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Friday, January 23, 2009

Values, trust and selling technique

This ad is posted on the home page of Doug Hillyard's business in Pennsylvania. Hill rightfully takes me to task on the forum for taking pot shots at sales trainer and consultant Phil Rea.

Doug Hillyard at American Dream Vinyl Company in Mill Hall, PA, has taken me (rightfully) to tasks for remarks about sales trainer and consultant Phil Rea on the forum.
You are way off base with your Phil Rea comments. I tend to think that the way you do things in your post are intrusive. Let me ask you: Are you currently operating your own home improvement company?

Or are you just trying to sell articles? Phil Rea would smoke you any time with his material and to boot he wouldn't come on a site like this and start putting down your work. He has entirely too much class for that.

In my area using some of Phil's techniques we have lots of success and I think it was you that said on here about two years ago that it (canvassing) would run its course and make people mad. Well it didn't. Oh sure, there's always the one or two boneheads but most people actually are happy we found them because they didn't know who to call.

Your other ideas for lead sources are good one however they are staples to running and staying in business and nothing new to the way most on this site are already doing.

i guess what I'm saying is like anything else, for some its great for some not, but who are you to judge with your opinion not being fair?

(Editor's note: I modified the grammar here -- writing is my business -- but you wouldn't want me to be selling or installing vinyl siding, which Hillyard's business undoubtedly does very well.)
Hillyard is absolutely correct that I have never met Rea, nor actually tested or evaluated Rea's services. Based on testimonials such as Hillyard's, if you wish to build your business with door-to-door canvassing, you may find value in using Rea, so I provide a link to Rea's website here.

Nevertheless, as I posted in response to Hillyard's observations, some of the business practices recommended by Rea go against my values.
Am I speaking too harshly of someone I know only a little? Trouble is, while I acknowledge canvassing is often effective (and have sought to see first-hand the process), it is against my values. Phil Rea is undoubtedly effective in teaching people how to sell. Maybe this type of in-your-face selling is right for you and your business, but I'd rather develop relationships based on respect and lasting trust.

However, while I may have the right to my opinion that sales techniques where you don't leave cards so people won't know who to call to cancel appointments, or where you push people to canvas door-to-door to win barbeques, or you wear large name badges to build 'trust', are downright destructive in the long term, I don't have the right to slag Rea without knowing him and his approaches better.
My values are that the harder you have to push and sell anything, the more we want to run away. We want to make our own free-will decisions without pressure or intrusion, and when the business respects our time, privacy, and ability to make an informed decision on our own schedule. The "we" here is a family thing -- you'll find similar values are shared by my wife and friends. (And maybe a huge section of the population, reflected by the legislative push for do-not-call legislation and restrictions on canvassing and other forms of cold calling.)

Undoubtedly, intense selling and closing techniques are effective in certain industries and circumstances, but I think where we all want to be is in a place where we can manage the flow of inbound inquiries and referrals where people choose to call or contact us because they think highly of yo business.

You still want to be good at sales -- you don't want your business to be like the store which has beautiful displays but no one to answer your questions or gently nudge you to make the right decision -- but you, if all goes well, want your salespeople to have such respect in the community that they are seen more as friends than sales reps (though they still must make their numbers and achieve real sales results to earn their pay.)

Nevertheless, I've always respected that not everyone needs to share my values to be successful in business -- and it looks like, based on Hillyard's testimonial, and others on Rea's site, that if you want to learn how to knock on doors, he may be able to show you how to do it effectively.

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