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Client And Competitors

 
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:50 AM   #1
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Client And Competitors


We run an interior design and renovate business near Toronto. We have a showroom. After a year in business, I realized I can't close a single sale with people of a certain group. They will get 20-30 quotes until they find the lowest price possible. I thought it was just my luck or odd clients. I started to change my thought after meeting with at least 30-35 of them. Each meeting takes 2 hours, they stay for the entire meeting and sometimes go for 2-3 meetings then to say no. They do not show signs of seeking the lowest prices regardless or product quality and workmanship. My question is how do we identify them early on so we can filter them out.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:16 AM   #2
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Re: Client And Competitors


One of the quickest ways is getting an overall understanding of their "vision" (or lack thereof) and using your experience to break it down into pricing categories with ranges in pricing (in three levels - budget, what the majority end up choosing, and for those for whom money is not an issue but they want what they want)...


"For what you're envisioning, there are those who are budget minded and need it without the bells and whistles, which can range in price from $X to $X; then you have those who have been planning this for a while and want more than basic and want to include bells and whistles to complete their vision, and that can range from $X to $X, and then there are those for whom money is not an object and they simply want what they want, and that can range from $X and up. Of those three, where do you think your budget fits most comfortably?"
(They are now going to tell you what budget range to target, which is usually the middle one, or if they can't, how much time to NOT waste on them)
Makes it more bite-size for them, gives them an idea what their project can potentially cost (no matter the level) and whether or not they're pipe-dreaming... it also allows you to zero in on what their budget is and a range of pricing, products and services of what they can actually afford... they're not going to want to necessarily sit for two hours (some will) when they know they can't afford any range... unless you can establish a financing program that makes it affordable for them...

Escort, Audi or Mercedes... they all drive, but give you a different level of quality, product and experience...

But some can only afford used, so none of those make sense for them...

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Last edited by KAP; 04-16-2019 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Client And Competitors


Give them a price and a discount if they sign on the spot or within something like a day. If they didn't sign with a discount, they aren't going to sign.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:09 AM   #4
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Re: Client And Competitors


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Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
Give them a price and a discount if they sign on the spot or within something like a day. If they didn't sign with a discount, they aren't going to sign.
The only potential problem with that approach is the customer has no idea how deep the discount well goes and may either keep digging or use it as a reason to check out the competition to make sure it's a "good deal" because they have no reason to think the discount (or another form of it) won't be available if they do... it also associates you with those who practice high-pressure sales and/or pricing gimmicks... and that's the last taste you leave in their mouth... and word gets around (which might not be good for a storefront with a showroom), so you have to decide if that's the last impression you want to leave them with...

ANYTIME a customer gets a reduction in price, it has to be tied to something tangible and verifiable (like a 3rd party manufacturer promo that you are making the customer aware of, or them choosing a lower priced product for their project, for example)...

Otherwise it's hard for the customer to not want to find out how deep the discount well goes...

Last edited by KAP; 04-16-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:26 PM   #5
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Re: Client And Competitors


It times out. Yes, it could be considered a pressure sales tactic. No, it doesn't have to be tied to some promotion.

You're right that it represents a change in sales tactics, so you have to integrate it with how you want to be perceived.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:49 PM   #6
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Re: Client And Competitors


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Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
It times out. Yes, it could be considered a pressure sales tactic. No, it doesn't have to be tied to some promotion.



You're right that it represents a change in sales tactics, so you have to integrate it with how you want to be perceived.
I've only been in business a little over 30 years, but I've never offered a discount. Scope options yes, but never a discount

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Old 04-16-2019, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Client And Competitors


"It takes two to Tango" That means, you are agreeing to dance with your customers for as long as they desire. Your are allowing your customers to control you. Get better control over your customers.

"Never ask a question that can result in an answer you don't want to hear"

I made that one up, myself! Always have full control of conversations and drive customers to where you want them to go. Don't ask questions that give the customer the opportunity to hit you with objections or arguments. Your brain has to be several minutes ahead of your customers. There is a point when the customers have told you enough about what they want and either your customer has control, or you do.

A high percent (not all) of sales people who think they are good at sales tend to think to be a good sales person they only have to answer customers' questions, correctly. I agree that customers should be allowed to ask questions, but there comes a time when enough questions have been asked and then the sales person has to be able to control and drive the customer to where he wants customers to go.

Your business is your forte. You are the master. You are like an airline pilot and the pilot controls the flight path and airplane. There comes a time in the sales presentation where the destination and flight path has been chosen. The plane is taxiing down the runway. The time has come for passengers to stop waffling and asking questions. It is the captains job to drive the passengers to where they said they wanted to go. This is when the captain is in charge and the passengers have to stop asking questions about their flight plan and destination.

Map out your sales presentation like a flight plan. Devise, on paper, a list of the right questions to ask customers to avoid lengthy conversational questions and answers sessions.

This is the reason I will write in almost every post that sales people need to read as many books as possible about closing sales and control issues.

Start with:

Never Split The Difference
How To Win Friends and Influence People In the Digital Age
Start With No

and a hundred other books that make a lot of sense.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:32 PM   #8
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Re: Client And Competitors


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I've only been in business a little over 30 years, but I've never offered a discount. Scope options yes, but never a discount

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I don't offer discounts, either. Some contractors will offer discounts, financing, up grades, and so on. It's part of their marketing and sales strategy.

Many states the customer have a couple days to change their mind if they signed a contract. Maybe they back out, but you get an answer fast.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:24 AM   #9
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Re: Client And Competitors


i don`t think like a sales person after doing this over 30 years ( i`m 60 this year)

i have learned that " as they are interviewing you, you should be interviewing them back"

no offense to some of you , but i find its best to come in , and let them know i will be the general , and this job will be performed with no glitches
i walk them through the steps of what i would do.
i want them to hire me for my experience , not because i`m the cheap one .

to me its not a game , or like a plane pilot and passenger skit . no offense meant at all, but a sales person never seems to know that most of us can see through those games , and that your playing a tactic.
" make them say " yes " alot " " say their name a lot " " laugh at their jokes ,etc.

i`m a person your a person , and i keep it that simple.( till me have to sign a contract , then its business.

i try to let them know quickly where the numbers could be heading

a lot of times i`m not even dressed up . i've just come from my other job , and let them know i`m hands on , and so sorry i`m not dressed up"
most appreciate that

its looking like it might be around $20,000 , is that in your ballpark?

if people tell me they want the cheapest cost .

i tell them
"with me , your paying for piece of mind . your paying someone who will not do you wrong . someone who is fully licensed and insured. someone who you can leave in your home/business , and you can trust with your possessions. someone who will stay on this project from beginning to end , and will represent your best interest. i simply can`t afford to be the cheapest. i`m definitely not the most expensive either . but i do need to be paid for my reputation , and experience."


don`t give too much free info
i`d show them photos or videos of past projects , and let them know your work style.
if you`ll be there daily, will you be co ordinating the subs .
materials, and subs mark-ups .

once your established , this all won`t matter , because your not banking on every potential client who comes in the door.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:42 PM   #10
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Re: Client And Competitors


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodspike View Post
i don`t think like a sales person after doing this over 30 years ( i`m 60 this year)

i have learned that " as they are interviewing you, you should be interviewing them back"

no offense to some of you , but i find its best to come in , and let them know i will be the general , and this job will be performed with no glitches
i walk them through the steps of what i would do.
i want them to hire me for my experience , not because i`m the cheap one .

to me its not a game , or like a plane pilot and passenger skit . no offense meant at all, but a sales person never seems to know that most of us can see through those games , and that your playing a tactic.
" make them say " yes " alot " " say their name a lot " " laugh at their jokes ,etc.

i`m a person your a person , and i keep it that simple.( till me have to sign a contract , then its business.

i try to let them know quickly where the numbers could be heading

a lot of times i`m not even dressed up . i've just come from my other job , and let them know i`m hands on , and so sorry i`m not dressed up"
most appreciate that

its looking like it might be around $20,000 , is that in your ballpark?

if people tell me they want the cheapest cost .

i tell them
"with me , your paying for piece of mind . your paying someone who will not do you wrong . someone who is fully licensed and insured. someone who you can leave in your home/business , and you can trust with your possessions. someone who will stay on this project from beginning to end , and will represent your best interest. i simply can`t afford to be the cheapest. i`m definitely not the most expensive either . but i do need to be paid for my reputation , and experience."


don`t give too much free info
i`d show them photos or videos of past projects , and let them know your work style.
if you`ll be there daily, will you be co ordinating the subs .
materials, and subs mark-ups .

once your established , this all won`t matter , because your not banking on every potential client who comes in the door.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your approach for closing sales.
But, even when a salesperson is successful and thinks he is on top of his game it is always better to understand as much psychology and as much of the scientific knowledge that is available so he can close even a higher percent of sales and even get a lot more money for each sale, while working the same number of hours.

Personally, I think I am one of the best salespersons in the construction industry and then I have sales people working for me who blow me away. Each one of my salespersons have slightly different approaches, mannerisms and methods that allow them to be great salespersons. But, wouldn't it be nice to be able to learn as much as possible from each other sales person as possible and especially from books that make sense.

I think the premise of this thread is about the OP spending and wasting too much time with tire kickers. He may be a great salesperson, but my point of view is that he is allowing his customers to waste his time. He needs to devise a better system with the proper answers and a mapped out route from the beginning to the end.

There are very specific sciences for sales and for dealing with every person we talk to all day including our children and families. This knowledge is not only for closing sales because this knowledge actually helps to make our entire lives more enjoyable and free from stress.

Every contractor who wants to hire and train sales people cannot just tell his new hire that he only needs to be a nice guy, ask questions and be a good listener. I believe that learning just a tad of knowledge can be work several million dollars over a lifetime and that makes me believe that no salesperson should resist investigating for new knowledge.

There is another book 'Be Average Or Be Obsessed'. In a way I love the premise of the book because the book describes myself and thoughts to a 'T'. At the same time, the author goes a little overboard, but it is still a terrific book and I highly recommend it for everyone in sales.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:21 AM   #11
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Re: Client And Competitors


Quote:
Originally Posted by lazypanda188 View Post
We run an interior design and renovate business near Toronto. We have a showroom. After a year in business, I realized I can't close a single sale with PEOPLE OF A CERTAIN GROUP. They will get 20-30 quotes until they find the lowest price possible. I thought it was just my luck or odd clients. I started to change my thought after meeting with AT LEAST 30-35 OF THEM.. Each meeting takes 2 hours, they stay for the entire meeting and sometimes go for 2-3 meetings then to say no. They do not show signs of seeking the lowest prices regardless or product quality and workmanship. My question is how do we identify them early on so we can filter them out.


Sounds like you’re already identified them.

Stop meeting with that group, or charge $100 for a consultation.





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