System for Selling – Part 6: Building Value
In this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, we will continue our series on our System for Selling. In recent issues we have covered the importance of a fully-scripted process and presentation, the role of psychology in the sales process, and how you must make every effort to create an exclusive offering. Exclusivity is especially critical because, without it, it is impossible to build value over your competitors’ solutions, leading us to the next point in our definition: “build maximum value in your unique solution.”
Value is not of much concern when selling a $199 window or $300/square siding. The homeowner has a need and you are positioned as one of the least expensive options in the market. But, when you are selling a $1000+ window, $1200/sq insulated vinyl siding, or a $40,000 metal roof, building significant value is your only hope in separating yourself from cheaper competition. Not just $40,000 worth of value, but you must build $100,000 worth of value so homeowners know they are getting a deal at $40,000.
When asking homeowners for these amounts, you must approach the sales process like selling any other investment. The industry throws around the term “investment-grade roofing” when describing metal roofing, which is true, but it then must be sold as such. Homeowners are provided an incredible amount of detail when determining which life insurance policy, mutual fund, and 401k plan are best for them and they have a clear understanding of the initial cost and expected return – the value of their investment. They will then choose the highest-value option available, the initial investment only being one component of the value equation. You must approach your sales process with the same level of intentionality and detail and make clear the value to be returned from their initial investment.
This value takes two forms – logical and emotional – which we touched on in the issue on psychology. Both forms of value are critical to a successful sale. Logical value is all the features and benefits we traditionally consider when selling. You must clearly articulate how a premium metal roof will outlast other roofing alternatives, how a fully interlock panel is superior to overlapping panels, how exposed fasteners are affected by UV exposure and expansion and contraction, etc. Then, to bring it all together, the most successful companies will conduct a true cost analysis to determine the homeowner’s savings over their life in the home. Again, this is the same process homeowners use to evaluate every other investment decision – where are they investing their money and what is the return?
But logical value is not enough. From the moment you begin your warm-up, you must begin building emotional value, otherwise you stand little chance of closing the deal. We humans are emotional beings, especially when playing the role of consumers. We live life and view the world through our dueling rational and emotional minds, defined by psychologists as the rider and elephant respectfully: the rider of an elephant might give the illusion of control, but the elephant will usually make whatever decision it pleases. This is so true in the buying process! Consumers must hear and evaluate logical value, but their emotion – their inner elephant – will ultimately make the decision. Your job is to guide the elephant in your favor.
Building emotional value is the art of making bland logic – the durability of PVDF finishes, the dangers of closed valley systems, etc. – relevant and real to the homeowner. A clear explanation is still necessary – the logical – but then you must use pictures, stories, and psychological principles to help homeowners feel the ramifications of a grossly faded siliconized polyester system or a clogged valley that forces water underneath the roof system. They must be angry that asphalt roofing manufacturers’ “lifetime warranties” are not truly lifetime and a contractor would dare quote a new roof without evaluating the health of their attic. They must be ecstatic by the how beautiful their home will look with a new metal roof installed by your company. Building this emotional momentum engages their elephant and leaves only your solution as the option to never feel that same anger and distress, guaranteeing their happiness and excitement.
Both logical and emotional value are important and critical to the sale. If you fail to build emotional value, homeowners will never step off the ledge and decide to buy – you failed to make it an emotional buying decision. Without logical value and only selling on emotion, when the homeowner feels the first twinge of buyer’s remorse the next day – which will happen regardless of your solution or process – you leave them with no logical justification to fall back on and remember why they made a sound investment decision. They will instead pick up the phone and cancel the contract.
Every buying decision is determined by value – there must always be justification for spending money – but the value required compounds as price increases. Developing a sales system that builds both logical and emotional value is critical to your success selling premium, high-dollar solutions.
As always, thank you for participating in this conversation and please let us know of any way we can be of service.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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