May 1, 2016 | OPERATIONS

The phone rings, “How much is a valve job on a pair of early 350 heads?” Sound familiar? These are generally the first words you hear from a customer and seem to reflect the fact that your prospective customer’s first concern is COST. Should you quote a “ballpark” price? Or maybe offer the best case and worst case scenario? Maybe just shoot a quick price and get back to work? Answer-None of the above. Two cardinal rules dictate the best time and way to talk price: Rule #1- Always create value before you quote price. Rule #2- Never quote price to an unsold buyer. Create value by establishing your credentials. Tell them you’d like to see the cylinder heads, in this case, to help diagnose the problem before helping them decide what kind of work you’d recommend. Tell them how many years you’ve been doing this work and how many people you’ve helped. Tell them about the quality of your machines and the brand name parts you use. Describe the procedures you follow. You know you do great work – just convince the prospect! Creating value will go a long way toward making the sale, but you have to do one more thing to turn that prospect into a customer: Gain their trust. How? By letting them know you stand behind your work and by offering names of satisfied customers who’ll support that claim. By thoroughly discussing the problem like a professional, and like a friend, they too will know you are someone they can depend on. Follow these steps, develop a rapport, develop trust, and you’ll find that price, although important, won’t be the dominant consideration.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing, Inc.
Kansas City, MO
May, 2016