Between the Lines: Thinking Like the Customer
By Fred Martel
When a customer says they want to upgrade to a more efficient system, do you assume they mean lower operating cost? If you do, you may be wrong – assuming, that is. What if they are referring to comfort?
Quite often their issues are different and if you do not ask the right questions, followed by a “shut up and listen” session, you will lose more sales than you’ll win. But I digress.
Your knowledge enables you to address the issues that a home or building owner has and propose a system design that can satisfy their needs, whether you are upgrading an existing installation or providing a new one. This system can provide two types of efficiency – theirs being comfort, as well as energy savings as a bonus.
Telling people what they should have cannot get you the sale until you know how they think and what will make them happy. And it is never about price, so don’t go there until you have to. A frank discussion on the benefits of a properly designed system far outweighs any price concerns they have in the end.
The bottom line is that selling requires that you push the benefits, or the price is meaningless. As you describe each benefit you ask for approval to confirm that they understand the application. When you know too much you tend to assume that the customer gets it. They may say they do but you have to push it to be sure.
There is nothing more frustrating than to lose a sale and not know why.