Knowing the Difference will Separate you from the Competition.


Knowing the Difference will Separate you from the Competition.

For some sales people in the service industries with consumers it is difficult to decipher the difference between value and other things. These other things are expectations, valuable, features, and benefits. The reason it is difficult is what has been practiced in the past and what the individuals have been told.

In a short 1-4 day training period it is impossible to cover everything necessary to distinguish every small detail that makes an impact with a customer/consumer. Frequently it is the small details that make a huge impact and they should not be covered so quickly. More time should be spent on these things than with giving the illusion that answering objections and closing the sale are separate events that take place. Frequently the small details that are missed are the items that prevent objections from occurring and give the consumer a natural conclusion to use you.

Do not get me wrong each individual should be aware how to answer objections and then know and understand closing the sale. There seems to be too much attention given to answer objections and closing the sale that the small pieces of the pie get left in the pan only to be tossed in the trash. Closing the sale is simply asking for the sale. When you increase your ability to communicate precisely and in terminology your customers understand objections are minimal.

Expectations of a customer are relatively simple. You are a customer and you know what is expected of your service provider. A few of the simple explanations are as follows; professional, know how to remedy the situation, not to make the situation worse, not to damage property, knowledgeable, and arrive on time. The customer expects you to have the proper tools, materials, and then how to use those items. The customer expects the company to send out a respectable person to work in your home. This means the company is not sending out a felon, drunk, or drug addict to their home. The customer expects the company to send out an informed person that has experience. There may be a few more items to add to this list and in order for you to discover exactly what is expected from a customer you must ask. Most companies will try to guess. They do this due to what others have told them in the past. Then they teach the wrong things to their employees who then perpetuate a myth that is then used to try to persuade the customer of its value when it is expected.

Features are manufactured tidbits that enhance the benefits to the customer. With plumbing a larger trap way in a water closet allows for a large volume of paper and waste to flush through the water closet (Features). This helps to eliminate the possibility of water closet stoppages (benefit). The benefit can turn into a value if the customer is constantly plunging their existing water closet. The value the customer can remove the plunger located in their bathroom for them and their guests to use. Another value is the customer no longer must use the plunger as often or at all. Peace of mind is achieved. Features are the manufactured pieces that result in increased enhancements.
Value is perceived. It is perceived by the customer and not you. Perceived is defined as; to become aware of. You must become aware of the customers view of value. In order to hit perceived value you must accomplish the customer expectation. When the customers expectation is not reached you cannot possibly reach their view of perceived value. In order to reach this you must know what is expected and go beyond expectations. This is when you will discover what is of value to the customer.

Today communication could be considered a value. It should be expected however the consumer is living with past experiences and communication was put on the back burner. The service provider would waltz into the customer’s home and say you need this or you need to get this fixed. This used to be good enough and the customer moved forward.

Today when this strategy is used the customer often chooses a cheaper fix or purchases a product from outside sources that may or may not be cheaper or is an inferior product. Due to the service provider not knowing or understanding the difference between value and expectations the customer is viewed as cheap or unwilling to listen to the professional. In this case the reverse is true; the service provider is the time waster. Increase your ability to communicate in terminology that the customer understands you will greatly increase their percentages the customer listens to you and accepts your proposal.

Communication is valuable however in today’s standards it most likely moves from valuable to value due to the customer’s past experiences. One of my greatest assets that separate me from my competition is the ability to hold a conversation where ideas and information are passed between me and the customer. The concept is holding a conversation versus me telling the customer what he or she should do. During this conversation a discovery is made and that is; you find out what is important to the customer. What is motivating the customer to get it done today?

This is highly critical to your company. When you discover why you are there and why now you have the ability to align your solution to their reasons and eliminate buyer’s remorse. The customer will have buyer’s remorse when it is your reason to move forward. They may decide to check your price with other less educated businesses that have little respect for themselves or less knowledge about their business expenses. These companies will bad mouth you for charging a higher price than them without including that you have already diagnosed the problem and removed the obstacle from the customer’s life and their cost of doing business. Understand value and in most cases you can remove objections and buyer’s remorse.

Meeting expectations is often referred to as value added. Value added also includes items the customer may not have thought about however are important to them. These things will be enhancements to their lifestyle. A customer that washers her hair at the kitchen sink value added may be a high spout that allows her head to be placed under the faucet spout. Perceived value is different with each customer. Your job is dependent and determined by you discovering this perceived value.

It is time for you to define the differences between expectations, value, features, benefits, and valuable. Decide today to start helping your customers enjoy a higher level with their customer experience and service. This higher level of customer experience will then transform into a more than satisfied customer that will purchase your products and services and will want to tell every person they meet about you.


About practicebetterbusiness

Author of Outside the Business Box: All about Sales Build a better you and increase your earning potential

Posted on July 4, 2013, in electrical sales, How to sell HVAC, How to sell plumbing, HVAC sales, plumbing sales,, Selling Plumbing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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