A few years ago, I was on a popular electronics store’s website trying to decide which Blu-ray DVD player to buy. Its website allowed me to select up to five different models and compare them side-by-side. At the top of the list was the price of each product with all the features and specifications listed beneath.
Once I settled on my top two choices, I began the process of elimination by looking at the two different prices, asking myself what the more expensive model offered that the more affordable model didn’t. As I weighed my options — wondering if the extra features justified the 20% higher price tag — I developed a better appreciation for the importance of being "different."
It is Never Just About the Price
Whether buying a Blu-ray player or hiring a roofing contractor, people are desperate to find differences on which to base their decision because they want to feel good about making "an intelligent" decision. This concept is especially true when consumers hire contractors since nearly all customers approach the contractor-selection process with some negative bias and low trust level. If consumers don’t see any differences, they feel there is no choice but to continue shopping or base their decision on the price — because that’s the only difference they see.
Salespeople need to be sensitive to this and hold themselves accountable because, if the decision comes down to price and price alone, it represents a failure of the salesperson for not giving the prospect anything else to consider. I had a roofing contractor at a recent seminar challenge this supposition, telling me most homeowners are "only" interested in the best price — which is why so many of them shop several contractors before making their final decision.
As much as we know that some homeowners will assume the risk and choose the contractor with the lower price, I would argue many homeowners think it’s risky to choose a contractor based solely on the lower price. This is why it’s so essential for salespeople to stop speaking in platitudes and follow a sales process that helps them highlight the differences and build value along the way. Moving through the process, the salesperson gains a series of commitments, allowing the prospect to understand why they’d be crazy to choose anyone other than you for their project.
When the prospect tells you your price is $2,000 more than the other guy, you can ask, “Do you recognize the differences?” And then ask them to measure the perceived value of those differences against the $2,000 it will cost to obtain that value.
Photo Credit: By Marco Verch