Why Aren't You Selling More?
Are you generating bad publicity for your company?
by Charlie Greer and Tom McCart
"Selling" is not something that is done to the customer, it is something that is done for the customer. Most people like to buy. You can prove this to yourself by looking at the balance on your own credit cards.
In residential replacement sales, 90% of the people you quote buy, if not from you, then from your competitor, usually within hours of receiving your quote. What other industry can you sell for where 90% of your prospects have already made the decision to buy before even meeting you? You might say that, when you run a sales call, they've already bought, and all you can do from there is blow it!
So, if customers do like to buy, why aren't they buying from you? Maybe it's because you're trying to "sell" them instead of helping them to buy.
GIVE YOURSELF A "PROMOTION": Promote yourself from "salesman" to "assistant buyer." Stop "selling" and start helping your prospects buy.
When you do this, your life changes. You make more friends and customers than you can possibly hope for. The muscles around your neck relax and you sleep better at night with a clear conscience. Your recommendations are better received. You stop trying to close sales and let your customers buy.
Good salesmanship is not determining how to sell the customer, but determining what the customer wants to buy, and being able to convey to the customer that you have it.
SALES IS NOT A "NUMBERS GAME": Sales is not a "numbers game." Sure, the more sales calls you run, the more equipment you will sell. But do you realize that every single time you quote someone on a replacement, and they buy from someone else, you've just generated bad publicity for your company?
How? Imagine the scenario when someone you quoted buys from a lower priced competitor. What happens when someone they know tells them they need a new air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, and asks them who they'd recommend? That person will more than likely give them the rundown on the contractors they talked to, their prices and why they chose the contractor they did. They'll say something like, "Don't go with such-and-such company. Their prices are too high."
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A "GOOD CLOSING RATIO"?: One of the most important aspects of really making it in residential replacement sales is the salesperson's (or, assistant buyer's) attitude of expectation when running calls. Keeping in mind that 90% of the people you quote buy from you or someone else within hours of seeing you, you need to realize that you can close 90% of the prospects you see, regardless of the "outrageously high" prices your company "forces" upon you and regardless of the number of lower priced competitors there are in your area.
SELLING VALUE OVER PRICE: A good salesperson presents the offer based on value and not on price. The more benefits the offer has the greater the value of your offer. The higher the value, the more the customer is willing to invest. Price becomes an important concern when the sales-person has not built the value of the offer properly.
Good value is not how little you have to pay, but how much you get for your money.
Can you spell out at least twelve reasons why, even though your company may represent a higher initial investment, having you do the work actually represents the way for the consumer to spend the least amount of money possible? You'll never be able to overcome the "price objection" until you can.
Would you agree that, while nearly all consumers want "value" and "quality," they also want to spend the least amount of money possible, while still remaining assured of some standard of quality?
Explaining how your offer represents the way for your prospects to "spend the least amount of money possible" does not mean you'll have the lowest bid. Your price may very well represent the highest initial investment while still representing the way to spend the least amount of money possible.
Obviously, you're not going to be able to get a higher price for your replacement jobs without taking a few bold stances. Contrary to the way most contractors operate their residential replacement sales offers, you really can't justify a higher price by adding "technical benefits" like, adding a hard-start kit, mastic sealing of ductwork, extending the warranty, etc. The problem is that, once you describe those things to the customer, they'll just contact your lower priced competitor, who sells the same brand name that you do, and ask that those additional things be done, and they'll be providing the same value as you are, but still at a significantly lower price.
What you've got to do is take a few bold stances. You've got to stick your neck out in ways that don't cost you single dime, but that consumers want and place a hefty value on, and that most contractors are unwilling to provide. Here are some examples:
OUR "COMFORT GUARANTEE": We print right on our proposals that, when you buy from us, we guarantee that the equipment installed will cool or heat your home to your satisfaction, or we'll replace it at no charge with something that does.
This may send alarms going off in your head, but think about it for a moment. Haven't we all, whether it was through an error in our own judgment, or even, just to satisfy an unreasonable customer, taken out equipment that we've installed and replaced it at no additional charge? Sure, we all have. Then, whether you put it in writing or not, aren't you offering that same guarantee anyway? So why not put it in writing?
Imagine the scenario when, after talking to you, a prospect calls your lower priced competitor and tells them they can have the job as long as they're willing to write on the proposal that the equipment will cool or heat their home to their satisfaction, or they will replace it at no additional charge. No way. Most contractors, including those who stand behind their work, are afraid to put that on their proposal.
If that consumer has ever been stung by a contractor before, they're going to find a certain level of security in your proposal, and you're "outrageously high price" is going to start looking a little more reasonable.
OUR "NO SURPRISES" GUARANTEE: One of the biggest, and most justifiable, fears the public has with working with contractors, is that the price quoted is not the final price they will pay for the work. It's quite common for contractors of all fields to secure a job with the lowest bid, and wind up charging as much as everyone else through additional charges and "contingency fees."
That is exactly the type of thing that gives this industry a bad name and is exactly why we put on every work order, once the work starts, the price quoted is the price you pay, even if the job entails more work than we had originally estimated. We call that our "No Surprises Guarantee."
Once again, imagine the scenario when your customer calls your lower priced competitor and tell them they can have the job if they'll just write the "Comfort Guarantee" and the "No Surprises Guarantee" on the proposal. No way.
Once again, you've justified your "outrageously high price," and it didn't cost you a dime.
MEET TOM McCART (HVAC'S "MILLION DOLLAR SALESMAN"): In 1986, with no previous industry experience, Tom managed to be the first person to sell over one million dollars in residential replacement jobs...and he did it his first full year in the business! Since then, he's been known as "HVAC's Million Dollar Salesman."
Tom is president of No Secrets Training Systems, Inc. and conducts HVAC business and sales seminars.
Tom McCart's Sales, Business Management and Marketing Manuals can be purchased online at this website at the guaranteed lowest prices.
Want to learn more about this and other techniques for generating residential replacement sales?