Nearly every article I’ve ever read with a title like the one above (or “Kill Your Competitors” or “How to Neutralize the Competition”) states immediately that you should tell the prospect why you’re unique. “What is your unique selling proposition?” is the question the author always asks you.
Now, I do agree with the notion that you should try to set yourself apart from your peers. But how are you going to do that? Effectively? What can you say to really set your business apart from all the other home pros in your town? These are the usual suspects when it comes to differentiation:
- Product or Materials
In today’s market, can you compete on products? You install Trane and they install Lennox. You install Pella and they install Andersen and someone else installs Soft-Lite.
Experience is a major factor – even the best window manufactured in the world will not be great if it’s installed incorrectly. But how do you really prove you do it better than the competition? Do you show them pictures or tell them you’ve been in business since 1983? It’s hard to prove experience before you start a project.
How efficient – or fast – you are at installing your products could be a selling point. But how many people truly need a bathroom remodel job done in 2 days? And what if the competitor takes a week to do the job, but can start before your crew?
Trying to compete on price is no good for any home improvement business. It’s the fast-path to the bottom.
So what’s the answer?
The answer comes down to YOU. Or your sales rep.
This does not mean you’re required to be an over-confident know-it-all. This means that you need to:
- Listen to what the prospect has to say
- Determine what their true needs are based on what they’ve said
- Repeat back to them what you’ve heard
- Share with them what you know and what your process is
That is how you beat your competitors.
When someone tells you they’re ready to remodel their bathroom and you immediately begin talking about the high quality materials, countertops and fixtures you use… you could easily lose the sale.
You’re better off trying to figure out why they need a new bathroom. Maybe they say they’re sick of their old, outdated one. But what if you discover the real reason is that they are embarrassed by theirs because their next door neighbors remodeled their’s and, well… they want to keep up with the Joneses.
And when you give the prospect your process, don’t simply state, “Here’s what we do and here’s what it will cost you.” You’re better off sharing what you know – demonstrate your knowledge – and put their fears to rest. “You see, many remodelers quote a low-ball price to get the job. Then they show you low-quality materials hoping you’ll upgrade so they’ll earn more. We don’t do it that way. And here’s why…”
Beat the Competition into the Ground by Practicing These Tips:
- Don’t be afraid to admit any shortcomings in your industry.
- Under-promise and over-deliver.
- Never tell them what they want to hear – tell them the truth (and they’ll sense it and trust you.)
- Have a point of view – and stick with it – but hear out arguments or objections first, before you explain the best way to do things.
- Make it personal. If these are the products or materials you use in your own home, tell them (but only if it’s true!)
- Don’t go for the sale at any cost. If the prospect continues to object over price – give them your business card and kindly tell them to call when the competitor has finished so you can inspect their work. That gets the homeowner. Every. Single. Time.
To your success!