The following is a post from Mark Matteson, EGIA Contractor University faculty member.

When someone we trust and believe, say a technician that comes into our home or business says to me, “What I would do is...” or “If it were me, I would...” I really listen. Hey, that’s what I said when I was a Chimney Sweep to my residential customers in my early twenties. It’s what I said when I was an HVAC technician in my late twenties to building owners. I spoke in the first person — honestly, authentically and sincerely. What followed was why my close ratio was over 75% ... detachment.

What is detachment?

Detachment sounds like this, “But hey, it’s your house (or building), you do what you think is best. I gotta go!” Detachment is an honest indifference. There is no quiet desperation or smarmy manipulation. It’s simply your opinion. It’s what you would tell your mother, and who would give a raw deal to their mother? No one I know.

If you think about it, no one likes to be sold. We like to buy. It has to be our decision. Give me the information, raise my awareness with tact and compassion, offer a few choices, and then shrug your shoulders as if you didn’t care which option I chose. I especially like, “Talk it over with your wife...” or “Give some thought to what makes sense to you ... I’ll be back in touch.” Then smile, leave and get back to them in a couple of days. That’s what I like.

Professional persistence is following up when you say you will, via text, email or voicemail (or all three) with that same detachment in your voice. Remind me, but don’t stalk me. You are not Ben Stiller, she is not Cameron Diaz in “Something About Mary” so be a pro.

Listen to the nuances in their voice and read their body language. What is the subtle subtext, the unspoken implication?

Five simple steps

Sales is simple: trust, relationships, competence, timing and follow up. Build the trust by asking questions and listening; form the relationship by being considerate and flexible; do your job by fixing it right the first time thereby demonstrating competence; when it’s time to ask for the sale it’s a timing issue and by all means follow up by being assertive and asking for the sale.

Earl Nightingale once wrote, “If integrity didn’t exist someone would most certainly invent it as the fastest way to become rich.” He was right.

I need to call my mother...

Mark Matteson is one of the EGIA Contractor University faculty members. EGIA Contractor University has assembled the most experienced and dynamic faculty ever put together. Faculty members have personally built some of the most successful contracting companies in America. Visit Contracting Business for more information and to learn about the Contractor Leadership Live event. Matteson gives over 75 presentations each year. You can book him now to secure the inspiring message that will spark your group’s success! To read free blog posts, articles, special reports, or to sign up for Mark’s monthly e-zine or watch Mark’s demo video, go to: Call 206.697.0454 or email