Between the Lines: Guidance
By Fred Martel
I’ll bet most of you like your job and the industry. You enjoy the challenge of tackling some mechanical issues and solving the problems. I’ll bet it would surprise you to know that most of your customers don’t share your enjoyment.
Ask any of them. If they had a choice between shelling out to pay you to fix, install, or improve their HVAC system or putting a down payment on a new car, they would choose the new car every time.
When the heating or air conditioning system goes down, it is especially important to them to get it fixed. But they are not very happy about it.
Is it any wonder then, that when you try to sell them some new accessory that will make them more comfortable or a preventative maintenance contract to keep their system running well all the time they resist your sales message? There is a total disconnect between what you value and what they value.
When a customer encounters something quite important that needs to be done but they are putting it off all they really need is the right information. Research studies have shown that they don’t have to like the packaging of the information; they just have to feel good about the information.
Your customer wants to see that information from their perspective…not yours. Here are two ways to say the same thing, “I’ve put this unit in 50 houses this year and we haven’t had any problems with any of them.” Or “You have a guarantee from me and the manufacturer that your new system will not cause any problems.” See the first one comes from your perspective – I have not had any problems. The second is from the customer’s perspective – You have a guarantee. It seems like a small thing, but the direction you use, the perspective you use, makes a lot of difference to the customer.
There is an age old saying, “Benefits sell.” We all take this to mean that we tell the customer what they will get when they buy a product or service. I propose that you think of this from a different angle…don’t tell people what they will win if they use your product or service but tell them what they will lose if they don’t.