Is the One Call Close a necessary evil or does it need to be retired as a sales strategy? The OneLeg team discusses the merits of the One Call Close and the reasons why you should consider building relationships rather than burning customers.
Welcome one leg up where we discuss how you can deliver the very best customer experience and how you can achieve zero marketing waste. Ahmed is the chief operations manager here at one leg. And today, Vic and I are going to discuss one of the hottest topics raging in home improvement right now, the one called close before we
do make as ever. How are you doing?
Good, thank you. Thank you, Ed. How are you? How's Texas?
It's hot. It's not on fire like it is there in California. But, you know, it seemingly is just as hot. Thank you for that. You've been in home improvement for a really long time. You've worked with a number of organizations.
Before we get into the idea fully, the idea the pluses and minuses of the one called close. How ingrained is this concept within the industry and where does that concept actually come from?
Well, it's not only in home improvement. I think there's many industries that that embrace this concept many companies are doing. Many companies don't over the years. You know, there's been this debate and it's continued to rage on.
But I think now it's time to call a winner. And there is a winner in terms of the history. You know, the one called clothes is really born about by by the fact that, you know, many years ago, before the information age that we live in now, before the Internet, right before your ability to be able to
go and purchase items and research them with your mobile device. People live in small communities, and the only way that they would be able to go and find out about goods and services would be with traveling salespeople going around to town, to town, knocking on doors, not, you know, doing presentations or demos.
They'd have a you know, if it was a horse drawn carriage, you know, to maybe, you know, in the 50s and 60s when you had traveling salespeople in the back of your car, they had these vacuum cleaners.
You read encyclopedias. I remember the encyclopedia guy coming to the door. Yeah.
Correct. And really, when you're traveling, you don't want to be like keeping your your product in the back of your trunk and going back to headquarters, you know, to try and explain to your manager why you didn't. Why don't you even sell every single one of those those products that you lugging along throughout?
So they really I think this was born out of just, you know what? It just necessity, right?
Necessity to them. It just made sense. Look, I'm not coming back. It's very transactional. I'm not here to build any relationship. You have no choice other than to to listen to what I have to say. If I'm the salesperson and all this information, know very hard for you to verify.
So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to go make sure that on on that particular engagement you buy you I'm going to close I'm going to go and sell something. And the consumers really didn't have until again, you know.
Now, the difference is, you know, if somebody said something to you, you could literally go, you know, to your face. Check that synch, check that. Yeah, go to Wikipedia, go to Google and it'll tell you. Right. Whether your you're what you're being told is is the truth or not.
So I think that's really where the history comes from. It comes from a point where people didn't have choices
and access and access. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. And as with everything, there's always going to be pluses and minuses. Right. And on the plus side, of course, just as you've talked about, if someone is if a salesperson is adept at a one called close, it is super efficient for the home improvement company and for the customer.
Assuming the salesperson is being honest, they get all their questions answered. They get the negotiations out of the way and ultimately, very quickly, they can get into their project and get that done. And that's a benefit, right? Because we are a society now that's increasingly in the hurry.
In a hurry. But at one leg, of course, we are building our organization on the idea that everything is meant to be challenged for the betterment of what is best for the customer. Right. And in this instance, I think the.
When you have the the the mindset of a one called close, ingrained in your sales team within a home improvement organization specifically. And as you've talked about previously, you know, it's not just home improvement. It's in a lot of industries.
But we're talking about home improvement because that's where most of our customers come from. But when you have that mindset, it's got a ton of drawbacks nowadays. And I don't think that homeowner or home improvement company owners actually think about them.
I think, you know, you talk about in some of the mastermind stuff that we're well, that we put out recently about lead addiction and things along those lines. And that's really where it's born from. So let's talk about the two or three major drawbacks we see as an organization to the one called close concept.
If we might. Right. And so so at the very top of the list, what do you think is the biggest one of the biggest drawbacks?
Yeah, and I wouldn't even I will say that, you know, I take a more dimmer view of this, that it's not just a drawback, but it really destroys, you know, the concepts that, you know, you call the best practices would be appropriate for this day and age.
I would even go as far as to saying the one called close is inappropriate because of all the elements that it, you know, forces you to do, which kills relationship and all of these things. And I'm sure we'll get into that.
Yeah. If I were to go and just pick on random, you know, something that I would say stands out quickly in my brain right now, it would be the fact that it really is unrealistic. And it's really I wouldn't even call it a philosophy at this point.
You know, it's really just this, you know, methodology that's so archaic that, you know, that that people continue to train on so-called sales gurus and organizations and they peddle this because this is how they make their money, right.
Through sales training programs. And the problem with this is that they're perpetuating, you know, basically this concept of this philosophy that was appropriate maybe 50 years ago to some degree. And it's just not the same now. It's it's basically operating, you know, in 1950s America when you're in 2021.
And we all know that there are. The world has changed. America has changed. The things that you could do in 1950s, I mean, you're going to get into trouble if you did some of them now. Right. And I think a lot of companies are getting into trouble because of that.
They've been getting into trouble for many years. It's just it's time now to to take a stand and then get away from it. When when you have a one called closing of a program or mindset or philosophy, what you're really saying is I'm going to ignore all the data, all the things that are pointing to a much
better customer experience or user journey. And you're basically saying the consumer is not important. I don't care what the market says. I don't care what the consumer thinks or what they experience. What is important are my goals. Right.
We've seen how companies who take this very dim view in a very narrow view of the world, how they've either come crashing down or they've shut their doors over the years, because, again, you know, it's it's good to think that you can monopolize the market.
But nowadays, it's a consumer market. Consumers have so many choices. The experience is of paramount importance. And you've seen that on how companies like Google and Apple have come up with updates. Sure. To really be an advocate for the consumer.
And I think the one called close, if it was ever alive, it should just die immediately. And you shouldn't you shouldn't use it more.
Fair enough, and so I think yes. But I think the you know, the more. I think the harder realization. People need to come to grips with. And, you know, you and I have this ongoing debate and and you come from this world and home improvement of sales and call centers and structure and and honestly, one called closed
concepts. Right. I come from, you know, an agency background where the agencies that I've worked with, you know, brand was paramount. Brand reputation was paramount. Relationship that you build with your clients or your customers is paramount. And so, you know, I think that's that's a really interesting balance that we bring.
And when we. And it's funny to me, when we talk to some of our prospective clients, you can talk to them about sales. You can talk to them about marketing and advertising the minute you start talking about brand.
Eyes start to glaze over and, you know, they they rarely do they really consider that as one of the things that they need to preserve. One of the things that they need to protect, one of the things that needs to be foremost in the front of their mind when they go out and engage the community.
But to me, you know, you give your reasons, you know, some your prime reason why it should go away. To me, the prime reason is. It's a brand killer, right, and we talked about this with Canvasing also a couple episodes ago, but one called Close, especially in the hands of.
A goal driven, quota driven salesperson. It sets up your business for failure from the standpoint of think about if you get a bad review as a home improvement organization. We really should do a survey of this, because this is just my gut feel, but the vast majority of our clients, when we see that, they get bad reviews
. It almost always 80 percent of the time or more is because the salesperson, right, the salesperson was hard tactics. The salesperson wouldn't leave my house. The salesperson told me, told me this, but in actuality, I got that the salesperson didn't give me the right pricing.
The salesperson wouldn't do this. So, so. So to me, while that is detrimental because it starts to bring down your your social proof, your your your your ability to say, hey, I'm a great company, I translate that into brand degradation.
And and and I think more and more home improvement companies, smaller ones, the big ones certainly do. Right, that the mega brands that you see, their logos and stuff and Home Depot and Lowe's and stuff like that, they're absolutely thinking about their brand.
But it's the smaller it's those, you know, the half million dollar, you know, er h HVAC contractor in, you know, that little town in Iowa. It's it's the ten million dollar window company in Florida. Those people need to be thinking about their brand just as important, just as much as any of those big, big box Fortune 500
companies that think about their brand. Because if they don't, they will. You add that bit in the fact that it isn't as efficient as people might think that it is. The fact that people have all this access to information, you'll find yourself out of business really quick
or you'll just get, you know, dominated. And the reality is that, again, you put it this way, right? 1950S mindset, you know, thinking about it from, you know, in a way where a lot of companies have have really, you know, not be thinking about people have a phone in their hand and I can research you really quick
and figure out. And it only takes two seconds for me to see one bad review about a salesperson. I'm not going to quantify that because I'm lazy and I'm bombarded with so much info and I want something quick and I'm going to I'm going to move on to a different company.
Right. It all takes that one bad review. And it happens to be the thing that I saw about the experience with the salesperson. And I think, again, I want to want I want to put this in context as well.
This is a leadership and a management issue or training issue. It is not a salesperson issue. Salespeople are caught in the crosshairs of this. They're really, you know, collateral know. They're experiencing the collateral damage of what I would I would say being from this industry.
You know, if you're not evolving and you're not changing with the times and you're not improving on that, that is born out of laziness and ego. Right. Because because in your again, I'm going to bring it to this concept, to this philosophy.
What you're saying is this is this is more important than me looking at the data that shows that if you look at the studies, because there have been studies that have been shown over the years here. For example, in twenty eighteen, Google launched a huge study across the country, the Pew, you know.
And what they found was, you know, across the nation, 96 percent of training basically goes to waste. And a lot of it was based on on sales, for example, because, one, it's never quantified. I mean, just think about this, right?
The people that their so-called sales gurus, they're not scientists. They're not researchers. None of their new Mattick, you know, three step eight step programs have ever been put through the wringer of research or or studies or scientific, you know, empirical based methodology.
So everything that they're really trying to teach. Right. Is based on assumptive, you know, kind of home grown experiences that cannot be replicated and cannot be backed. Right. And then you look at the data rate. So every year they come up with, you know, the the home improvement sales and demand in marketing.
And you'll see that, you know, marketing outweighs sales by over eight X. For example, there's Z being spent on marketing than there are actual revenue being generated each year from sales in home improvement. That simply tells you that there's no way to do a one called close effectively, because it's the fact is people cannot make that decision
or they just won't make that decision right on the spot. And it does take some time. And there are people, you know, when you generate marketing, those are mostly curious. They're not necessarily serious. Sure. Mean this term many times now.
And I think really it's it's I like the fact that you brought in this this brand side. There's this misnomer that, oh, in B2B, it's acceptable to have follow ups because the sales cycle is different. Yeah. Dealing with humans, people either way.
Yup. Either way, humans are humans, whether it's B2B or B2C or dealing with a decision maker. And the reality is when home in. Approvement. You know, depending on the product, but average tickets could go from, you know, 2500 bucks, an vassy to thirty thousand dollars in a bathroom, a kitchen, for example.
People just don't make the decisions because you. Made a presentation and you followed eight steps, and now you're asking further for the order and and OK, yeah, that's that. You're going to make that decision just because I did the presentation based on this philosophy.
I don't think so. And it's just never happened.
Yeah. No, I agree with you wholeheartedly there. So then, look, let's make the final point. Right. And so you I love the way that you're protective of of salespeople. And you put a lot of this the idea, the concept of a one called clothes right at management's feet, which which I love.
Right. I'm I'm damed the man got kind of guy. So I think the other thing, too, that people need to think about, at least internally, if you do have a one call close mentality, a mindset as an organization, what is that doing to your what is that doing to your sales team?
What does that doing to your call center? Right. To me, it sets unrealistic goals. Your attrition is going to be probably higher than you'd like. And so there's there's knock on costs that you're probably not necessarily accounting for if you are sitting there looking at your your analytics and it says, well, that guy or that person closes
, you know, the one called close concept a third of the time. That other person is a tenth of the time. And you go and get the natural law of averages. You're constantly going to be turning over a certain number of your salespeople because they're just not going to perform.
And if you're doing that, you're constantly having to train them. You're constantly having to get them up, you know, up to speed on things. What is that doing to your organization's morale? What is that doing to your organization?
Resources you could actually put into building those individual relationships with homeowners in your community and growing your business in a more deliberate fashion that has benefit for the homeowner. And the customer has benefit for you as an organization because you will still make the clothes.
In fact, you'll probably make a higher number of close's because of that of that approach. And oh, by the way, the dark little thing that you don't really want to talk about, your brand is going to flourish in that, because people are going to say, I loved my experience with that company.
They treated me like a human being. I wasn't I don't feel like they were just trying to generate an invoice to me. I appreciated that experience or I like what it is that they're doing to my community, and I fully endorse that.
So I think that's the third thing that people really don't think about is what you're actually putting in your sales and your marketing teams through when that's your mindset.
You know, I, I make this analogy where ideas versus beliefs. It's not bad to have ideas because ideas can change in ideas, could spur other great things. And so you could have an idea of a goal, as you know, as a salient as I'd like to get a sale today, but I'm probably not going to need all
the data points that we have an idea. But beliefs are hard to break. And you talk about how beliefs in terms of religion, right. I mean, you could go to someone who's a Catholic and you could make the most scientific, you know, argument that's backed by science and everything else that says, hey, this is a better religion
, for example. It's not going to do you any good because that belief is hard to break. And you basically just follow that blindly through faith. If an organization kind of has this religion of one called close. Everything goes out the window, even though there's science or data and all of that stuff, because you are you're basically going
on blind faith. So that's one rate I'd rather have an idea of it rather than a belief, which a lot of organizations, that's for sure. One call close to. It's interesting how I like the way that you you put that, you know, with regards to how the relationships are with with salespeople.
And and really what you're you're doing is you're training them not to go in and see the relationship that they can build. And the blue ocean of opportunity that they're missing on, because let's face it, that is what they're held accountable to in this industry.
It's not unusual to see 10 to 20 percent net closing ratios, which means 80 to 90 percent of the time. They're not selling on the first call, on the first visit. But yet salespeople are are are compelled to basically just go to the next client, the next client, because they're chasing that one, that that belief.
Right. And they're being held accountable to that. And so the 80, 90 percent of the people that they're not selling, it's almost like, well, I'm not trying to follow up. I'm trying to close. Right. You say and I think this this concept that I kind of thought about was companies who have a one called clothes.
They're trying to do more with less instead of doing more or more. And that really should be the shift here is that you're trying to do you try a one called clothes. I'm trying to get my 19 percent closer to 20 percent, that one percent.
And it's infinitely harder to do that. Whereas if they focused on the 80, 90 percent of the of the customers that don't call pleasant first visit or in the first call, they'd have a bigger opportunity to increase their add and get close rates right.
In their relationships with clients. So I really think that at the end of the day, attrition rates that you talked about, whether you're you're you're you're closing on point, means demos or sales, you know, or, you know, selling your product or services.
It's hard enough to be in sales. And we can all agree that, you know, without the one called close attrition, rates in sales positions are already high. I think it's an element that just exacerbates and kind of perpetuates a vicious cycle.
And it needs to stop. It needs to go away. And I think that salespeople would actually stay in your positions, be happier when they are actually being trained to go and do what they do best, which is really build relationships with salespeople, good ones, and the ones who are learning to be good.
They happened to stay in sales and be in sales because they're people you know, they're people oriented. You know, they love people. You know, the the one called close simply, you know, destroys any of that opportunity. And and I think it's it's it's an opposite to the you know, you could call it the the personality of of
a salesperson who really wants to build a relationship, who wants you to think in longer terms, aside from that two, three hour window there with the client.
Sure. Right. Well, that's this is this is stimulating. I have a feeling this is going to come up as a topic of this podcast, certainly our blog, on a more frequent basis. And but we're going to we're going to park this conversation right here today.
And that's it for us. We hope you've enjoyed our chat and learned a couple of things. As always, we hear one leg believe poor marketing pollutes the planet and the business is full of tired, outdated, indistinct, unremarkable and underperforming marketing.
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