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Between the Lines: Price is Not the Answer

By Fred Martel

We live in a world of price shopping. It’s a fact. Consumers try to be frugal by getting the best for their money when buying consumables.

Fred MartelBut quality, reliability and efficiency need to be the priorities when it comes to transportation and it should also be true of HVAC equipment and installation. In other words, consumers will spend more when they are comfortable about performance and pay back. One example is the sale of hybrid cars, which are gaining in sales despite the additional cost.

The more you learn about a product, the more value it has in meeting your needs. Perceived value is everything. Energy efficiency and comfort sell, price does not.

In the HVAC/R world, price all too often enters in to the formula. Not because you started it, but your competitors did. So, in a sales presentation you offer your best price (bad idea), and the prospect does it – they give you the threat: “I won’t hire your company unless you beat your competitor’s price!” You fell for the trap. In this situation you must push the price discussion aside and get to the reason for buying.

You should recognize this as an opportunity! It is a positive situation. You’ve established the main objection without working to smoke it out. If they want it for less, they want it! The trouble is they do not have enough information to justify the expense. That’s where you come in. The competitor unwittingly set the stage for you. You can prove value and win with the higher price!

In this scenario your competitor gave the customer that sense of importance, i.e. they are under this strange notion that you need them. They get a sense of control. Your price is your price, and that’s it – BUT – you must show the value for your price.

The mistake that most salesmen make is obvious. They think that a better price is the answer. It is not. The reason that some buckle is that they are desperate. They lack the sales ability to take control of the conversation. They need the sale.

Why? They don’t have enough experience and/or training. This customer offers up an ultimatum, and they buckle. They do not have a substitute. If the customer is smart (sometimes they are), they pick the moment that hurts the most to drop the bomb.
The thing that makes an unusual salesperson is one that loves to say no!

Well-versed homeowners/building owners try to hook you in by getting you where it hurts – price. When this happens, you must recognize that the key element of the sale must be the whole package, not the price. If you didn’t sell the service and value aspect – yours and your company’s – you are weak. If you can’t say no – you are weak.

Saying no to a customer who tries to overtake your self-esteem is a liberating experience nonetheless. Saying yes creates an abyss that you may never climb out of. If they can’t – or won’t pay the premium for the service you can provide after the sale, they do not deserve you and your product, and there are others who will, if you have a good prospect list.

On the other hand, if you control the sale properly, you may never hear “no” for an answer! The endgame – either you sell them, or they sell you.

 

 

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