For most people, the word “options” refers to things that can be added to what they have just decided to buy. In a buying context, when a sales person offers options, you know you are going to hear a sales pitch. The commissioned sales person will tell you why what you just bought is inadequate and that you need to add some things to get what you really want. The sales person may even pressure you to “add-on for only a few pennies a day” or to “upgrade because you deserve it” and so on. It’s not uncommon to leave feeling like you were in an argument rather than being happy with your purchase.
Your business depends on creating lifetime clients. Each interaction is a validation of your client’s satisfaction with you and your company. A client relationship can take a long time to create and only minutes to lose. How you offer your products and services can enhance your client’s satisfaction with you, or detract from it.
The T.R.U.S.T.® Sales Process* recommends Showing choices based on Understanding your customer needs and wants. Creating those choices is an outcome of asking questions, listening, observing and measuring to find problems. Once problems are discovered, you ask permission to explain what “caused” the problem, what the “consequence” of that problem is, and then offer to explain what choices they have to “cure” the problem.
Think about this for a moment. You have positioned yourself as someone who will help and serve your customer. You will begin by engaging them in discovering what their problems are and what has caused those problems. Then, as an expert, you will offer to show them choices on how they can remedy those problems. If this is your mindset, and remember that mindset determines your behavior, how will your customer likely perceive your intentions? Very positively, I believe. They will see and know that you are on their side.
I like to compare this process to that of a consultant who is hired because, as an expert, they are trusted to find out not just what the problems are, but also what caused them. After all of the due diligence is completed, then the consultant will show the client all of the possible solutions, regardless of cost. Consultants serve their customers. Your customers are hoping for the same from you.
Once you have gained agreement from the customer that they have a problem they would like to solve, determining what choices to offer is easy:
- The “Best” Choice is the best possible solution without regard to money
- The “Good” Choice is the basic solution that is still better than what they have
- The “Better” Choice, the one in the middle, is typically the value sweet spot with the balance between what they receive and the price for it.
When presenting I encourage you to have an open book approach, showing all three choices, with pricing, at the same time. There is a technique to this that I will cover in the next article. For now, let’s agree that we have nothing to hide or be ashamed of when showing our pricing up front. Customers will appreciate and reward our transparency.
More to come on this…for now, Good Selling!
- T = Tell the Truth
- R = Relationships for life
- U = Understanding by asking questions and listening
- S = Show them choices
- T = Take action by asking for the sale
Tom’s 40 years’ experience in HVAC sales, sales management, marketing and consulting have given him a diverse business expertise. He has developed his sales and business capabilities by working with contractors, major manufacturers, distributors, builders and utilities.
In 1997, Tom founded TRUST® Training and Consulting and began conducting sales seminars that have improved the confidence and sales performance of over 8,000 HVAC sales professionals.
Learn more at www.sellingtrust.com