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The Good, Better and Best

Over the years, many of you may have heard these words made popular by a company called Sears. The concept was to have something that would meet everyone’s needs from the color to the price. Today, this same concept remains in place and adds to the high profitability of the company.


I have also met with several owners and sales managers, and when asked about their equipment lines, it always seems to boil down to their favorite brand, and often due to the simple fact of being familiar with the products, the features, benefits and the ease of installation. This is often followed by comments like, ‘This is the best on the market.” This same message is more often than not offered to the end user. This may be a true statement, but I would ask is this really what the customer needs, wants and can afford?


I recently participated in a training program where one of the main topics was to establish the need behind the need, and this certainly is a question to consider when attempting to close a sale with your customer. I have also heard some sales people jokingly (I hope) say that a customer’s financial ability is established when pulling into their driveway and the need is establish by the size of the house and/or the car parked in the driveway. Sound familiar?


I would suggest, that in order to establish the true need, start by asking several questions pertaining to their actual needs. For example, are they happy with their existing system? Is there enough hot water? Can they share their annual heating cost and the upgrades and identify any that have been made to the property?


I would also make a punch list of the information gathered at the time of the meeting as to their likes and dislikes in order to meet their needs. Also be prepared to hear that oil is too expensive and ‘What about gas?” This is a question that I hear on a regular basis’ it is a valid one and you need to have a pre-planed valid answer.


At this same meeting, you must also probe for more information, like is there natural gas in the area, unless you already know the answer. Remember also that another company that markets both gas and oil may have met with this same customer prior to your visit, and your customer may have spent time on the Internet searching different websites for information pertaining to their heating and cooling needs.


I also feel that if you listen to the customer and give them the time necessary to establish their needs, the better chance you have of convincing the customer that you are the one that they want to do business with. I would say a good rule is the 80/20. Listen to the customer 80 percent of the time and talk 20 percent of the time.


Once you have established the need and the customer’s financial ability, you will be able to provide a product from the ‘Good, Better, or Best” category that will bring them years of comfort and energy savings. Also keep in mind, that often when financing is offered, along with rebates, the customer may move up a level in the price bracket.


            As I often say, remember that not everyone can afford Lexis, but they can afford a Chevy, so all the more reason to have a ‘Good, Better or Best” sales plan rather that lose the sale and customer.

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