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RCI July 2017

Sealing the deal SIG ROOFING IN FOCUS There’s no denying that roofing can often be a tough business with competition rife and slowdowns inevitable. Chasing sales can be a time-consuming business. Invariably, it includes visiting potential customers, assessing their needs, measuring the roof, preparing drawings and illustrations, and gathering the necessary documents in order to develop a solution that will solve the problem – or even problems. And that’s before you’ve even prepared a detailed quotation which shows the investment necessary to refurb or replace their roof! Therefore, when it comes to closing a sale, it’s the moment of truth when you discover whether or not your efforts will amount to an order. Unfortunately, as we all know, it can also be the moment when the customer raises queries and even objections. The most common objection involves price, and we are all used to hearing: “That’s a bit more than we expected to spend – we were hoping for something much less.” So, what do you do next? Credibility gap Some of you will reach for a calculator and begin reworking the various costs for the job: revising the quotation to see where costs can be saved; perhaps by cutting back on some materials, quality, specification, labour, or even profit, in an attempt to bring the cost closer to the customer’s suggested number. However, while you might succeed in closing the gap between the customer’s price and your original quotation, you can also succeed in creating what’s known as a ‘credibility gap’. If the scaled-back solution still meets all of the customer’s needs, then they can view the first solution as excessive… and overpriced. However, if the first solution was indeed the best fit, then the second solution could be viewed as inadequate – not a “best fit” and therefore not in the customer’s best interests. Scaling back the solution and its cost may “save” the sale, however it can have an impact on your integrity and credibility, which in turn could impact upon any future dealings with the customer and affect future referrals. And, if the scaledback solution doesn’t completely satisfy all of the customer’s needs, you will then be left with an unhappy customer. Neither situation is ideal. A sense of expectations The best strategy for handling price objections is to eliminate the likelihood of its occurrence in the first place. Before working on your solution, get a sense of the customer’s expectations, finances, or budget. You might want to ask, “Is there a budget range you had in mind?” If their answer is “yes,” you can ask them to provide you with a “ball park” number or share the amount with you in “round numbers.” You’re not looking for an exact number, you just need a sense of where the customer will be comfortable. Of course, there may be times when a budget hasn’t been established and the customer has no concrete expectations. In this case, based on your experience and knowledge, you can suggest a price range and ask the customer if he would be comfortable with that. If there’s going to be any pushback on price, you need to find out as soon as possible. Another way of saying “no” Once you present your quotation and you hear those words, “Can I think about it?” or “I’ll call you in a couple of weeks,” it’s likely that what you’re hearing is another way of saying, “no.” The first thing you should do when you hear the word ‘no’ in any shape or form is to find out why the customer wants to postpone rather than decide now. If they avoid a straight answer, it’s often a clear sign that the sale is lost. Of course, that doesn’t mean that every postponement is or will result in a “no”. There may be a genuine reason why the customer is unable to commit. If so, it’s best to establish the exact time of your next call / visit and action. Don’t settle for a loose promise like “probably” or “maybe” as this won’t give you what you need to move the sale forward. Time is precious Most price objections can be eliminated by simply dealing with all budget and finance issues early in the sales process. The time to have a discussion about “price” is BEFORE you invest your time and energy creating a solution and preparing a quotation, otherwise you could slide into the sales limbo of hope! Your time is far too precious to be chasing sales when you could be doing your job of winning real customers and growing your business. www.sigroofing.co.uk 030 RCIMAG.COM JULY 2017 By Janine Brady, marketing manager at SIG Roofing “The time to have a discussion about ‘price’ is BEFORE you invest your time and energy creating a solution and preparing a quotation, otherwise you could slide into the sales limbo of hope! Your time is far too precious to be chasing sales” “While you might succeed in closing the gap between the customer’s price and your original quotation, you can also succeed in creating what’s known as a ‘credibility gap’” “If they avoid a straight answer, it’s often a clear sign that the sale is lost”


RCI July 2017
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