One of the biggest pitfalls in marketing is assuming your prospects and clients know what and how to buy from you. For certain commodities, this may be true. But for most products and services, prospects and clients must be educated on various aspects of your offering.
In my own experiences remodeling our most recent home, I've been quick to underestimate or undervalue what a particular product or service entails. The joke around here is "when they pass through those guard gates, the price automatically doubles" so that usually makes me skeptical of whether I'm being offered a fair price or not.
That's where education comes in. Maybe I'm ignorant to the increased cost of copper as was the case last week when a pipe developed a pin hole leak. Not only did the plumber educate me on how the price of copper has risen dramatically in the last decade but gave a reason for why pin hole leaks are a big problem in Orange County. Apparently, because of the changed water source and all the chemicals ("chloride" and "chloramine") being pumped into the water to get bacteria to safe levels, this is causing the copper to erode and these pin hole leaks are popping up everywhere. He even pointed me to google to find all the class action lawsuits against the water company for this new practice.
But get this...
I was being educated on why replacing just one copper pipe was not the answer. "Because of the overarching problem of these chemicals eating through the copper, you could spend several hundreds or even thousands on each leak, as they pop up," he argued. He then began explaining this other process that has been developed and is becoming increasingly popular in the area (social proof) called "epoxy pipe lining," where they clean and shoot safe, durable epoxy through your pipes. It's supposed to become a permanent barrier, protecting against future pipe leaks and corrosion.
I'll spare you the details but this was a perfect example of education-based selling.
He could have...
Instead, he backed up and...
Not surprisingly, the second solution happens to be MUCH more expensive than fixing my immediate pipe leak but presents a long term solution that makes sense. After adding up the replacement of each future pipe, the patching and replacement of drywall, and any other cosmetic fixes, these things add up quickly. Heck, perhaps this epoxy lining solution is the answer.
But my bigger point is:
He taught me how to buy. He planted a seed for a bigger sale (well, kinda; see P.S.). He even put a clamp on the pipe to stop the immediate leaking so that I could think about it. The first plumber who showed up told me my only option was to reroute the pipe because of its location — take it or leave it. I was without water for two days. Didn’t even mention the clamp because that would “slow” down the sale I suppose.
Are you too quick for the immediate sale? Is being quick to sell them what “they” think they need serving them best? Could you be more educative in your approach?
Sure, this is a very manual way to do it. Every time he shows up to fix a pin hole leak for someone, he has to give that speech.
Online, we can automate this sort of thing with free reports/guides, video series, webinars/presentations, teleseminars, and more. Then, when it’s time to make the offer, we’re talking to better informed prospects more inclined, willing, able, and ready to buy from us.
It’s what I advocate in my 4-video lead sequence approach. Educate, build rapport, then go for the sale.
(Trust me: If it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make “sense.” The sale DOES come but only after we’ve properly educated them. Heck, when you get really advanced, you can measure consumption and automatically make offers to those who are ready, opting to wait for those who aren’t yet ready).
Until next time –
P.S. – Here’s the pipe with the clamp on it, while I “think about it.” Says the clamp will last for 3 weeks at most (scarcity) but this will give me enough time to google all the alternatives.
P.P.S. - Oh yeah, the "Trusted Advisor" philosophy...
This plumber has become a "Trusted Advisor" because he doesn't even offer the epoxy lining service. He can make a referral, for which he says he doesn't get paid, but he's told me to go google and get several quotes. What has he done? He's elevated his status in my mind because unlike the first plumber, he could have pressed me to replace that pipe, not mentioned the future pipes that are on their way to developing the same problem, and gone on about his business. Instead, he educated me on my best solution, even though it may have been a lost sale for him. The result? He came back today to replace my water pressure valve, re-seal my entire shower and bath, and replace some fixtures in the guest room.
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