Friday, March 31, 2017

"The Second Key Part Of Making An AIP Sale"

In our last post, we talked about the four main steps of making a sale to a client or customer with aging in place products, services, or solutions. Again, they are (1) learn what the customer is seeking and what it will take to satisfy their wants, desires, or needs, (2) explain how what we offer does just that, (3) confirm that our solution matches their needs and prepare to ask for the order by eliminating any lingering questions or concerns, and (4) ask for the order, including on-going conversations and follow-up that may ensue to explain further what is available, facilitate a decision, or keep the client engaged until a decision can happen.

We explored the necessity of learning what the client (or customer, depending on our role and emphasis) desires so we can offer a suitable solution to address their expressed and implied needs. Until we know what is needed, there is no reasonable way to suggest a way to address it.

This brings us to the second step of making a case for what we offer.

When people make decisions on anything of importance to them - regardless of the cost of such an item - they begin with multiple possibilities, do research on them, and eventually end up with a shortened list of possibilities. This is termed a "short list." We use this for buying cars, computers, homes, and many other items. We start with a wish list of what we want in a product, then we look for something we feel will meet our needs. We continue to pare and narrow that list of possible choices down until we get to a couple of alternatives that we feel would serve our needs well. Then we look to the place where we can purchase the one, two, or three items on our short list. Depending on what we learn from this analysis, we may decide on our final choice of the solution based on the supplier.

If we are supplying a product that can be purchased from other companies in addition to us, we need to make a strong case about our reputation, knowledge of the industry, similar issues we have solved or addressed by supplying this product, the warranty or service we provide to stand behind the product, and other relevant information that may distinguish us as the one to be selected to provide it for them. On the other hand, in a day when prices are so easily compared and online retailers are so frequently consulted and used, we might lose the sale if our price is significantly higher than that of other companies. If it's close, the other factors come into play. If we aren't that competitive price-wise, we might lose the sale even with a stack of reasons why they should use us.

If it's a solution that we are creating rather than simply a purchase and installation of a piece of equipment or a fixture, everything else just mentioned becomes quite important to mention to the client. In addition to our reputation, core values, warranty, experience, and other important dimensions, the fact that we have created similar solutions for other clients should be quiet impressive and factor in well to them reaching a positive decision to use us to help them.

Step one is identify what is needed by the client to help them have a safer or more enjoyable home, and step two is to explain how we can make it happen for them.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.