In this episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast, Louis Massaro shares his Top 5 Sales Tactics for moving companies.
- “When we talk about sales, when we talk about creating a sales machine, the way that I was able to go from zero to making my first dollar in the moving business was just straight up [sales] tactics.”
- “When you speak to somebody on the phone, you’re attempting to book a move and you ask for the business and they say, “No, I need to think about it.” You never want to get off that call without setting up a tentative reservation.”
- “No matter what you do, whether it’s digital, whether it’s in a three-ring binder, have rebuttals in front of each and every one of your reps and make sure they’re using it.”
- “This is about booking more jobs. Every single person watching books moves, but I want you booking more moves. The time, energy, effort, money that you put into getting the phone to ring, speaking to the customer, giving the estimate, or going out and doing an onsite… You need to raise your booking percentage. That’s where the profits are.”
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So when we talk about sales, when we talk about creating a sales machine, the way that I was able to go from zero to making my first dollar in the moving business was just straight up tactics, right? Things that you do and say on the phone to close the deal. So let’s start with the tactics. First tactic I’m going to share with you today, tentative reservations. Tentative reservations. So make sure you write this down, tentative reservation. So a tentative reservation is a way to increase your booking percentage tremendously. If anybody’s, by the way, if anybody’s doing tentative reservations now, if you’ve learned this from me in the past, write it in the comments down below. If you’re also slipping in this area and not doing this consistently, let me know too. This is a safe place. It’s confession time, right? Who’s doing it, who’s not doing it. Let me explain what it is for those of you that don’t know.
So when you speak to somebody on the phone, you’re attempting to book a move and you ask for the business and they say, “No, I need to think about it.” What you want to do is you never want to get off that call without setting up a tentative reservation. So you would say something to the customer like this, you would say, “Okay, well I’ll tell you what, why don’t I set you up on a tentative reservation? There’s no obligation. It’s just a courtesy we provide for our customers. If you need to change the time, date, cancel, it’s not a problem at all, but at least I could secure a spot for you with no obligation,” okay? They’re going to say, “Sure, why not?” Right? You’re penciling them in and by doing that, at that point, you would continue to get a little bit more information from them.
“Okay, great. I just need to get the address we’d be starting at, the address we’d be finishing it,” right? You fill in the details of the move estimate and here’s what’s going to happen and you’ll see. And if you’ve experienced it let me know down below.
Here’s what’s going to happen, they’re going to give you that little bit more information and their minds are going to start saying, “You know what? I’m going to have to go through this all over again with another company. Now I’m going to have to call this company back and cancel this tentative reservation.” And they’re going to say, “You know what? I’ll tell you what, why don’t we just set it up?” You’re going to get a lot of those right there on the first call. Then if you don’t get those, they’re going to hang up, they’re going to make some other calls, speak to a few other companies, and they might hear something from somebody else that their service is just as good, their price is comparable.
And they would have normally went ahead and booked with them just because they were on the phone with them but now they remember they have this tentative reservation with you, they’re going to have to call you back to cancel that. So what will happen is they’ll say, “No, you know what?” And they’ll just call you back and say, “Let’s go ahead and firm that up,” right? Tentative reservations are powerful. Don’t get off a call without setting that up, okay? And by the way, you have replays of this. So if you’re like, what did he say? What was the terminology? What was actual script of how you said that, go back and watch the replay of this, which I’m suggesting that you do anyways. Do this with your sales team, do this with your sales manager, go back and watch this stuff.
But the tentative reservations, huge, all right? So make sure that’s the first tactic that you want to make sure you’re doing on every single job. And as far as how long you keep these on your calendar, so let’s say you book it in your CRM and you have it marked or tagged as a tentative reservation, you basically keep that on the calendar until you start to have an issue with capacity. Meaning, that day starts to book up to where you’re like, “Are we going to book more jobs for that day or are we not going to book more jobs for that day?” Otherwise, what you do is if there’s no capacity issue, you have 10 trucks and you have 6 trucks worth of jobs, anyways, you’ve got enough for 6 trucks, right? You’ll just keep it on there and then call like you’re doing a normal confirmation call, right?
But if you book 100% of these, 30% might cancel you end up with 70%. But if you didn’t do this, you’d probably only end up with 30 or 40%, all right? Powerful, powerful. That’s tactic number one. Tactic number two, rebuttals. A rebuttal is a response to why your customer is not ready or prospective customer is not ready to set up their move with you at this point, okay? They have an objection to why they’re not ready to set it up. You want to overcome that objection with a rebuttal. So for example, what are all the reasons? I want you to make a list of all the reasons a customer would not or says no, or says, “We’re not ready to set this up yet,” right? Maybe it’s your price, they need to get other quotes, they need to speak with their husband or wife. They’re not sure about their closing date.
What are all the reasons that somebody would say they’re not ready to set this up today, right now on this call or at this onsite. What are those reasons? You need to have a rebuttal for each and every single one of those for yourself and for your team, okay? These are tactics, but they’re also ways … You’ve got 10 people on the phones, this is how you get all 10 people booking more jobs, right? It’s how you start to scale your business. So, if somebody says a price, you’re a little bit higher, you want to go into that rebuttal for that. You want to be able to say to them, “Listen, when you’re comparing prices for movers, it’s really not apples to apples comparison. And what I mean by that is, if you’re out shopping for a TV, you could price that TV out at Best Buy and then go check out the same TV at Walmart and see which one’s cheaper and buy that.
But with movers, it’s a service. And in order for me to send you quality trained professionals that are going to move all of your belongings without damaging anything and making the day more stressful than it needs to be, we charge a little bit more, right? What is it that you’re actually looking for? Are you looking for the cheapest price, quality movers or both?” You’ve got to be able to have those responses. Listen, the people that are going to dominate are the people that are not taking no for an answer on that first go around. Doesn’t mean that you have to just drill them until they say yes, that’s not what you want to do, okay? But you do want to give one little pushback on that first call, engage them in the conversation. And when you’re overcoming objections, the main thing you’re doing is you’re not being pushy, you’re just making sense of your service. You’re making sense of your point.
Let it make sense to them why you charge more, let it make sense to them why you have binding or non-binding or why you charge hourly or why you do flat rate, whatever it is, let that rebuttal make the way you do things make sense to them, okay? So rebuttals, you’ve got to have strong rebuttals. So make a list. By the way, those of you in Moving Sales Academy, go to the lesson on overcoming objections, in the downloads you have a PDF of all of my rebuttals. So it’s all in there for everything that someone could possibly say why they’re not going to move, why they’re not going to set up their move immediately. You’ve got the rebuttal and the response to give them to make sure your whole sales team has it and have it at their desks, right?
Make sure they have quick access to those rebuttals, that they don’t have to go look for them, they have either a book right here, or those of you that are using smart moving you know you could just write in the estimate screen, on your script, you could just click rebuttals and it’ll say, “Price is too high,” you go price too high and boom, the rebuttal pops up there. So no matter what you do, whether it’s digital, whether it’s in a three ring binder, have it in front of each and every one of your reps and make sure they’re doing it. All right. Tactic number three, roll into the reservation, okay? Roll into the reservation. As you’re giving estimates, you want to assume the sale, right? You want to assume that, hey, this is part of the process. They’re calling, I’m giving them the information that they need, and at the end of this call, I’m going to go ahead and book the move, right?
It’s the same as if you went to the grocery store and you got a cart full of groceries, and you came up to the counter, the cashier assumes that you’re going to be purchasing that stuff, right? So you’ve got to get yourself in that mindset. And then what you want to do is roll right into the reservation. So instead of what most people do, they get to the end of their script, they get to the end of their pitch and they say, “Well, how does that sound for you?” That’s not what you want to do, all right? You want to roll right into the reservation and how you do that is you say things like, you get to the end and you say, “All right, great. You’re all set. I just need to take $100 deposit. Did you want to put that on a Visa or a MasterCard?” So you’re assuming the sale.
You gave them their estimate. You told them the price. You’re like, “Okay, you’re all set.” And now you give them two options. You always want to give two options and both options lead to them booking with you, Visa or MasterCard. Never say, “What type of card would you like to put that on?” Because now you’re making them think, right? You want make from where they are, which is not booked yet to where you want them to be, which is booked, you want to make that path as easy as possible. Would you like to put that on a Visa or a MasterCard? Another one is, “I have two times available on that day. I have a morning and an afternoon, which would you prefer?” Again, two choices, morning or afternoon, which would you prefer? Another one would be, “You’re all set. What’s the best email for me to go ahead and send you your move confirmation email to,” right?
So in other words, you’re sending the confirmation, they’re ready to go. If you don’t take deposits or you know it’s going to be a morning job because of the size of it, that’s how you roll into the reservation, all right? Very, very important. Don’t ask the customer, “How does that sound? And do you want to book the job,” right? And you might say, “Louis, I do that now we book jobs.” This is about booking more jobs. This is about booking more jobs. Every single person watching books moves, I want you booking more moves. The time, energy, effort, money that you put in to getting the phone to ring, getting on there, giving the estimate or going out and doing an onsite, you need to raise your booking percentage. That’s where the profits are, all right? Roll into the reservation. Tactic number four, authority takeover. Authority takeover.
So an authority takeover is when a person of authority, in most cases, a manager or an owner takes over a call from a moving consultant to help close that deal, right? Either takes over the call during the call, or does a call back, authority takeover call back to speak to that customer as another voice. Listen, everybody loves talking to the top dog. Everybody loves talking to the manager. Everybody loves talking to the owner, right? So as a manager, as an owner, you don’t want to spend all this time giving estimates, taking inventory doing that, unless you’re just at that level, which is totally okay, right? I mean, that’s what I did at the beginning. Every single estimate, I did them all. But as you start to scale, you don’t want to be the one taking the time to give an estimate, spend 20 minutes on the phone with the customer. Your sales team does that.
But if you have someone that’s a closer, a sales manager, owner, someone that’s just another sales rep that could call back and say, “Hi, I’m the concierge. We’re just calling to see if there’s anything we can do for you,” and then roll into that. Another voice will help seal the deal. And they know they’re talking to the power to be. So this would be great to do any time where somebody’s maybe asking for a discount and you’ll say, “You know what? If I can take $10 off, is this something you’re ready to do today? Is this something you’re ready to do today? Okay, hold on, let me go speak to my manager,” right? Now, the rep could get back on the phone and say, “You know what? We could go ahead and give you the $10 off or whatever it is,” or the manager could get on the phone and say, “Hi, is this is this Ms. Jones? Hi, John told me that, you had a great conversation and you’re moving from here to there.
What’s it going to take? Is it going to take us taking the $10 off per hour in order to earn your business because what we really want is we want to make you a repeat and referral customer. We know that you’re going to tell all your friends and family about us. So let me know. What’s it going to take?” Yeah, the $10 or maybe not, right? At that point, you might even be able to get it without giving them the discount. Authority takeovers. All right, so the last tactic I have for you today, and remember, these are all go apply these now. Now, right? Don’t wait. Don’t pick and choose. I picked five of the best that you can implement now that it’s not overload. It’s not overwhelming. Tactic number five is called the kitchen table close. The kitchen table close.
When you go out and you do an onsite estimate, you need to go for the close while you’re there. Too many people are going and giving an estimate, leaving, going back to the office, working on the estimate, sending it to the customer. Maybe that day, maybe the next day, maybe within a couple of days and you’re crushing your chances of hitting that high booking percentage. Onsite estimates, if you’re doing them are naturally a higher closing rate, right? You’re now face-to-face with the customer in their home, you’ve got to close the deal there, okay? So you go through the house, you take your inventory, right? Whether you’re doing it on your tablet with your CRM or on a sheet of paper, whatever. You go through the house, ideally you’ll have your nice presentation folder, but maybe you don’t have it yet, right?
Don’t wait to do this until you get all the nice presentation, folders until you get the CRM or whatever it might be. And you say, “Okay, I have all this information, can we go ahead and sit here at the kitchen table and just go over this together?” Right? Now that’s when you break out the estimate. And ideally, ideally, what you want to do is have a portable printer to where you’re printing out the estimate right there on the spot. I know that you can email it to them. I know that, right? You’re going to do that as well, but you want to print it out so that they have something tangible to look at right there on the spot. So you get a portable printer, you hook it up to your CRM, you print it and now you go over to the information and you take these same tactics, right? You roll right into the reservation.
You use your rebuttals. I have three more estimates, right? What’s your response to that? I need to have a response for that. I have three more people coming. All else fails, you do the tentative reservation, right? And you also now can do the authority takeover. What’s it going to take to go ahead and get this booked? You know what? Let me call my manager. Let me call my owner. Let me call whoever and find out what we could do to make that happen for you, right? If you’re doing onsite estimates, please don’t waste your gas, time, money, energy walking through somebody’s house and not go for the close while you’re there. This is a game changer, game changer. I had a client that had three, at the time I think it was three and then he went to four onsite estimators. They were all going to the house to do a walkthrough, do a survey, right?
You got to get away from that, we’re doing a survey. We’re not doing a survey, we’re going to come do an estimate and when we’re done, you booked the job. But he had three, possibly four onsite estimators going out and just doing a survey and coming back to the office, going over the estimate for hours with the sales manager, and then getting back to the customer with the price. When they switched this to the kitchen table close, dramatic difference in their closing rate. Dramatic difference.
I can’t remember the exact percentage, but I want to say it doubled, okay? I want to say doubled. So those are the five tactics. Let me go through them again just in case you didn’t write them down. Number one, tentative reservations. Number two, rebuttals. Number three, roll into the reservation. Number four, authority takeover and number five, the kitchen table close, all right? So now, this is stuff you could start immediately. It doesn’t matter what size your business is, it doesn’t matter how many people you have working for you. You’ve got to get this going immediately.