In the first part of our Q&A, Joe Crisara, CEO of, discussed what makes a client say “no” when a field service technician attempts to close a sale. What follows is Crisara’s 5-part plan to turning a client’s hesitation into a successful sale.

Now that we know why a client might say “no” to a service plan, how does a technician go about changing their mind?

Number one: act like we’re moving forward when you hear the word “no.” Because then the buyer is like, “Wow, this guy really believes in himself. He’s not snowballing me, he’s not trying to rip me off, he really believes in this price.” If the buyer’s never been in this situation before, the technician’s been in this situation 400 to 600 times a year. The buyer’s in it once a year, or once every two years. So the buyer’s more likely to follow someone with strong leadership.

Number two is to take responsibility. Maybe I didn’t communicate it right. What am I missing in this solution? Get feedback from the customer what’s wrong or what you missed. If it’s just a higher price, the price is never high, it’s what people are bidding for the price. So maybe you didn’t communicate everything that they’re getting for the price that they’re paying. So maybe explain it in a way that creates more value. Explain the work in more detail so people can understand what they’re getting for that price.

Number three, what I’d do from there, is zoom back out. I think a lot of times people are shocked by the cost for service today. Dealing with insurance, and what it takes to run a truck, and the technology people are buying for their trucks and things like that, it’s all great stuff but it raises prices to consumer in the field. So when it does that, the key issue is you have to make sure the customer is prepared for that. Prepare them for the fact that this may be a higher price from the beginning. “When’s the last time you had service? Ever buy something that’s cheap and didn’t get what you paid for?” Those kinds of questions, like, “When’s the last time you got great service at the cheapest price? Have you ever got that?” Which nobody’s ever going to say they got. If somebody brings a price issue up one of my favorite things to say is, “John, I understand it’s a higher investment when you work with us. But when’s the last time you got the best quality service, the best steak in a restaurant like a filet mignon, was that ever the cheapest price? With our company it’s like filet mignon, it does cost more because we offer better service.”

The fourth thing is to differentiate yourself. To do something different in the presentation or prices that people are not doing. Don’t be like your competitor. If you’re going to charge more money, offer more follow-up service. Instead of offering a 1-year plan service agreement, give a 3-year, or a multiyear plan service agreement with that top option. Maybe a better warranty, a 3-to-5 year warranty as well with that solution.

Number five: offer a range of solutions. One solution is an ultimatum, it’s yes or now. If you offer three solutions, you’re asking which one. You’re not offering a “no,” you’re offering which one you would like. People have to think of no on their own at that point.

If you can’t convince the client to change their mind, what’s the best way to end the conversation to leave the door open for future sales?

Do a follow-up call. If it means bringing in a pinch-hitter, like let’s say you couldn’t explain it the right way but there is somebody at your shop that maybe could, who has the better skills, why don’t we go ahead and book a call with that guy and he could explain it a little differently. And then the customer may see the value in it.

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