Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2016
Closing a sale is easy when the customer seems positive, then says something like, “That sounds good…” after hearing the price. But what about those times when you get a pained expression or blank look or “That’s more than I wanted to spend…” That’s when it takes a different sales approach to see if the sale can be saved.
Sign people face this situation all the time. Pierre Hoffmann of Creative Indulgence, whose work has appeared recently in SignCraft, uses an approach that keeps the door open and often delivers the sale for him.
“I’m very competitive by nature,” says Pierre, “but I don’t believe in giving my work away. If I’m talking with the customer and it’s clear that they’re going to get other prices, I’ll say, ‘Hey, I’m very competitive so if you get a better deal than mine, let me know. We’ll see what we can work out.’”
Most customers can’t resist the idea that they may be able to come back and get a better deal. While they may be thinking they can get a lower price on the same job, Pierre has other plans.
“When they return, we compare the quality of the design and the materials to make sure we’re comparing apples to apples. Most of the time, they haven’t found the same quality job for a lower price. They may have found a lower price, but it’s not the same product.
“I’ll explain that I can’t give them the same type and quality of work we discussed initially for that lower price, but we can look at ways to simplify the project if they have to cut some costs. It works. I’m enthusiastic about their project, and I think it shows. But we still have to charge for the work we do, and most people understand that.”
Most of the time, Pierre can come up with a version that will fit their budget and be profitable for his shop. They obviously liked his ideas and enthusiasm for their work, and that brought them back to talk about the cost. Plus, his “If you get a better deal, let me know…” approach has another benefit for him.
“I’m also doing some market research at the same time. It gives me a great feel for what work is selling for in my area. That helps me know where my prices are fitting in.”