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The Price for Showing Price Too Soon (Part 2)

May 9, 2024
The Price for Showing Price Too Soon (Part 2)

In the introduction to this topic, we covered price sharks and examples of giving out the price too soon.

Remember, when the homeowner first starts shopping for an HVAC, the single most important piece of information in their mind is the price. In their mind.

Now you and I know that when we’re talking about complex mechanical systems that handle electricity and gas and are capable of exploding, price is NOT the most important factor.

But the homeowner wants to believe that it is. They want to believe that all companies are the same and all the installations are the same. Why do they want to believe that? Because they’re motivated by self-interest. And blind to the reality that one company can be the polar opposite of another. Some companies (regardless of industry) have people who do thorough jobs and are honest in their dealings, and other companies encourage taking shortcuts to shave costs and increase profits at the expense of inferior installations or products.

In reality, the consumer should be taking a lot into consideration when shopping. Like what, you ask?

Does this unit’s warranty cover service or maintenance calls on it? Will the unit be properly installed without taking dangerous shortcuts? What about proper charging, gas pressures, etc.? There are a million different little things.

The homeowner isn’t thinking, “I wonder if this guy will install a system with less static pressure than the other guy.” They’re not having that conversation in their head. They don’t really know how to shop for the best unit or company. It’s not their fault. Especially because it’s a purchase they only consider a few times during their lifetime. This isn’t like shopping for a car or picking out wine for dinner.

So we have to make sure they get that information, so they’ll understand that price is not the most important factor. That will help level the playing field.

But if I’ve put a price in their heads before I’ve explained that difference, I’m putting myself at a serious disadvantage. Because now they’re comparing me and my price with some cheaper guy. And because they want to believe that we’re all the same, every installation is the same, then they’ll make their choice based on the one thing they think is different – the price.

It’s our job to explain to them what’s really important about a proper installation, and to do it sooner than they can ask the price question.

So let’s talk about kind of the situations we find ourselves in where we’re leaving numbers and how we can avoid them.

One of the more common situations happens with selling technicians. It’s when the tech has finished telling the homeowner about the repairs or maintenance that needs to be done, and the homeowner really isn’t interested in replacing the system. The homeowner casually says, “Yeah, we might replace it in the next year or two. About how much would that cost?”

The temptation in that situation is to do a proposal for them on the spot. They’re not really ready to buy at this moment though. If the tech tells the homeowner the cost before they understand the exact benefit they’ll receive, then the tech is breaking the primary rule of sales. He hasn’t explained why his installation will be better, why his company will perform better, why his company will show up on July 4th if there’s a problem, and so forth. So hearing the price first won’t give him a chance to explain any of that.

Because the homeowner’s ears will shut down if they hear a price outside of their comfort range.

Another problem with dropping the price off now, when they don’t plan to buy in a year or two, is that prices will change. That almost always means the price will increase, and your quote now will cause problems two years from now. Refrigerant costs, manufacturing costs, parts costs, and delivery costs all increase almost annually. And if your quotes don’t have a “good through” date on them, homeowners will try to hold you to your old quote and your profits will be eaten up by those price increases.

You’ll be forced to give the homeowner bad news when they present your quote. And there’s nothing quite like bad word of mouth from unhappy customers to unravel a business.

We’ll talk more next time about the rookie mistake of giving out the price before the time is right.