Bare Bones Biz
There you are, in front of Mrs. Fernwicky. You present your proposal for a new heating system. You say, “How would you like to proceed?”
And she says, “I have another bid that’s half the dollar amount of what you have written here. Why should I say, ‘Yes’ to you?”
If you don’t know, you may fall back on price as your only advantage.
“Well, how about if I shave off a few dollars.”
Ugh. Instead, consider how you can do things differently and be a better service provider. Consider how you can add more value, and you don’t have to drop your price.
Do Things Differently
Become THE guy who knows his (or her) way around the latest and greatest technology. This is one of the ways you can differentiate yourself from your competitors. Manufacturers are continually raising the bar when it comes to energy efficiency, hip controls and integrated system components. What’s your favorite new offering? Take the classes offered by the manufacturer. Befriend the Reps, and take advantage of their offer to help get you acquainted with new features and technology.
Many of your competitors will shy away from the new stuff. Fear, no time for a learning curve, stubborn commitment to “how we have always done it” keeps them stuck. This opens the door for you to step ahead of the rest and lay claim to the title of cutting-edge expert.
Then, you can assemble systems that really address your customers’ needs and wants. You can incorporate hydronics, HVAC, solar and home automation. Discover what makes Mrs. Fernwicky uncomfortable or frustrated with her heating system. And put together a comprehensive solution, offering the best new technology.
Couple amazing products with first-rate service. In your conversations with Mrs. Fernwicky, you could describe what happens should she select your proposal. “We can get going on this project tomorrow, and complete it by Wednesday. You and I will settle on a morning start time that works for you and your family. On day one, you’ll meet the team – the Lead Installer and his crew. Each day, as we wrap up, our Lead Installer will email you a short video, describing the progress we made. The job site will be secured, so you and your kids will feel safe. Here’s my cell phone. I’ll be checking in, and I’m reachable directly if you need me.”
Show up clean, sober (that means drug testing is IN at your company), on-time and dressed right and you can charge two or three times what your competitors charge. That’s because, unfortunately, not all of your competitors do those things.
Come up with a dozen more reasons why you are different and better. Take a communications course. Listen to great salespeople share their strategies on podcasts and webinars. Develop your technical skills. Watch videos produced by the manufacturers, explaining the benefits of their products and how to install them. Then, adopt a good sales system, which always includes asking good questions and listening. Listen for the reasons that matter to Mrs. Fernwicky, and acknowledge them as you present appropriate solutions.
Offer amazing products. Deliver above and beyond service. Then, when you ask Mrs. Fernwicky for the sale, she’ll be able to justify why she is writing a bigger check: You are different and better and so worth it.