Telling the Value Story

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You arrived on time and completed your calculations. You worked up a presentation of all the things you're going to do and items included, going over each item carefully. You've just given the customer the price. They look at each other. He says, "Okay. Thanks for the quote. Well get back to you. Of course, we need time to think about it. It looks good. I've heard good things about you. So there's no need to worry. We never make a decision without thinking it over first."

You probably just lost the sale. Unless, of course, you se-verely underbid the job. Which all of your competitors will try to do, especially if your clients reveal your bid to them? Where did you go wrong? What could you have done to have a better shot at getting the ink on the contract?

Let's go back to Marketing 101: What makes you better than others in your business? If we made a survey of your past customers, what would they say about you? Your knowledge/skill level? Your Professionalism? Your quality of work? Your creativeness? If you don't know the answers to these questions, you're losing business and money (by not generating more profit per sale). By taking the time to answer these and other similar questions, you can start improving your presentations, more sales and a better bottom line.

Put it another way: People have no way of knowing how good you are without your telling them. They're afraid to make a wrong decision. They have made bad decisions. Their friends and relatives and coworkers have made bad decisions and, miracu-lously, they become "experts". They'll tell your clients why doing business with you (or any tradesman they select) are just no good because they know better. The world is full of nay-sayers. Your presentation will over-come those objections-if it is well thought out.

So what can you do? As we mentioned above, you need to answer certain questions. Having answered them, you can put that knowledge to work right from the get go. Your are now ready to create your own personal 'VALUE STORY". The more valuable you seem, the more people will trust you to do work for them and the more they will pay. It's just that simple.

In the beginning of your first contact you should be mentioning something about your professionalism. When you first arrive, dressed appropriately and with a cordial greeting, you outline what it is that you are going to do on this visit. (A one-call visit is the same as a 2 or3 call process, just abbreviated.) You begin with asking questions. These questions help you demonstrate mastery as well as qualify and determine client needs and desires, which you will use later in the presentation stage. After completion of your quoting process, you arrive at the presentation stage. You start by demonstrating your recommendations, showing how your product or service is different or superior and, most importantly, how that benefits your client. It might go something like this:

"You asked for my quote for a good quality (whatever). In my experience, there are good and poor choices. While this is cheaper, this one will last twice as long but at only a little higher price." Or "Let me ask you Mrs. Client, which is more important: A job well done at a slightly higher cost or a cheaper job that you'll regret later? Let me show you why the product /service I'm recommending will be worth the extra cost." Stay Tuned: more next month.

John Stahl

If you want more info, just call me at 610-775-1500. I'll gladly help you develop your best presentation.

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