If you survived the recession, you should congratulate yourself. Plenty of kitchen and bath firms did not.
And here we are in 2011, supposedly in an emerging recovery, yet closing jobs is still very difficult. So, what can we do to enable our sales designers to be more effective? How can we possibly get our fair share of jobs when prospects tell us that five to six of our competitors are 30-50% below our price?
Of course, the “crazies” always come out during bad economic times. These are folks who love the hunt, and will only take action if they smell a real deal. Don’t waste your time with them. Instead, market the value of your company so you attract better quality leads.
The ‘FUD’ Factor
It’s been well-documented that the most powerful human emotion is fear. This is known as the ‘FUD’ Factor – standing for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
Now I would never suggest that you apply the FUD Factor in your kitchen/bath design practice. You must never, ever trash the competition – it will hurt you and haunt your firm. But you cannot be so timid as to shy away from wielding this very effective weapon.
The right way to implement the FUD Factor with qualified prospects is from an educational context. I have always advocated positioning yourself as your area’s foremost information resource on kitchens and baths. The use of Storyboards, Cabinet Comparison Displays, Consumer Seminars, Consumer Booklets and Interactive Budget Analyses all contribute immensely to establishing this position.
If you’ve done a good job of informing your prospect of the right way to buy a kitchen or bath, weighing the pros and cons of one design concept, product or service with them versus another, no doubt they see you as a consultant.
That’s a great position to earn! It can become your platform to perform a “civic duty” of giving advice when a prospect says they’re going to do business with a competitor who is 40% lower than you in price. When you’re perceived as a trustworthy consultant, consumers are more likely to accept your objective comments as truths.
Marketing experts agree that it’s virtually impossible to differentiate the quality of a service. The only way a service can be differentiated is through its delivery...or presentation to the prospect.