As you already know, the term “single-legger” refers to a sales situation where the sales person is meeting with one of the two persons who make up the “couple”. The couple can be any combination of persons such as married, living together, friends, neighbors, relatives, coworkers, family…you name it. Sometimes the appointment is set knowing one of the two will be there and other times this is discovered during the call.
It is generally held that selling to a single-legger is a waste of time. Some companies in our and other home improvement industries refuse to set an appointment unless both “decision makers” are present.
Clearly it is more difficult to close the sale on the initial call when only one of the couple is present. One client of mine tracked this and found that of the calls that were sold on the first visit, 75% of them had both persons present. Everyone likes those odds.
Still, the fact remains that 25% of the first-call closes were sold to single-leggers. The clear message here is that sometimes, which you cannot predict, a single-legger will buy on the first call without having the other person there. Those sales persons who won’t run a single-legger call, or act as if the single-legger can’t and won’t buy without the other, are missing sales.
Here are 5 things you can do to improve your results on single-legger calls:
- What you believe will determine your attitude and your attitude will determine your behavior. Change your thinking and accept that some single-leggers will buy on the first call.
- No judgment. Is impossible to know for certain how another will act. Don’t assume anything.
- Believe every customer has the authority to decide. Respect and honor your customer’s right to make a decision on their terms.
- The Therapist. When the single-legger tells you they need to discuss this with the other, try this, “Sure, some of my customers want to do that. I wonder if you could anticipate what questions s/he might ask, just to make sure I’ve covered everything with you.” If you’ve been to a therapist you know how this one got its name.
- Can We Get Him / Her on the Phone? This old school tactic can work. Be courteous when asking and you will be surprised how often your customer will agree. “Sure, there is a lot to consider. Some of my customers in this situation decide to call him / her while I’m here to answer questions that they have. Would you want to take a few minutes and see what s/he might ask?” I’ve been on many coaching calls where this has been effective and resulted in the sale.