It’s easy to have a great, confident attitude when the wind’s at your back and victories are coming in. Those are the times when just about anybody can show the grace of professionalism. But face a prolonged dry spell or series of difficult obstacles, and that’s when you find your deep inner character. When a winner faces uphill battles, he displays the same commitment to the basics as when things are easy. He doesn’t check out or feel sorry for himself, he puts his head down and hits the heavy bag, so to speak. Luckily, you can work on your traits when facing adversity. I’ve learned from years in the service industry, and these tips will make you the kind of diehard professional for whom defeat is simply not an option.
1. Who Is At The Center of a Customer Interaction?
Who’s the most important person when you’re talking to a customer? Your ego wants to say that you are but your professional mind should know that it’s the customer. You put the customer and their needs first, and your needs will be taken care of in the long run. Nine tenths of your effort should be on finding out about the customer, and one tenth should go toward telling about yourself. Too much paperwork or show-offy materials will sink a deal fast.
You must find out about your customer’s life, family, pets, job, interests, hobbies, etc. What do they love? Do they have children with allergies or other medical issues? You can offer a higher quality AC unit with a HEPA filter or dehumidifier. Are they all about protecting the environment? If they are, you can offer them some green, environmental-friendly solutions like solar panels or a water efficient toilet.
2. Don’t Lead with Price – Focus on Process
The more interested the customer is in the value proposition you are offering, the better shape you’re in to present the price. Before you get to price, get their commitment to a series of step that you will be performing. Have them understand and value the importance of those systems and the immense benefit of the replaced parts and the pure motive service. That way, when you do tell them a price, they are already bought in on the necessity and value of the work.
3. Quality Not Clones
Dare to be different. If your presentation and value proposition are indistinguishable from a half dozen other service providers then why are they going to choose you? Are you notably cheaper than all the other competition? If not, what’s the difference between you and the plumber next door? I can tell you, you do NOT want be the cheapest.
Use your own unique terms, offers, service plans and value proposition options. Don’t just compare your version of A, B and C solutions, which the other companies have. Offer Q, R, S and T, which none of them offer.
Make sure to have a distinct brand that your customers will remember. Invest in a colorful truck wrap or redesigned, modern website. Those are big factors for consumers looking to make decision. But first and foremost, make sure you are providing that Pure Motive Service (which means being selfless instead of selfish and putting what’s best for your customer before anything else). That is the #1 way to differentiate you and your team. Put them through service training if you have to, but it will pay for itself ten times over.
4. Think Big and So Will Your Customer
Think of a car mechanic. There are cases where a customer with an old beat up car will have the mechanic replace the bare minimum to keep the thing running on the road. A shock absorber, an O ring to keep oil from spilling out and a clamp to stop the muffler from falling off! These are the tiniest, low price fixes for the mechanic and the car will never fundamentally be improved. It’s so much better when the mechanic can proactively rebuild the engine and replace all the crucial exhaust and suspension parts. He gets a profitable customer and the customer gets a transformed car that will be rock solid for years to come.
It’s the same with home service professionals. A complete system renovation and overhaul, while more expensive in the short run, will curtail 10 future problems which will cost the customer more money and aggravation in the longer run. Be bold and offer very large, comprehensive solutions to what seem like small problems.
5. Know Your Competition
It’s okay to be aware of your competition. In fact, you must know things about them in order to frame the conversation and win new customers. It’s a fine line- don’t get obsessed with other service providers and don’t trash talk them to the customer. But do ask them about any experience they’ve had with competitors and what are the reasons they’ve switched. This helps you best frame your value proposition and also avoid making the mistakes your competitors have made.
6. Sell Your Customer on Time Travel Savings
The price of everything connected to your service- parts, overhead, transportation, labor- will go up in the coming years. At some point it will have to be reflected in your prices. Sell your customer on the fact that buying a multi-year service plan right now will lock them into today’s prices, way off into the future.
7. Know Who You’re Talking To and Act Accordingly
When you’ve presented solutions to a “customer” and then find out that they’re not ready to make the decision or that they’re not even the decision maker, it’s a bad feeling. Don’t let this happen. Make sure beforehand that you’re speaking to the person who will actually hire a service technician and that you’re offering solutions on a day when they’re ready to commit.
8. Options Are Your Best Friend
You might have decided that a particular customer only wants to hear the cheapest service option. Or that another customer only needs the most expensive choice. You might be wrong in both cases. Don’t assume and don’t make the decision for your customers. Offer every buyer a range of 6 options, from full system renovation with service plan down to the bare bones fix. You will only gain by letting them choose for themselves.
After you’ve given your 6 comprehensive options, let the options speak for themselves. Be comfortable showing strong, confident silence. Don’t oversell or over-explain. Let the buyer work it out themselves and come back to you with a choice.
So Where Do We Go Now?
When things seem difficult and jumbled up, go back to your prime directives. The simple, rudimentary rules that build toward success. Take a look in the mirror and remember what you’re in this business for. Finding your core “Why” will lead you like a North Star. And to fast track your home services business to far greater revenues and profits, come to ContractorSelling.com and check out our intensive Total Immersion program.