At Houston Window Experts we believe that the best way to succeed is to conduct your business with honesty and integrity. While there are plenty of great companies who feel the same way that we do but, unfortunately, there are plenty of service providers out there who don’t share our philosophy here and would rather rely on sleazy sales gimmicks. We would like for you to be educated on what to look for so you don’t fell prey to practices employed by master manipulators who are more interested in separating you from your hard-earned money than they are in solving your problem.
What is Value?
But before we get to the subject at hand I have a question for you. “What is value?” Have you ever stopped to think about that? You might say “A good deal.” or “A bargain.” What exactly defines value?
Well, I’ve got an answer for you and I think it’s a pretty good definition of value. Here it is. Value is the difference between what you think something should cost and what you can pay for it. That gap is its value. For example, if you’re car shopping and the car you want is listed on sale for $50,000 all over town and you find the same car on sale for $40,000; but it’s 50 miles away. You’ll probably make that drive because it has a greater value than the others.
The first thing the in-home sales tactician has to do is build value. Now, there is nothing wrong with communicating the value of a good or service; the issue is in over-inflating that value as part of a sales gimmick to manipulate you.
They’ll do this by spending hours (literally) on a very well-crafted in-home sales presentation telling you about how great their product is and how terrible everyone else’s is. They will have great demonstrations and illustrations to convince you and by the time that they finish you may actually believe that their product is, in fact, the world’s greatest and you must have it.
Then they reveal the price.
You are shocked, but you are supposed to be. It’s by design.
Remember that value that we just defined? Well, this is all a part of raising that perceived cost so that when they start throwing huge discounts at you the value gap starts to grow.
Reasons To Buy
Now that they have established the high cost of doing business with them they have to start giving you reasons to buy and that usually starts with deep discounts in the form of what I like to call “Imaginary Incentives.”
A Discount For What Exactly?
We’ve all seen them, discounts and sales for the most arbitrary reasons you could possibly imagine. Presidents Day Sale, for example. Why did the cost of a refrigerator just go down because a day on the calendar? Well, it didn’t. If anything those retailers are just making more the rest of the year to offset the cost of the “discount”. Trust me, they’re not losing money.
So they’ll start stacking on the discounts. “Oh, you’re a teacher?” Discount. “Veteran?” Discount. “Senior Citizen?” Discount. “Oh, you’re a left-handed pianist born in June?” Discount.
So the discounts pile up and the value gap grows and you’re thrilled but they’re just more sales gimmicks.
But, Wait, There’s More
Now that they’ve managed to create an over-inflated value it’s time to get you off of the fence. They know that is they leave right now you’re only going to become more reasonable and less emotional as time goes by. If you sleep on it, the value gap shrinks. If you discuss it with your spouse, the value gap shrinks even more. If you do more research, it shrinks again. So they need to find a way to “set the hook, and reel you in”.
Now it’s time to create urgency so they can appeal to your fear of missing out. Let’s be honest we all have a little greed innate within us. And I’m not talking about greed to the point that you’d lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead. I’m talking about greed in the sense of your desire to take advantage of a good deal. And it is this inclination that the manipulative salesperson is going to prey upon to pressure into making a bad decision.
Now they have to convince you that the best price that you are going to get is the one that is on the table right now. They have to get you to override that little voice in the back of your mind telling you that you need to wait.
The “Big Truck” sales gimmick is one that we hear of a lot. It goes something like this. You’re told that there is a big shipment coming soon and if you sign right now they can get your order placed in time to have it added to the same shipment. The benefit to you is that they will knock off some money off of the sales price for the savings on shipping. The catch is that you have to sign right now so they can get the order placed in time.
Then there’s the “Boss” sales gimmick where the salesperson is going to call their boss on you behalf to get you an additional discount for whatever reason they decide. They just like you that much. The gimmick is to act like the boss is either out of town or not answering their phone and they are just going to do it anyway. Heck, they may even say, “I might get fired for this.” You just need to sign tonight.
In my opinion, nothing takes the cake quite like the “N.D.A.” sales gimmick. They will tell you that the price they are going to give you is so good that you will need to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Because you are so special and this price is so low that we can’t have word getting out about the deal that you are getting. So there are only two possibilities and neither are good.
Option One, the N.D.A. is legitimate and you are getting an unbelievable deal which just means that they’ve ripped-off or gouged everyone else. Or, Option Two, the N.D.A. is just another made-up sales-gimmick designed to get you off of the fence and sign tonight. Between you and me, I’d say that it is option two 100% of the time.
The truth is the “Buy Tonight” sales price that they are telling you is the best sales price that you are going to see is actually the highest price you will pay. If you don’t sign the price will only go down over the next few weeks. They’re just using sleazy sales tactics to prey on your emotions.
Manipulation Vs. Persuasion
We’ve been talking about sales gimmicks that are designed to manipulate buyers up to this point and it’s important to note that the is a huge difference between Manipulation and Persuasion. One of the definitions of the word “manipulate” is: “to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage” and that is nothing like pursausion.
“Persuasion” is defined as “an opinion held with complete assurance” and means that I am convinced that I have a real solution to your problem or need. That I have a product that I believe can benefit you.
Sales, Minus The Gimmicks
There is a better way and that’s through what I like to call “clean pricing.” First let’s be honest about the fact that our business, and every successful business out there, need to make a profit. And believe me, when I say that you want us to; it’s how you know we will be here 10 years from now when you need for us to honor our warranty or any other promise that we’ve made to you.
After our employees are paid, materials purchased, rent, vehicle notes, insurance, etc… all of the things that set us apart are settled we need to book a profit. Our goal is to operate at a profit margin of 15-22%. The reason it is a range is has to do with the size of the job. Smaller jobs are less profitable when it comes to the manpower so they’re at 22%. For example: if I have to commit one of my crews, trucks, trailers and tools to a small four window job my labor cost is not much different than if they would have done a twenty window job. Yes, it would be a difference in man-hours but the rest of the resources are there for the day.
There are some sales real incentives as opposed to the imaginary incentives a lot of companies use. If you decide to pay cash instead of a card then we don’t have to pay for processing fees. That saves us 3% which we pass along to you as a 3% discount.
Another is an impending price increase from our manufacturers which usually happen at least annually. If we quoted you a price months prior and our supplier has told us that there is a price increase coming it is a true incentive because we will let you know that on such and such date the cost will be increasing.
Make A Good Decision
Studies show that most people drop out of the buying cycle because of confusion, and for good reason too! But there are companies out there who believe that business should be conduct with honesty, transparency, and integrity. And I encourage you to take your time, do your research, and find one of the companies, like Houston Window Experts, who believe that there is a better way of doing sales.