It's C.L.E.A.R.: How to Manage Customer Objections in the Residential Service Sale - Nexstar Network

Customers are always going to have questions, even before you arrive at their home for a service call. They’re going to wonder: Is this the right time? The right person to do the job? The right company? The right solution to fix my problem? Can I afford to correct the problem?

Once the technician arrives at the home and answers these questions, objections may arise. Customers tend to stick with an objection once they have realized what it is.

A great technician can anticipate objections and clear them before presenting the customer any solutions. But as I mentioned, these objections can stick. Or, the customer may not want to tell you what they’re real objection is. If you’ve built trust with the customer and they like you, they may not want to disappoint you by giving you the real reason.

If you find you’re running into an objection such as this, use the “C.L.E.A.R.” method. This stands for:

  • Customer says
  • Listen
  • Empathize
  • Ask follow-up questions
  • Respond

These steps will help you manage customer objections by getting to any real hesitation he or she may have. For example, a homeowner hesitating on replacing her furnace may really be thinking of moving soon. By getting to this real reason for hesitating, a technician can explain that when selling a house, a buyer can use things like an older heating system as a price negotiating tool—the current homeowner may end up having to replace it anyway! Remember not to interrupt, to respond with empathy, and not to give up. You may have to use this technique a few times to get to the customer’s true concern.

By using C.L.E.A.R., you might find that a customer who wants to “think it over” may only have one more question you can easily answer and resolve. Nexstar makes skills like these flow naturally for technicians by following the steps taught in the Service System. Learn more about it.

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Rob is a business coach at Nexstar. In his role, he’s passionate about guiding independent contractors to success. Before Nexstar, he spent 20 years driving revenue growth and providing leadership in competitive markets with PHCE franchise operators.