Do you offer your customers a choice of yeses, or do you make them chose between yes and no? I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in the Great Northwest in Edmonds, WA, and I visited my friend Mark Matteson. He has so much wisdom I could sit and learn from him for months. Mark asked me, “Do you offer your customers a choice of yeses?” That started me thinking about how that applies in marketing and in everything else we do every day. How much would your business grow this year if the only choice your customer had to make about your proposal were a choice of yeses?

The purpose of marketing is to inspire people to action, you want them to pick up the phone, email you, send you a text message, or stop on by. Often advertising is entertaining but it doesn’t inspire; perhaps if the marketing team took the time to understand exactly who their customer is, they might be able to spur them to action. How do you offer a choice of yeses to your prospects or to existing customers? What’s a choice of yeses and how do you get there from here?

When we talk to our prospects, we must monopolize the listening as opposed to the talking, because if we do all the talking we are likely to frustrate our potential customer and miss something important that he or she wants us to hear; or worse yet lose their business altogether. Listen intently to your prospect and after she pauses, paraphrase the important points and then jot down them down so you can remember them when you put your proposal together. That way you can address each of those points. Remember to call it a proposal, the word contract, intimidates some people so proposal is a softer sounding word and is less threatening.

Once you have gone through that process and you really understand just what your prospect wants, you know how important it is to them or what it means to them, and they understand that you can make it happen for them; then you are in the sweet spot. In other words, when they know you have the knowledge and the skills to fix their problem, and they believe and trust you, ask them, “Why me?” It’s a little bit of reverse psychology because you are asking them to sell themselves on you. Done successfully you cement the relationship and set up the proposal for the choice of yeses. However, don’t ask this loaded question, until you have reached an understanding with the customer and you’ve earned their respect.

Just how do you create a choice of yeses? It’s different for each business and it’s even different for different areas of your business. For our purposes we will specify that we are talking about a replacement system; you would offer a series of choices. The first choice would be over the top better than they would expect system and it would carry a price tag that was twenty to twenty-five percent more than their target budget. The second choice would meet the customer’s target budget and provide them what they asked for but would have less actual and perceived value compared to the first choice, and the third choice would give them the system they wanted but at a budget conscious price.

The offers could look like this and you would have to tailor each to what your company offered and what you might be willing to provide. Offer “A” would be the deluxe system with the electronic air cleaner, humidifier, top-of-the-line Internet equipped programmable energy management thermostat, five-year service agreement, priority head-of-the-list emergency service, a monthly mailing of your energy tips newsletter, and a membership in your VIP club that includes free pre-filter cleanings for the next 5 years. Offer “B” might be the deluxe system with the electronic air cleaner (if that was one of their hot buttons), a standard programmable thermostat, along with a three-year service agreement and a copy of your monthly energy tips newsletter. Offer “C” might be the deluxe system with electronic air cleaner, standard thermostat, a one-year service agreement, and your monthly energy tips newsletter.

The customer could say yes to each of the choices, but naturally, they will want all of the items in the Choice “A.” In order to get them they will have to stretch their budget a little. Choice “B” provides them exactly what they asked for but with maybe one or two extra benefits. Choice “C” is the bare bones or budget pricing system with few additional frills. If you have done your homework, developed, and cemented the relationship with the customer, you provide her with three choices from which to choose. Even if a competitor comes in with a low price proposal, you proposal ranges from high to low and because you are in tune with your customer, you are in the perfect position to close the deal. Human nature being what it is, the customer will want the best deal she can afford, and she will ultimately purchase the most she can afford and thereby making a choice of yeses.

My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of my new book, Navigating the Marketing Maze, click here. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with marketing services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers more effectively market their businesses without breaking their budgets. Contact him at 260-338-4554, or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.