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Value is Relative

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  • Value is Relative

    We all know that as with ourselves, we alone determine the hierarchy of what represents value. What's #1, and what's down the line. Not a neighbor, the showroom salesperson - but only we know what is important to us while deciding if, when, and from whom to make a purchase. Our customers are the same. And the hierarchal value list is different from one customer to another, and often between a husband to a wife.

    So the question is this: Since a sale cannot be closed until 1) those values are determined, and which are at the top of their list, and 2) are met by you, how do you do that?

    Instead of just meeting each new potential customer with the same generic sales pitch discussing this may result in developing strategies that can be used during presentations that become more successful. I brought this up due to a few recent successes I've had recently with the above concept in mind. I listened to what was initially said, , asked pertinent questions, and found out the main concerns of each person involved.

    We just have to remember that again as with each of us, in the hierarchal value list, as #1 is satisfied, #2 moves up to #1, and so forth. Think about this for a while.

  • #2
    Re: Value is Relative

    sonny,

    as you stated you listened! that is the #1 key to sales is listening and asking questions. and being very observant of the peoples habits, decor in the house, their cars. believe me there is a difference between people that drive saabs and volvos and even satarns. compared to other makes.


    and by being observant you can learn how to approach and close the sale. more later got to get to a job. and this job the people in the upstairs guest bathroom had the toilet paper folded to a point like you see in a hilton!

    one observation
    Kreg
    www.builtinking.com
    youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
    if you do not have fun every day... why?
    get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
    remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Value is Relative

      Sonny, your point about what is important to the wife versus what is important to the husband was never more obvious to me than yesterday. I actually has a husband and wife arguing about how a storage closet was to be built in the basement. She was almost in tears and he was getting red in the face. His solution was "we don't need not storage closets, we just need to throw stuff away." Her point was "I am not throwing away my wedding dress and the kids communion dresses and stuff unless I am throwing away my marriage liscense also."

      I listened as long as I could and did not take sides, just lots of notes on what each wanted and got out of there. If I was not a little familiar with this couple and had seen these kinds of outbursts before I would have been terrified. I know them enough to know that it soon passes and once she puts her foot down she gets her way. I will probably be building some sort of storage closets for them by March I would think.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Value is Relative

        Sonny,
        A very insightful post, just to take it a step further- Once value is determined on our side how do we incorporate that value to in most cases 2 different mindsets (clients ) to better serve the clients as well as get the deal signed quicker? Especially with clients that may have differing mindsets I usually seek out the dominant personality and play to the keys before me. Although the success rate is rather well with this style, it would be ideal two have both clients operating as one improbable , more than likely.
        JASON

        "The measure of success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom"

        George S. Patton

        www.jmsbuildersandremodelers.com
        (shameless plug for the google bots)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Value is Relative

          Sonny,

          These are good points and at just the right moment for me. I met with a woman last week who wants a second story addition built on part of her house. She's about 6 months pregnant and has two kids. As she spoke of her expectations and future needs, I realized she was laying out her priorities and her thoughts on the perfect scenario. My job now is to set back and figure out if they can all be met and if not what’s most important.

          Some things she mentioned a few times over and those would most likely be her top priorities. I believe that if we can do the things she is most concerned about and rationalize some of her other expectations that may not quite work we could come out ahead of all the other contractors regardless of price.

          Thanks Sonny, this was a timely posting.
          Jason E. Whipple
          Historic House Restoration
          Cincinnati, Ohio
          http://www.facebook.com/RestoreOhio

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Value is Relative

            Thanks for your posts, fellas.

            Jason, try to assume as little as possible. In this case I'd call her back and ask something like: "I'm working on your addition specifics and while I think I know what your priorities are I thought I better clarify them with you. Can you please tell me your main two or three priorities for the addition. Then we can discuss what your future desires are. I say that because maybe I can design the addition so it will accommodate what you want to do in the future and at the least additional cost at that time."

            Then visualize yourself in her position, in the addition when it's done, and in the future. Better still, have your wife do it for you since she can relate easier to her than you.

            That way you will be bringing everything off the floor and onto the table for 100% clarification. Then briefly discuss those future desires of hers. Now you will be the position of:

            1. Showing your understanding or what she wants both now and later.
            2. Exhibiting the sincere interest competitors may not have or show.
            3. Becoming, in her perception that indeed, you are her "advisor.".
            4. Being able to show her options, pros and cons of each, and in that way, giving her more information with which she can then make informed decisions. That is exactly what advisors do for their clients.

            Even after being married to me for 44 years, nearly every day my wife asks me: "What do you want for dinner tomorrow." See, our value hierarchy changes on a daily basis even for dinner, and she has learned that, the same thing we have to learn about our temporary "partners" in any construction project.

            Who was it that said: "Ask, and you shall receive" - in our case, the information you need to professionally serve them, which is our sole purpose of being in business. As I've stated before, while we may be remodelers, we are really "service providers."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Value is Relative

              One of the situations I had recently that I mentioned in my original post, was meeting with two condo Board members about a problem they had with the exterior concrete stairs (14 sets) in a total of 4 buildings, that went up to the second storey balcony/walkway.

              Aluminum railings posts were loose, many risers were patched (terribly) before and the risers were badly discolored, and many risers had shrinkage cracks, among other things.

              At this first meeting one of the two men mentioned how embarrassed he was at the cosmetics of them, while the other was concerned about the cracks and loose railing posts. My initial phone discussion with one of the men gave me some basic into I needed so I prepared myself for that meeting, which was to prepare to satisfy (actually WOW) both men's concerns.

              1. I brought a container of concrete bonder.
              2. I brought articles I printed from concretenetwork.com
              3. I brought my laptop with before and after photos of similar projects.
              4. The business card of my #1 condo property management owner for whom I've done several similar repairs, for them to call as a reference.
              5. A container of latex cement patch.

              While there I brushed some water, then bonder, then latex cement on one riser, and water, bonder and then troweled some cement on the 2nd riser.

              More was said, but I have not given a price yet, calculated a very rough ball park price in about 10 minutes, and I walked away with the job.

              My point is to get all info needed, learn about who you are speaking, then as the book says: "Knock Their Socks Off."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Value is Relative

                Sonny,

                You're absolutly right. A follow up before the intial presentation can't hurt a thing. It will help me make sure my idea's are tuned into what the client needs and give them the the level of service they are expecting from someone providing this type of service.
                Jason E. Whipple
                Historic House Restoration
                Cincinnati, Ohio
                http://www.facebook.com/RestoreOhio

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Value is Relative

                  Good for you, Jason. And there's a bonus you may not realize: The fact that by doing as you do, and continue to do so during the addition is being built (I'm sure you'll get the job), you will be positively "Branding" yourself. But having read my nag about branding over the years, you probably already knew that.

                  Again, good for you. You are one of the few here who understand all of the "processes" involved in owning a business, and especially as a service advisor and provider. Put her on your "team" and keep working with her to resolve any glitches that may arise before they sign on the dotted line. Remember little things like receptacle placement, possibly task lighting, closet shelving and shelving location, possible changing table if she prefers (less back strain) and that can be removed when the baby gets older, and just minor repairs to the drywall, etc. Think of all of those items and run them by here. You will undoubtedly hear a few: "I never thought about that. Good idea!"

                  In these types of jobs, like kitchen remodeling, I visually walk thru the room doing what the owner would be doing. It's surprising how many little things you catch. So it's not just an addition. Like a suit that made from scratch, it's "customized" to this particular woman's needs and wants.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Value is Relative

                    One last thing, I emailed a friend that my reason for creating this thread was a test to obtain both the attitude and aptitude of my peers here, so one could understand that after 171 "views" only three people have made posts, is surprising to me, considering the importance of this issue.

                    If one does not how to interact with potential customers how does s/he expect to sell to them and as importantly, with higher margins - the purpose of business. Those 3 people making comments represent less than 2% of the views, maybe 4-5 % if some of the views were from the same people.

                    I view these forums and their threads, equivalent to college courses. EAch one represents tremendous experience gleaned knowledge. And no one learns much by being a passive student just taking up seat space. Learning is about the exchange of knowledge and opinions, and yes even what some consider to be stupid questions. I've never thought of any question being stupid. In fact, I used to tell my employees that I've rather spend the time asking what they perceived to be a stupid question, than pay the price of the result of it never being asked. Think about that as and own attitude toward your own employees,, or customers for that. matter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Value is Relative

                      One last thing, I emailed a friend that my reason for creating this thread was a test to obtain both the attitude and aptitude of my peers here, so one could understand that after 171 "views" only three people have made posts, is surprising to me, considering the importance of this issue.

                      If one does not how to interact with potential customers how does s/he expect to sell to them and as importantly, with higher margins - the purpose of business. Those 3 people making comments represent less than 2% of the views, maybe 4-5 % if some of the views were from the same people.

                      I view these forums and their threads, equivalent to college courses. EAch one represents tremendous experience gleaned knowledge. And no one learns much by being a passive student just taking up seat space. Learning is about the exchange of knowledge and opinions, and yes even what some consider to be stupid questions. I've never thought of any question being stupid. In fact, I used to tell my employees that I've rather spend the time asking what they perceived to be a stupid question, than pay the price of the result of it never being asked. Think about that as and own attitude toward your own employees,, or customers for that matter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Value is Relative

                        Originally posted by Sonny Lykos View Post
                        One of the situations I had recently that I mentioned in my original post, was meeting with two condo Board members about a problem they had with the exterior concrete stairs (14 sets) in a total of 4 buildings, that went up to the second storey balcony/walkway.

                        My initial phone discussion with one of the men gave me some basic into I needed so I prepared myself for that meeting, which was to prepare to satisfy (actually WOW) both men's concerns.

                        1 "Knock Their Socks Off."

                        this is why you are successful and many many others are not. just like the person who repaired the steps before and they were embarresed, and he was probably the lowest price and now they see why, and are willing to pay for a professional job. YOU CAME PREPARED.

                        how many of you when you go to a job, say for trim or something like that , do you bring samples? you know most women cannot visalize what you say, unless you show samples or good pictures of details.

                        I would say as you can see from the number of post that your percentages are even correct in the field. most just have no clue. go look at job, give price, wait for call..... still waiting..... still waiting. while either someone like you goes out their does what you do and gets the job and at a fair and much higher price than the still waiting..... but it is done correctly and professional.... not just done half ass.

                        so, guys and gals, these are ideas to help everbody to improve on their sales skills.

                        I sold insurance for 17 years, I sold yellow page advertising for 2 and did sales and motivational training for 6 years selling a prepaid collection service.

                        so I am ahead of the game in that area compared to most in this business. and believe me from that training and experience I close 95% of the jobs I go on and usually at a higher price than most ... because I sell value and that I can do the job correctly. just like sonny does and others. VALUE.
                        Kreg
                        www.builtinking.com
                        youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
                        if you do not have fun every day... why?
                        get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
                        remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Value is Relative

                          Sonny, good point about this being like getting a college education. I know I have learned a lot here and it is not by always just sitting in a seat. Maybe everybody was too busy watching football to look and respond yesterday.

                          I know that one of the best things I have done is stick with this forum and take some of the advice given. Has helped my business and my confidence to not only do the work,(which stupidly at times I thought I could do) but the confidence to charge for the work I do (which I often think of as more of an exchange of money for my time that I could do something else)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Value is Relative

                            Kreg, Thanks for your comments, and you're right. I must be talking Portuguese here.

                            Beezo, my friend. Games or not, 199 views, yet only four people commented. That's 2% - maybe 4% considering some duplicate viewing.

                            I'm preparing for two more sales calls today. One for a minor bath renovation and another condo job. Both were referrals, one from a cabinet shop, and the other from a condo property manager. "I've been told that you're the man we need." Like you guys, and fortunately for me, I speak Portuguese. (-: Must be the primary language of our customers too.

                            Gotta go.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Value is Relative

                              sonny - i read it but needed time to digest it ;O)

                              your ideas are correct and i try to do the same whenever possible.

                              keep the techniques coming :O)
                              -Sal
                              ___________________________
                              BSA Renovations
                              Bergen County NJ's Custom Carpentry and Renovation Service
                              www.BSA-Reno.com

                              Handyman - Flooring - Built-Ins & Custom Carpentry - Porch Renovation

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