As the competition in our industry increases, setting yourself apart from the competition gets more challenging. In a highly competitive industry like ours, strengths matter less to consumers than differences.
Fortunately, there are four very important benefits only you can provide. If your customers want these unique benefits, you have eliminated your competition and created a value monopoly where you’re the only source. The benefits you can offer and your competition can’t are: Your Company, Your Installation, Your Solution, and most importantly, You.
“The deepest need in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”--William James
Your buyers are looking for a company that will appreciate them and the business they bring. Your customers want to know your company will be looking out for them in the unlikely event something goes wrong. When you talk about your company, be sure to mention licenses and insurance in the unlikely event something does go wrong. Your company is more than just those papers. Let your prospective customers get to know the people who make your company great. What kinds of training have they been to? How long have they been with your company and/or in the industry? How are they involved in the community?
Your customers want to feel safe with the people you send into their homes. Photo ID badges are a must. If you do criminal background checks and drug testing your customers want to know.
As you talk about the project, be sure to discuss the critical elements in their project’s installation and tell the steps your installers take to eliminate problems so they don’t happen. Whether it was cigarette butts left outside, marks on the floor, or leaving a dirty job site, almost anyone you talk to has had a bad experience of some kind with a contractor in their home. As you talk about the project, there’s a chance those memories come back and create concern. Briefly mention how customers are protected by your installer’s superior skills and white glove treatment.
People have a burning passion to be better off today than yesterday and better off tomorrow than today.--Abraham Maslow
Your customers want different benefits from the same product. Burger King says there are 221,184 ways to order a Whopper® sandwich. Fortunately you have a lot more benefit choices than extra pickles, onions, and hold the mayo.
When you think about all the models, accessories, warranties and services you can mix and match to customize your customer’s Ideal Solution, the chances of your competition combining the same things is zero.
Some readers may not remember, but there was a time when power windows were an accessory, not standard in most vehicles. Think about the features you’re looking for in your next vehicle. If you’ve got power windows, it’s unlikely you’d be looking for crank windows in your next one. If you don’t have Bluetooth or a back-up camera today, you might be looking for those things next time around. When people buy anything, most of them want the new one to be better… In many cases, much better.
Like snowflakes, no two customers are the same. To give every customer exactly what they’re looking for, link the benefits they want to the products that best provide them. It’s the unique way you customize your solution that makes true comparison shopping impossible.
Today’s buyers like consultants who listen, trust consultants they like, and buy from the one they trust most.
Our customers are bombarded every single day with information and, in some cases, misinformation. Today’s consumers will go out of their way to work with sales consultants they can trust. The foundation for trust is likability. As humans, it’s almost impossible to trust someone we don’t like. Studies show that some people can buy without trust if the price is low enough, but lack of trust almost always kills the sale with premium buyers. Within the first five seconds, customers start deciding if they are going to like you. The first 3 things your customer instantly evaluates about you are your enthusiasm, grooming and body language.
Calvin Coolidge said, No man listened himself out of a job. Everyone wants to deal with a consultant who will listen to them. The harder you listen the more trust you build. Take time to ask smart questions then listen to learn each customer’s specific wants, needs, fears and desires.
Too many sales consultants forget just how essential they are to the sale. Some other company may be able to deliver the exact same products or price. In some cases, maybe even the same level of quality installation, but YOU are the one thing your customers simply cannot get anywhere else.
Next time you’re in front of a customer or dealing with competition, remember the unique value of what you bring to the table and confidently offer …
Your company, your installation, your solution, and most importantly YOU.