed because I have a flat tire on the side of the highway (let’s assume you don’t have a spare). There are countless shops who will repair or replace a flat, but who do you call?

The desire is what drives the buying decision and is typically emotional versus objective.

Desire example: I want (desire) someone to come to me and change it quickly and affordably, so I’m calling roadside assistance.

You see, the desire just eliminated all the tire shops that you would have to drive or be towed. Despite countless options for tire repair you chose the one that fulfilled the desire to come to you. The desire narrows your options to select the business that can simultaneously fulfill your needs and desires.

Now that we understand the needs and desires of the prospect we can talk about “setting the hook” while canvassing at the door.

“Setting the hook” is effectively engaging the prospect in dialogue at the door. We’ve all been at the door and delivered our pitch and gotten the door slammed in our face. Or how about those times you deliver your proposition and get a “no” immediately? Shot down. It really is a bummer isn’t it?

The key to effectively “setting the hook” is ending your pitch with an open ended question. The longer we keep the prospect in front of us, the higher the likelihood of engaging in conversation and getting your appointment set.

The difference between an open ended and closed ended question?

Closed Ended

The answer to the question is a one word answer like “yes” or “no”

Example: Would you like a free estimate?

Open Ended

The answer to the question requires the prospect to think and engage in dialogue.

Example: Why is __________ important to you?

If the ending of your pitch at the door uses an open ended question the likelihood of the prospect engaging with you increases tremendously. To master the art of “setting the hook” your open ended question must be thought provoking and peak the interest of the prospect.

The 33 Most Valuable Open-Ended Sales Questions

Here is an example I’ve used with storm damage repair companies whose primary objective with canvassing is to conduct a “Free Property Inspection” for storm damage that could be covered by their insurance.

What NOT to do:My name is Adam with Home Improvement Specialists. We are in the neighborhood conducting Free Property Inspections. Would you like to set up a Free Inspection?”

  • Ended with closed ended question
  • Did not intrigue or peak interest
  • Easy for homeowner to say no and slam the door
  • Did not set the hook

Here is an example of what to do: “We help Denver homeowners replace storm damaged roofs within 10 days using our price lock guarantee. About 90% of the Denver homeowners we’ve been serving have had insufficiently paid claims before we worked for them. How has the insurance process been for you?”

  • Ended with open-ended question to get the prospect to engage
  • Intrigues and peaks interest about how you can help
  • Challenging for homeowner to slam the door and say “no”
  • Effectively set the hook!

Experiment with different open-ended questions and don’t be afraid to get edgy and creative. Remember, you don’t even need to lead with your offering. In the example above I never even mentioned a “Free Inspection.” We’ll get that after dialogue begins.

Just be sure to stay focused on your prospects needs and desires and you’ll master the art of “setting the hook” in no time! You can check out our sales pitch examples and let us know how it help you succeed.

To Contact Adam you can email him at [email protected]


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