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Price vs Value – Lessons From Experience

March 28, 2024
Price vs Value - Lessons From Experience

One of the challenges of making a sale is overcoming a homeowner’s mindset when it comes to price. That mindset is not exclusive to just homeowners; almost all of us as shoppers know that the price matters to our budget. Shoppers can believe that products are mostly equal in quality, so we tend to lean on price as the difference maker. But that is far from reality. Because it says nothing about value.

Even though we’re taught “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” products will sometimes give us some reliable hints at just how much quality they really have. If you’ve purchased “Made in China” products or gifts over the years, you may have learned this lesson the hard way. These items are usually attractive to us because of the low price, but after a short time of using them, they break or show their true nature of being assembled with cheap parts or labor.

Lessons Learned

We’ve also learned this lesson from knock-off components like phone charging cables. The brand-named ones like Apple or Samsung are very expensive. When we shop, we see this high price and are tempted to purchase generic brands, even if we’ve been burned in the past by short-lived cables that always seem to break easily or just stop working. We end up purchasing the generic brands over and over because of the illusion of saving money. It’s true that it is a temporary saving the first time, but because the item doesn’t last very long, we end up purchasing more of the cheap cables over and over, instead of truly saving by forking over the brand name money the first go round.

That presents us with a life lesson. But we rarely learn from that unless it involves a large purchase. Phone charge cables don’t exactly break the bank. This is one reason you hear about experienced drivers tending to lean on driving one particular brand of vehicle. They’ve learned lessons in the past about vehicles that break down too easily or have simply given them too much trouble to bother with. And since those troubles, they have found one brand that has outlasted the others and find joy in driving that brand and telling others how solid a purchase it has turned out to be. Their word of mouth carries weight because they’ve told us the value of their preferred vehicle brand.

Word of mouth for vehicles is common, but not so much for HVAC products. We don’t have the luxury of having an item that is frequently purchased by a given consumer. The HVAC system was already in place when we purchased a new home. It was already in place when we purchased a previously occupied home. There are usually 2 instances where this changes.

  1. When we have an issue with the existing system.
  2. When we want an improvement in the system.

This kicks off the process of the homeowner comparing companies that will install their upgraded or replaced HVAC system. And they often believe that price is the most important aspect. But is it really? Not at all.

It’s All the Same, Right?

Now, you and I know that when we’re talking about complex mechanical systems, things that have electricity and gas and can be explosive, price is not the most important factor. But the homeowner wants to believe it is. They want to believe that all companies are the same and all installations are the same. Why do they want to believe that? Because they’re motivated by self-interest, that illusion of saving money mentioned above. To them, it becomes all about who’s charging the least amount of money.

But as professionals, we know that’s not true. There are a lot of things that need to be considered, like the ability to cover warranty calls on that unit, the proper installation, proper charging, proper gas pressures, and so forth. There are a million different little things your homeowner isn’t thinking about because they simply don’t know. They’re not thinking, “I wonder if this company will install a system with less static pressure than this other company.”

They’re not having that conversation in their heads. They’re mostly thinking about price because they believe all other things should be equal. They think companies have the same quality products and install them the same way. So it’s our job to make sure they get that information so that they learn that price is not the most important factor. Value is.

But if you ever put a price in their hands without explaining that difference, you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage because now they’re comparing your company, which is probably going to be a little higher priced, with some cheaper guy. And because they want to believe that we’re all the same, every installation is the same, the final decision should come down to price.

Consider This

If we haven’t had the chance to explain to them what’s really important about a proper installation of a quality product, we put ourselves at a significant disadvantage. That cheap company will eventually go out of business, but will that help you? No. Because another cheap company will open its doors soon. Make sure you are known for installing lasting, quality products, and use every chance to remind your prospective customers of that.