Around 15 years ago I requested a vinyl siding quote for my home. If I’m taking the time to call around and schedule an hour out of my day to get a substantial quote, like vinyl siding, I’m in the market to buy. And normally, if I’ve got an hour to kill, I want to be at the lake on my boat or taking a cat nap. But, if I’m a serious buyer, I’ll make the call and take time out of my day.
Six out of 10 people buy
Years ago when I was a car salesman, I liked to study statistics and the statistics on new car sales. I read that six out of 10 people who walked onto the car lot would purchase a car within the next 48 hours. The reasons for this are many, but first and foremost, it takes a lot of fortitude to walk into a place where you know someone is trying to sell you something. Most people are horribly averse to place themselves in that situation. This means, they are quite desperate to buy a car. So, you could say that consumers are almost always in the market to buy when they contact a car dealer. The same is true when they are in need of your services. So, what keeps so many consumers from making a purchase? Why do contractors get told no … even after a flawless presentation offering a premium product?
Presentation or price?
The young man that gave me the presentation for the new vinyl siding was excellent. In fact, I asked if I could buy his presentation! In the end, he failed to close me. No purchase. Why you might ask? He quoted me one price and one price only. That day, that one $16,000 quote was too much. He offered me no option to say yes. That particular salesman shot for the stars without a safety net.
When I decided his only option was one I didn’t want to take, that sale plummeted into the abyss.
More often than not, companies selling a service give customers no reasonable options. Reasonable options give your customer a way to do business when money is tight. Reasonable options do not short change the value of your work. Reasonable options are not taking a particular service and discounting it either. It’s simply allowing for a solution that fits the clients need and desire for your product. I still believe that I would have much better siding if I had gone with him. But, he didn’t give me the option to do that. Maybe, he could have had a solution where I didn’t have to get all the bells and whistles that he so diligently assured me I could not live without. Maybe, he could have offered to do just three sides of the house. After all, the back is never seen by anyone. (Come to think of it, I never did put vinyl siding on the back. I only have it on three sides.) But, when I finally bought vinyl siding some months later, did I get the premium vinyl? No. I got what I could afford at the time. But, I made a purchase. There’s a difference between losing a sale and making a small profit. Those small profits will always make your end of year profits greater than the alternative … no profit.
Option to not buy
That vinyl siding salesmen did one thing right; he knew his product. His knowledge and skill of presenting caused me to want to buy from him. But, when I decided his only option was one I didn’t want to take, that sale plummeted into the abyss of “rejected proposals.” Once a customer says no to your proposal one time, they rarely call back to accept it, unless you present them with options that fit their needs at that time. When they perceive that you have affordable options with good value, 8 out of 10 times they will move up and buy higher priced options. In the end, these are more profitable for you and give more value to them.
Always have safety nets when you give a proposal and your overall results will be profitable — small or large.