As many dealers located near big box stores have learned, people need mowers but they don’t necessarily need to buy them from you. A lot of people will turn to the big box stores as they consider the best price to be a priority when making a purchase. Dealers need to change the mindset of customers, teaching them that the services you provide with the sale should be their number one priority.
It's wrong for dealers to assume that customers rely on them. It is really the other way around. The only way dealers can take advantage of the customers' needs is to meet them as best as they can, offering more solutions than the big box store down the street.
Your products and services cannot become a client’s number one priority until you understand the customer's needs. There are a couple of things you can do to move buying from you up on the customer's priority list without having to offer a financial incentive like the gimmicks or low prices at the big box store.
Holding steady on price
Many organizations create a sense of urgency or move up the priority list of their customers by slashing prices—and also their margins. A salesperson must create a sense of urgency or become the customer’s priority when shopping for equipment, but you should stay away from trying to be the cheapest.
Selling on price alone devalues the products and services you provide. Independent dealers should sell the value and benefit of shopping with them, and not the price alone.
When you start to focus on becoming a priority to the customer and meeting their specific needs, your "relationship" has more staying power. When you focus on the priority in the beginning by asking the right questions, you are able to influence the customer to buy now without resorting to desperate tactics. They should generally be more comfortable with the decision overall and trust you with their next purchase decision.
Becoming a priority
So how can you get customers to view buying form you as a priority? When developing your questions for qualifying the customer for the right product, develop questions that will allow you to understand the goals and current priorities of the prospective customer. The better you understand the customer's goals and priorities, the more likely it is that you will be able to show how you will help them to meet them.
This is a lot more than asking open-ended questions or leading questions. Ask questions to truly understand the prospect's lawn care and management responsibilities until you’ve gained enough knowledge to directly show what equipment, parts and service can help them with their immediate goals or needs.
By doing this, the prospective customer knows they need to buy now. A good sample question is, "What are your top three lawn care priorities this season and this year?" Ask this to truly understand the "why" and the "how" of those priorities. The better you understand the customer's perspective, the more likely you are to help them make an immediate and beneficial decision.
Many times a salesperson only asks questions based on the equipment. They ask questions about how the customer is currently using it and what they like and dislike. These questions are a good starting point, but too standard to really show your expertise and understanding.
By asking the right questions, you’re able to determine how your equipment and service capabilities can make doing business with you a top priority.
You can close more sales when you focus on the needs of the customer, not just the benefit of your equipment and service. When you understand the prospective customer’s needs, you will be able to become the customer's priority.