D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — How to Sell an Upscale Product in a Price Market

© 2005 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2005
Author: Shaun Webb
Page 68

How to Sell an Upscale Product in a Price Market
By Shaun Webb, GADCO

When we introduced a premium garage door to the Florida market, I was prepared for an uphill climb. We had sold a high volume of these premium doors in an upscale area of Long Island. In that environment, customers were willing to pay more for a long-lasting door.

In the building and remodeling industry, every sale tends to boil down to a question of price. Unfortunately, when price is the most important factor in determining a sale, it undermines the importance of everything else.

Market research tells us that price is seldom the most important buying consideration of shoppers. However, it’s often most important in the minds of salespeople.

For example, one Florida dealer was appalled at the price of our new premium door. Somehow, he felt it was unethical to sell a door that expensive to their customers, even though his profit margin would be greater than on less expensive doors. Clearly, we had our work cut out for us in Florida.

Transforming the Sales Conversation

People usually want the satisfaction of getting a great deal, which brings another concept into the purchasing equation: value. If you want to sell an upscale product, you must direct the customer’s attention away from the price until you’ve had the chance to educate him or her about all the features and benefits.

Start by gathering information about your prospective customer. Successful selling requires that you find out what the customer wants. Then you help him or her to get it. So, ask about the customer’s needs, their situation, and their motives for buying.

After they reveal their needs, you might suggest additional needs that the customer might not have considered. Florida, for example, can be tough on garage doors … heat and cold, high humidity, salt spray, and high winds. Did the customer consider features that withstand these elements?

Tell customers why your product is better. Explain all the features and benefits of its materials, construction, aesthetics, and its impact on the value of the home.

After you’ve sold them on all the features and benefits, if you don’t mention the price, they may not even ask about it. By now, in the customer’s mind, the value of the product has become more important than the price.

Price Is Last

Eventually you talk about dollars and cents. One tried and true technique is to ask the customer, “What do you think this door would cost?” If the customer offers a figure, it will almost surely be higher than the actual sales price.

Your next question is, “What if I told you we could install it for …?” This question forces the customer to weigh the price of the product against its perceived value. It gets you closer to making the sale.

When you mention the price, don’t let a customer’s hesitation or objection throw you off balance. Simply counter by reiterating two or three of the product’s key benefits. Emphasize again how the product meets their needs and why the product is a good value.

With our premium door, I tell them that the extra cost buys them peace of mind. They don’t need to repaint it every five years or think about replacing it. By making the investment up front, they don’t need to worry about a garage door ever again.

In conclusion, many shoppers will come in talking about price. Your job is to change their focus into buying value.

Shaun Webb (shaunw@gadco.com) has 31 years of sales experience in the garage door industry. He has been at GADCO for more than ten years, where he is currently director of marketing.