Ask The Experts

Welcome to “ASK THE EXPERTS” at 


2015 and we still ask……

When is ”THREE company and FOUR a crowd?”

Hello At a recent sales meeting a rep asked me what to do when an unexpected guest, visitor or neighbor is present or arrives shortly after the sales appointment begins. I do not wish to get our salespeople in undesirable or difficult selling situations, yet I do not want to give prospects the idea that we would rather not have any unexpected visitors present. The fact remains that even in the case of an unexpected “third party” there still may be a need as well as an otherwise qualified prospect, meaning even a graceful exit to reschedule could still disappoint the prospect. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Signed “Three’s Company”

“Three’s Company” Thanks for your question. Yes that situation does present a dilemma because we do not want to anger the prospect by refusing to give a demo and a price AND we do not want to waste time, KILL THE LEAD, and otherwise ruin what would otherwise have been a favorable selling situation. I can imagine a situation when a neighbor etc decides to drop by to see the product demonstration.  I agree that there could be a potential appointment with the neighbor since the houses are probably the same age with common situations, yet timing is everything. It is NOT the right time to begin the demonstration when an a third party is present!

Even if it’s a relative there is now a distraction that may cause the absence of one of the homeowners, or a “spontaneous one legger appointment”! Another important point to consider is the fact that most normal people do not wish to perform certian acts or behaviours in the presence of neighbors, guests etc! A general presumption is there are THREE THINGS people do not want to do in front of neighbors or guests:

  • Exercise basic bodily functions
  • Have “marital relations”
  • Make major purchasing decisions revealing private financial details! 

I realize that a neighbor with a similiar house and needs could mean an additional self generated sale for the company, yet the reality of the situation mandates that the appointment NOT CONTINUE for the above-captioned reasons. Even though this is the case, the prospect may still be disappointed if they do not receive the information they requested such as a price etc. I would suggest that a graceful exit is required without angering then prospect. I would suggest such an exit can be made under the guise of an unexpected customer request for the rep’s immediate presence. This could be in the form of a service call, add on, or final completion. In any case these situations can present the Home Improvement Sales Rep as a caring professional who values integrity and service. This way the prospect maintains a positive view of the company and the rescheduled appointment.

Thanks for such a relevant question !

Signed Tommy Steele “America’s Favorite Home Improvement Salesperson”

“Gazing at Gadgets”

Hello An associate of mine recently displayed a small very powerful, very expensive flashlight during an evening appointment. While I was impressed with that bright little gadget, the impression it made on the homeowner was significant.The homeowner commented that she “had never seen anything like that”. My associate replied that it was a special light obtained by the company in an effort to provide light and visibility in low light situations. Is there any basis in fact for this type of expensive “prop” or tool?

Signed “Gazing At Gadgets”

Hello “Gazing”, The tool, NOT PROP used by your associate does two things” It provides needed light and it also gives the homeowner the impression that they are dealing with a professional more importantly the right type of Professional , an INDUSTRY SPECIFIC PROFESSIONAL.The fact that “an inspector” (not fast talking salesperson) was acting as an “industry specific professional” made a positive impression on the homeowner. Having specialized tools to do a special job builds confidence in the mind of the homeowner.