I have said many times that without trust there will never be a sale. In most cases, the prospect only sees one person to make a buying decision - the salesperson (you). Think about this for a moment: how do you separate yourself from the rest of the salespeople selling to prospects? How do they know your background and expertise in the indoor comfort business?

Were you laying tile last week and this is a new job for you? Or have you spent a lifetime working and learning the comfort business? Will this make a difference to a prospect or is the bottom line the price and not the quality of the job?

What's your m.o.? The modus operandi is the way you work during a sale. If you feel that price will make the big difference then you give the facts of the sale and the price. You convey the impression that everyone in the indoor comfort field is the same and does the same type of installation; therefore the price is how you judge what you will get.

Or is your m.o. to sell the difference between you and the competition? If you feel you are making the kind money you need to show a profit and have a great income, then don't read any further - you've got the answer. I should make it clear that most of what we talk about has to do with selling in general, not just retail selling.

If you are the other 99.9%, let's try to find a way to show how to accomplish two things necessary to make the sale:

1. How to separate yourself from others in the comfort business.

2. How to create the trust needed to close the sale.

I am a firm believer in the fact that the prospect cannot know too much before they buy. They need to feel secure that when they sign and give you a down payment that they have made the right decision. The prospect must understand and feel that what they have just purchased is the best buy in town. I did not say the best price in town but the best buy.

How do you establish this during the short time you are with the prospect? You start by letting the buyer know you and begin to feel as though they have known you for a long time. I teach this process by using a presentation folder that is laid out in such a way that the buyer gets to know you and your company. Why a presentation folder? Because it is in writing; it is printed. People are more apt to believe in the printed word rather than the spoken word. The folder also gives you a chance to talk about yourself, your family and your background. It allows the customer to get to know you. It is difficult to present yourself without this visual aid. Finding ways to create confidence and trust about you in the customer's mind is essential if you want the customer to buy.

What makes you different than the other salespeople you sell against? Make a list for yourself. Here - I'll start one for you. (Ask yourself why the answer to each of these questions is important to your prospect):

1. How long have you been in the hvac business?

2. What has been your trade training?

3. Do you own the business? How long have you been in business?

4. Do you live in the community?

5. Have you been an installer or a service tech?

6. Do you know anyone near this prospect's home?

7. Have you done a job this prospect may know, such as the local bank or a building downtown?

8. Have you volunteered in the community? (Little League, Boy Scouts, United Way.)

Make your own list and find a way to work these facts into the conversation as you go through the presentation folder. It is necessary for the customer to feel that you are the person they want to do business with because they feel comfortable with you and your background.

Keep in mind that all selling is done one-on-one and in person. Without this process, the buyer only has price as a way to evaluate the difference. If you want to make a difference in your bottom line and put more money in your pocket while giving the customer a quality job, then it's time to create the reason for the trust they should have in you.