I have heard a lot from salespeople over the last few years, telling me that with the proliferation of the Internet and all the information available for buyers and homeowners to sift through, that they are struggling to differentiate themselves from the competition. It seems that most reps are giving “lip service” about how they are better, but without any real proof of their claims. Results don’t lie. If you are sore and stiff after sales appointments, you’re probably getting clobbered at the close by your competitors. Here are three possible reasons this may be happening, and some insight into how you might see this coming and adjust your game plan in order to improve your results and close more business.
1. You’re Counterfeiting Your Opponents Game Plan
Buyers call multiple vendors primarily to get clarity about their impending purchase. After seeing several reps and hearing their “dog and pony shows”, prospects are typically left confused because everyone sounds and looks similar to everyone else. I understand that uniforms and vehicles are somewhat different, but most companies tend to follow the same processes, so don’t settle for common when you can be unique and win more customers. Here are a few examples:
Common – “As we begin I’d like to sit down at the kitchen table and ask you a few questions.”
Unique – “Mr. Bill, where would you like to start and what would you like to accomplish today?”
Common – “We can definitely replace your equipment and complete your installation tomorrow.”
Unique – “Who in the family will be impacted if you don’t replace it and how will they be affected?”
Common – “After you and your wife discuss what we covered, give me a call when you’re ready.”
Unique – “Since this decision involves your most expensive investment, we really need to schedule the meeting when all the stakeholders can attend and discuss it together.”
Common – “We are the (YOUR BRAND) provider/dealer for this area, and sell more than anyone else.”
Unique – “Our focus isn’t on selling units, but rather customizing services to ensure your needs are met.”
The big takeaway here is to stop acting like and doing what your competitors’ do. Say, and more importantly, do things differently, customizing every appointment with the focus on each prospect and their specific circumstances, in order to get more traction and close more business.
2. You’re Cloning Your Competitor’s Solutions
It is very confusing for homeowners when you tell them how good your company is, but then show them the same products that your competitors sell. You should concentrate your offering on “what you do and how you do it”, instead of it sounding like a “#3 meal” at a quick service restaurant. Make sure your conversation is loaded with emotional benefits that will help the buyer imagine how they will feel when they own it. Verbally show them how your product or service will improve their personal lives; for example:
Common – “My Trane XV20i variable speed 21 seer is incredibly efficient and will save you money each month for years to come.”
Unique – “This is the customized signature system I have built for you. It will provide you a 35% higher return on investment than your old system that is being replaced. That will amount to $8,000 saved during the next ten years. This savings could be channeled toward your son Eric’s, college tuition, as I remember you telling me how important his education is to both of you.”
When presenting your solutions to prospects, ensure they are relevant. Product-based information won’t beat the competition because the other company is offering roughly the same thing you are. Your prospects must be able to visualize how your service will impact their daily lives. Nothing will create more differentiation than when you focus on your customer rather than your equipment and service specs.
3. You’re Choosing Common Over Unique
Prospects for what you sell undoubtedly have something in mind when they contact your company for a quote. To ensure you are distinct, the lion’s share of your solutions should highlight new ideas that your client hasn’t considered. The old “think outside the box” mantra is exactly what you should do. While competitors focus on products and equipment, you should begin to convey how your strategy will reduce sources of risk and provide emotional benefits. Here are a couple of illustrations:
When you include discussing items such as, how your service plan will reduce her time commitment, freeing up more hours to spend with her daughter at the soccer field; or mentioning that upgrading and right-sizing the duct system before installing the new air conditioner will ensure a quieter, more efficient system with a longer lifespan, you will viewed as the unique provider.
If you want to differentiate your service from competitors you have to stand for something. Be the company that refuses to move forward if it means doing it halfway, and you will have arrived at creating clarity in their minds. When prospects and buyers hear this they will begin to think and say, “That’s the kind of person I want to do business with! Their ideas are unique.”
———————————At the U.N. without a Headset—————————————————————–
“It’s great to see results from the coaching you provide. While buying fuel I went inside a small town gas station where I had not posted my business card on their bulletin board. BUT, to my surprise, there was a card already there from one of my teammates. He listened to your coaching some weeks ago and put the training into practice. Although I’ve heard you say that sometimes you feel you’re speaking to the United Nations, but nobody has their headsets on; in this case you are wrong. We have ours on and the volume turned up. Thanks Doug for being a great mentor.” Jeff Duncan, Imperial Mo. See why Jeff feels that way.
©2015 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC