The most common complaint I get from people in this industry goes something like this, "Charlie, around here, everyone's cheap. Also, I'm in a very poor community with a low average income per household. People want quality, but they don't want to pay for it. All they want is the lowest price. How do you overcome the price objection in a situation like that?"
Does that describe your area? Most people have a whole list of reasons why they're in the toughest market area in the country.
When I ask, "How do people save money by doing business with your company?" they’ll usually respond with, "That's the problem, Charlie. They don't!"
That is a problem.
Quality or Price?
Until you can recite a list of at least two dozen money-saving reasons to buy from you, you have no right to complain about the "price objection." If you can't explain how people benefit, and possibly even save money, by doing business with your company, despite your "outrageously high price," your customers won't be able to justify the difference in price in their own minds, and will go with the lowest bidder.
You must convey quality to them in such a manner that they understand that:
- What you provide that goes a little beyond the norm is necessary and vital, and is of benefit to them.
- They not paying a "premium" price for a "premium" job. Very few people want to do that. They want premium work done at a discounted price.
- For what you do, your price is more than fair.
- They save money by doing business with you.
You need a list of the benefits of doing business with you company. This isn't a list of all your company’s grand achievements or why it's a great place to work. It’s a very real, very down-to-earth list of the benefits of doing business with your company. These benefits will be things that very few (if any) of your competitors do, and that will relate to the consumer looking to spend the least amount of money possible.
Actually, if you do quality work, if you show up roughly when you say you will, if you warranty your work and actually honor the warranty, you're in the minority and people probably do save money by doing business with your company. That's because using some fly-by-night company or simply one that doesn't honor their warranties or stand behind their work is usually a total waste of money. So, any money spent with you, regardless of any difference in price, is probably well spent.
Features and Benefits
I hope you know the difference between "features" and "benefits."
The feature is what it is. The benefit is what it does for the customer.
The feature is the logical reason to buy. The benefit is the emotional reason to buy. People base their buying decisions more on emotions (the way the feel about it) than they do logic.
Most salespeople are pretty good of listing the features of their products or doing business with their company, but they’re weak on is translating the benefits of each feature, and conveying those benefits to the consumer. That's unfortunate because benefits are what you sell, not features.
When people reject your offer due to price, at that moment, all they're taking into consideration is the money, and there are a number of additional factors to consider. By spelling out the benefits of doing business with your company using simple, precise wording, you’re helping them organize their thoughts so they can make the right decision.
That's why I say that a good closer is not someone who's good at pressuring people into buying, but is good at helping people make decisions.
That's not just a word game. The truth is that most people have difficulty in making decisions. Most people have difficulty in making commitments. Most people do not have a decision-making procedure and, unfortunately, most people have difficulty maintaining a concentrated thought process. Most people have difficulty ordering off the menu in a restaurant or selecting a video to rent, let alone selecting a home comfort system provider for several thousand dollars. Remember that next time you attempt to close a sale.
Your patiently reviewing with them all the positive reasons for your customers to put their faith in you and have you do the work for them helps them to make the right decision — a decision based on features and benefits as opposed to a decision (probably the wrong one) based purely on price.
There should be at least two dozen ways people save money by doing business with your company, so step number one in becoming a "master closer" is to draw up that list. Click here to download Charlie's sample list
Don't just come up with a list of facts about your company. Coming up with a list of facts AND benefits that will relate to the consumer who is looking to spend the least amount of money possible.
Type this list and distribute it to all techs, salespeople, and customer service reps. It also can be formatted as an effective "leave behind."
Practice that list until you can repeat it backwards and forwards without taking a breath, and you've taken the first step toward surviving price wars.
In my next article I'll demonstrate exactly how you use that list to overcome objections.
Charlie Greer has just released two new products to help you win against low-bidders and sell high-end replacement jobs. They are "Quantifying Quality; How to Beat Low-Bidders on Replacement Jobs," and "Over The Top HVAC Sales; How to Sell High-end Systems and IAQ." Complete details are on Charlie's website: www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Call Charlie at 800/ 963-HVAC (4822), or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.