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You Have to Start High to End High

April 11, 2024
You Have to Start High to End High

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie, we could all use a refresher on how to increase our average ticket. But as salespeople, normally, a little increase won’t fit the bill. You can massively increase your average ticket by starting at a very high number and then coming down to a lower number. Never start at the bottom and then try to sell higher.

Now, your products for sale might be anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. Well, let’s suppose you want your average ticket to be around $15,000, but you’re currently selling the cheapest units or maybe your 2nd cheapest. Just know that you have a choice.

So why do I say start with the costlier option instead of the cheapest? Because it puts everything in perspective for your homeowners. If you show them the $8,000 first and then try to upsell them to the $15,000 unit, it will look to them like the 2nd unit is much costlier. But if you start by showing them the $25,000 option first and then show them the $10,000 unit, it will look like a lot less, a much more attractive option. The tendency is to go to the middle, as we all know, with compromise choices, but in order to have the best chance to arrive in the middle, you have to start high.

It’s one reason I never qualify budget in the home. If you qualify budget, meaning if you ask the homeowner how much they’re going to spend on the system, they’re going to lowball you. So what do I do? I don’t ask them how much they expect the total to be, taxes included and all that.

Instead, I will ask how much they can afford to spend monthly. A monthly basis is fine because they’re going to say $100, $200, and they can buy pretty much whatever system they want for $200 a month, especially when you combine it with energy savings, right? In some cases, I’ll break it down to a weekly cost because the number will be very small compared to the overall final cost. But I have to start the homeowners off with the high-cost unit first. So how do I do that?

To put it simply, I do my job – I inspect and find all the problems that are there with the existing system. Airflow, allergies, efficiency, indoor air quality, whatever it is. And every time I find a problem, I ask my homeowner, “Mr. Homeowner, Mrs. Homeowner, is that something I should keep in mind today when I design your system?”

And 100 times out of 100, they’re going to say yes. They’re not agreeing to buy anything yet; they’re just saying I should keep it in mind when designing the system. So if I find four or five major problems with airflow, indoor air quality, etc., then I definitely include them all. I also make sure to tell them about how efficient new systems are and how much money they’ll save over their old system in monthly utility bills.

In the end, I put together a comprehensive solution that kept all those things in mind, like my homeowner asked me. Well, just by virtue of being high efficiency and having all the bells and whistles, it’s going to be a $25,000 system.

So, at the end, I’m going to say, “This will solve all your problems. Will you trust me with this recommendation?” But the reality is that they’re going to look at $25,000 and say, “Holy hell, $25,000?! You know, we weren’t thinking nearly that much.”

I say, “Okay. Well, let’s look at a little less expensive option.” And you start coming down the mountain. So the reality is it’s way easier, way more effective when you start them high.When it comes to building a system with really high-end options, you’ll string together all the components that solve their issues. Take your highest efficiency system, for example. Even if you never sell those systems, you’ll want to have the info handy in case it’s something they want. We don’t sell a lot of dual fuel here in Colorado, but our highest-end system is a heat pump, a dual fuel system. And we add on 10-year parts and labor and a 10-year extended warranty, making it a high-end system financially.

I don’t show it each time for the sake of trying to push the sale; I just want it to be seen in the context of everything else. So later on, when they see the $15,000 option, they have to be thinking, “Phew, at least it wasn’t $25,000.” That helps establish value over price.

That’s how you increase your average ticket. And here’s the crazy thing. If you start high and come down, I guarantee you they stop at a number that’s much higher than if you start at the bottom and try to work up. In other words, if $15,000 is your average ticket goal, and you start at $25,000, you’ll come down to $15,000, and it will stick. If you start at $5,000, you’ll be lucky to get up to $12,000. You’ve got to make sure to start high to end high, which means a very comprehensive system that includes every bell and whistle. Those bells and whistles are appealing to certain customers.

And you do that by asking your homeowner every time you find a problem. “Hey, Mr. Homeowner, is that something I should keep in mind?” And they will say yes. When you get down to the end, you design a system with solutions to all those problems. And by virtue of just being everything they asked for, it’s going to be expensive. Watch them have a heart attack at $25,000, then bring them down the hill to $15,000. You have to start high. That’s how you finish high.