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, ďWhat I would do is...Ē or ďIf it were me, I would...Ē I really listen. Hey, thatís what I said when I was a Chimney Sweep to my residential customers in my early twenties. Itís what I said when I was an HVAC technician in my late twenties to building owners. I spoke in the first person ó honestly, authentically and sincerely. What followed was why my close ratio was over 75% ... detachment.

What is detachment?

Detachment sounds like this, ďBut hey, itís your house (or building), you do what you think is best. I gotta go!Ē Detachment is an honest indifference. There is no quiet desperation or smarmy manipulation. Itís simply your opinion. Itís 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 didnít care which option I chose. I especially like, ďTalk it over with your wife...Ē or ďGive some thought to what makes sense to you ... Iíll be back in touch.Ē Then smile, leave and get back to them in a couple of days. Thatís 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 donít stalk me. You are not Ben Stiller, she is not Cameron Diaz in ďSomething About MaryĒ 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 itís time to ask for the sale itís a timing issue and by all means follow up by being assertive and asking for the sale.

Earl Nightingale once wrote, ďIf integrity didnít exist someone would most certainly invent it as the fastest way to become rich.Ē 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 groupís success! To read free blog posts, articles, special reports, or to sign up for Markís monthly e-zine or watch Markís demo video, go to: Call 206.697.0454 or email