Selling Against Price: Change Your Mind First
We attract what we believe. Learned people have said that for thousands of years.
Of all the challenges I hear about, constantly competing against low-priced competitors and feeling that all homeowners are price-conscious comes up the most often. It seems to me that many are starting to believe that “people only care about price” is a universal truth. It is not.
When I coach people on this they become successful at neutralizing this, for a while, and then they seem to forget how to do it and fall back into their old beliefs. It’s like a weed that gets cut off at the top and quickly sprouts up again.
The first step is to create your own belief that very few purchases of any product of any kind are solely based on price. Go shopping for anything and you will find plenty of support for this. Want to buy a $12 bottle of beer…12 bucks for a single bottle? You can. Somebody is, right now. Want to go to Disney World for Spring Break? Pay top tourist rates? Tens of thousands of families will do that. Will some people see the value in a geothermal or hybrid or full ductless replacement system? Yep. And if you don’t believe that your customer might be one of those people, and give them that choice, you’ll never know.
Change your mind, act as if your customer will pay more when the value they want is there, and they will buy…from you.
Raise the Bar
In my 35-year selling career, I have found sales success by focusing on creating more and taller hurdles for my competition. Since it has never been my goal to be the lowest price, if I don’t win a job, I know that either the potential customer ranked low price higher than best value or I lost to superior competition. Since consumers who value only the lowest price don’t represent a majority of the buying market, and since only one company can hold the lowest price, I have focused on the development of a superior and consistent sales process that can be replicated each time and produce excellent results. This is how the largest and most admired companies in any industry have achieved success.
This Sales Process should be defined, documented and managed to include all the following elements:
Good phone etiquette to create a positive image from the first contact - treat a client that wants to spend thousands of dollars with you with the highest priority
Don’t make them hold
Don’t leave it that a sales person will call them back
Do confirm the appointment as quickly as you can
A consistent call-setting process
Maintain a current shared sales calendar
Have a list of information that you ideally would like to obtain from the client about their situation and needs
Ask and record the source of the lead to help validate your marketing investment but also for valuable information for the Retail Sales Person
Send a written confirmation that includes information about your company, the Retail Sales Person and the process that you will complete while at their home – set expectations
Preparation for the call
Retail Sales Person makes personal contact with the client as soon as possible to establish a personal connection and gain any additional useful information
Retail Sales Person obtains additional information about the home from internet sources (Zillow.com, etc.)
Have professional customized call forms to record all required information for use during the call and during installation
In-home process – have a consistent process flow that includes the following but leaves as much time as possible to address why your company can best address the potential client’s needs and concerns
Always complete a needs and concerns assessment and record it for use as a closing tool
Measure the home including doors, windows and ductwork system, etc.
Walkthrough to identify and record any other potential issues not directly related to the equipment replacement – dirty air, humidity, building envelope issues, etc.
Have a method to quickly and professionally verify equipment sizing requirements – don’t give away free Manual J Load Calculations unless the job is sold
Perform a ductwork assessment to verify there are no potential bottlenecks with the application of new equipment (especially with variable speed blowers)
Prepare a proposal onsite that gives the client choices that will meet their needs (Best-Better-Good) – if at all possible don’t lose the momentum you have built by completing and delivering the proposal later.
Always include a financing choice or choices
Make several closing attempts using different methods
Be prepared to sign a contract, collect a down payment and schedule the installation while on site should you successfully close
If you don’t close on the first call send a follow up email reconfirming you main selling points
Have a policy and process for tracking, follow-up and closing of open leads
Measure closing rates of each Retail Sales Person by time frame to measure progress and the impact of any strategy changes
Post Installation process
Retail Sales Person follows up with client for testimonial and referrals
Retail Sales Person completes appropriate guerrilla marketing effort (neighborhood letter, etc.)
No matter what the elements of the process are, the main point is to develop a comprehensive, fully supported process that covers all the involved essentials of successful in-home selling and to consistently follow the laid out path. You will realize improving performance over time as your organization gains experience and the process is fine-tuned. And this process will become easily replicable even as your staffing changes.
Over the next several issues we will drill deeper into many of the key elements of the sales process.
This in-home sales process and features are built into TRUST PRO® online. For more information and a free demo of how to use TRUST PRO® online on a tablet in the home log onto www.trustproonline.com.
TYE'S TECH TIPS
Creat New Opportunities Today
Most technicians don’t realize the opportunity they have to create a positive, lasting and measureable difference with their customers every day. As technicians, we can positively impact our clients by helping them realize there are many improvements they can choose from that will improve their comfort, health, savings and peace and mind.
And, if they are interested in what you have to offer, recommending upgrades will also solidify the long-standing relationship you have built with them over the years.
We have all been here before: We arrive at our client’s home to perform the annual servicing on their old furnace, which is in remarkably decent shape. You are the reason it is in such good shape. The blower is clean (you removed it and cleaned it last year), the ignition module has been replaced (you were called out on Thanksgiving, three years ago) and the homeowner, once again, has no complaints and thanks you for your professional efforts to keep their old system working so well.
This is all excellent to do. Still, we can do even more to help our customers.
Imagine the increased trust you will earn if, for example, you can quickly show them how they could significantly reduce their utility costs by investing in a new higher efficiency, quieter, more reliable comfort system. (link to Tom’s energy saving worksheets)
With the estimated energy savings worksheet you are able to very quickly show your client how much money they are overpaying the utility each month. They will appreciate the information. Try this today. Give them all the facts so they can make their own decision, before their furnace makes the decision for them.
Your employer will thank you, the environment will thank you and most importantly, your client will thank you.
Tye Leishman has serviced, installed and sold HVAC systems for more than 20 years. He is the founder and President of Tempco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Ltd., a full service HVACR/Electrical contractor located in Powell River, B.C. Canada. He is also a certified sales trainer with TRUST® Training and Consulting. Tye can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 1-604-485-5352.
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