“Make More Money.” These are the three least effective words in building material sales and marketing. They’re also the three words your salespeople and marketers probably repeatedly give to customers when telling them why they should buy your product.
Everyone wants to increase their sales and earnings. But when you tell a customer that they will make more money with your product, it’s like they don’t even hear you. Here’s why.
It’s About More Than Money
When I work on my weekly newsletter or blog posts, I often take inspiration from clients I work with or meetings with their customers. Clients will contact me after reading my latest article and ask, “That was about me, wasn’t it?”
This week is no exception. I was riding along with a salesperson who sells drywall accessories. One of our stops was to visit a dealer who sells drywall contractors everything but the drywall.
When we showed up, we got an amazingly warm welcome. You would have thought I was riding along with a rock star. The dealer and his staff couldn’t stop telling us how great it was to work with this company.
(I’m not writing this article about the way my client was received, but I did want to share it as an example of what happens when you make customer service part of your competitive advantage.)
The big lesson I learned from the dealer came when I asked him about the key to his success. “That’s simple,” he answered, “I do the homework for my customers.”
“If I simply carry the products they ask for and sell them at a competitive price, I am basically the same as most of my competitors.”
Customers are too busy to do their own homework these days, even though they need it for many of the decisions they need to make every day. One of the reasons building material customers are resistant to trying new products is that they don’t have time to do the homework.
This dealer is growing because he does the homework for his customers. He doesn’t just understand the drywall contracting business – he is a student of the drywall contracting business.
This means that he is constantly learning about the ways drywall contracting is changing and he is constantly looking for new products, ideas, and solutions for his drywall contracting customers.
And it works. His customers trust him and listen to him. Instead of just taking an order, he will frequently ask them about the products they’re ordering and suggest an alternative.
Rather than assuming that his customers only want to make more money, he realizes that what they really want is to be more successful. And smart building materials customers realize that success is more complicated than simply changing products, charging more or finding a lower cost alternative.
They view making their business more successful like playing a game of chess, while too many building material companies view it as a game of checkers.
By doing the homework for his customers, this dealer has become like a partner coaching them through chess matches.
Enhance Your Sales Script
A typical approach in building material sales is to stick to a simple script that just says “You will make more money with our products.”
If you want to grow your building material sales, stop taking this simplistic “Make More Money with Us” approach. You might think you’re telling the customer exactly what they want to hear, but what you’re really doing is asking them to do the homework.
The customer wants to make more money, but if that’s all you’re offering them, they will have to do the homework of finding out how this change will fit with their business, their customers and their competitors.
You might drum up a little interest at first with those three words. But once the customer looks at the amount of homework they’ll need to do to make sure this change is a good idea, they will quickly lose interest – not because they don’t care, but because they simply don’t have time.
Don’t Just Promise More Money – Do the Homework
When you take the time to do the homework for your customer, two things will happen:
1. You will make more sales because you have done the customer’s homework for them
2. The customer will start viewing you as an expert they can trust, not just someone who is trying to sell them something
Doing your homework takes a lot more time and effort than just saying three magic words. But it’s the only way for a lot of customers to see your product as worthwhile and to stay interested long enough to actually buy from you.