SalesHQ Member Interview: Rich H.
At SalesHQ our favorite part of the job is getting to know our users and hear what they’re up to. SalesHQ members are some of the toughest, scrappiest, and resourceful individuals you will meet, and at the same time have big hearts for their clients and the people around them. So we want to hear our members stories, and we are kicking off our series of member interviews by hearing one of our top members, Rich H., tell the story of his career in sales.
SHQ: Where has your sales career taken you? Where did you start and where are you now?
Rich: I had a very unique introduction to the sales process. My father was president of a plumbing wholesale business. At just 14 years old I began working at his company. I had the pleasure of watching a true salesperson named Larry Beck at that job.
Larry had the ability to sell gasoline to a firefighter. I noticed firsthand his mastery in relationship building. Price did not enter the equation when he was with a client. Our pricing was actually higher then the local wholesalers in competition with us. Larry still sold our materials to the local companies in our area. What became clear to me at an early age was that the secret to doing business was friendship, along with the ability to communicate effectively.
At age 24, I had a successful business in the new construction and service industry. I enjoyed it for many years before we sold the company and moved to Florida.
SHQ: What is it like to sell your industry? Any insights into the way the game is played in your sector?
Rich: This is an exciting time in the new construction service industry. Finally, plumbing services are booming and there are a couple of reasons why. There is now more to offer our clients then before; plumbing services have moved beyond fix-it jobs to complex projects that require great client relationships, problem solving skills, project management and cost analysis. With the increase in our professionalism, we have become more like contractors than “just plumbers.”
Also, our industry has started to accept flat rate pricing or straight forward pricing, which is a departure from the “take it or leave it” pricing of the past. This relates to what I believe is the single greatest change, realizing that the client needs a task completed however, they do not need it done by me. I must learn ways to make the client want the task done by me. I need to earn the right to do the task for the client.
The Good, The Bad, & The Funny
- Tell us about yourself and your sales career.
- Read about our SalesHQ Member Interview Series
Who are my clients? They are you, realtors, bankers, rental companies, condos, big business, rich and poor, healthy and sick and they all become friends. The dollars can be as low as $300 or as high as $32K thousand dollars. Last year one of our sales technicians did a $105K job. Who outside the industry would think plumbers could make that kind of money?
How to I play the game in our industry? I do not consider it a game. The insight is to look at this as a profession. This means I learn as much as I can about the product, sales, the psychology of sales, closings, and common client objections.
Next, I try to learn about the attitudes of my client base, setting appropriate goals, and managing my sales team. It is also essential to know what the market is like in the area and/or region I am selling in. What separates me from others? I have learned how to listen to my clients. I have learned how to ask good questions to look for underlying concerns. I then can give the client what they need at the price I need to have a successful business.
The number one rule for me: never do it to the client, do it for the client. Once you change your intent you have the road to success paved.