Get Prospects to Play the Cards You Deal

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, consumers have been socialized into thinking they must get at least three estimates from reputable companies before making a buying decision. But what if those three estimates came from one reputable company? And what if they were delivered in such a compelling, meaningful way that the prospect felt comfortable giving you a sizable retainer before you even measured their kitchen?

Not only is this scenario possible, it’s central to a proven, industry-specific selling system that’s been in existence for 20+ years. The system has worked in communities coast to coast, in both affluent and blue collar markets, whether they have been urban, suburban or rural. And, the results have been transformational for the owners and sales designers who have mastered the principles, mechanics, presentation and nuances of its implementation.

Imagine doubling your sales volume in one-half the time it takes the average sales designer to typically earn a commitment following a traditional sales approach! Better yet, imagine winning these sales at gross profit margins that are up to 50% higher than what you normally achieve! These outcomes are all possible for those who dare to be different, dare to be more transparent, dare to be more credible.


All About Choice

For the most part, your target kitchen remodeling customer is likely educated. Educated people do not like to be sold anything. They prefer to be informed on the range of possibilities so they can make the right choice for their family.

However, the range of product choices can be mind-boggling for the consumer – and unlimited options tend to paralyze consumers. Human nature is such that, as long as there is an illusion of choice, consumers rarely focus on the missing options. Rather, a limited range of choices comforts people.

Your target kitchen remodeling customer is no doubt also very busy. He or she will spend time on the Internet gathering information and narrowing the choices. If you were in the market for a new kitchen, you, too, would probably want estimates from three reliable companies to be assured of making a good choice. However, if you became engaged with a credible professional, employing the aforementioned selling system that generates three different estimates, you might very well feel compelled to commit to him or her…on the spot.


Wondrous Sales Results

There are numerous keys to doubling your sales volume in one-half the time at 50% higher gross profit margins. The following are the most pivotal elements in the success of this system:

  1. Built off a foundation of selling fundamentals, the system is crafted around the prospect’s needs; it delivers a “design solution” and a credible “price” in a timely manner – in hours, not weeks – so prospects can make an informed decision.
  2. It’s predicated on the idea that consumers do not need an exact plan or estimate to make a buying decision; rather, some semblance of a “design concept” and “budget range” is sufficient.
  3. It features an educational and transparent project budgeting methodology to deliver the “price.”
  4. Budgeting selections are limited to three columns: “Good,” “Better” and “Best.”
  5. The unbundled prices per category are presented in a “shock-proof” way so each one appears credible.
  6. During the home consultation visit, the budgeting is done interactively in about 30 minutes so your clients “own” the end price range and feel comfortable giving you a retainer check.


The Power of Options

It’s been said that it’s impossible to convince anyone of anything. The experience is just too adversarial, a prime characteristic of the traditional industry sales approach that involves five steps: (1) Needs Analysis, (2) Measurements, (3) Plan & Price, (4) Presentation/Attempt to Close, and (5) Chase.

I informally polled a wide spectrum of sales designers around the country on this topic, and the average time to get a commitment following this traditional sales approach is about 7-9 hours. That’s over a number of weeks, sometimes even months. Closing percentages are reportedly 30-35%.

Since few owners have a definitive lead system, or use CRM software, these numbers are best estimates.

However, when prospects collaborate with you on budgeting choices, they end up convincing themselves that the end number is the right price range. That’s the power of controlling the options…of getting them to play the cards that you deal.

In choosing from “good,” “better,” and “best” options, consumers end up shopping within your company during a meaningful, educational process that bonds them more tightly with you. It also elevates your relationship with consumers. They now understand why kitchens in general cost as much as they do, perceiving you as an objective consultant who is flexible, trustworthy and accountable. Professionals who have mastered this system have enjoyed 70-90% closing rates. This also helps to explain why people are willing to pay more money to do business with these pros.


Automation Benefits

Of course when a company produces more business, it can result in eroding profit margins, as project details get lost in the rush. Automation provides one solution to this.

At the recent KBIS, industry-specific management software was introduced that embraces the GBB Selling System, integrates with CAD on the front end, integrates with Quickbooks on the back end, and embodies best business practices in between. The system has the potential to greatly enhance team productivity while delivering superior client service through comprehensive control of project details.

Recently, I heard this business observation: “It’s not the big that eat the small. It’s the fast that eat the slow.” Speed kills the competition. For example, marketers preach to always be first to introduce something of value – like a new service – to your target customers and the rewards will be fantastic, burying the competition in the process.

So kitchen/bath companies that leverage this kind of end-to-end management technology first, offering “good-better-best” project budgeting options to prospects, will gain major efficiencies and be able to deliver a “plan” and a “price” faster than their competitors. In gaining speed of “delivery,” they are very likely to work smarter and live better while their competitors suffer dwindling market share.


Ken Peterson, CKD, LPBC, is president of the Chapel Hill, NC-based SEN Design Group. For additional information on the Good-Better-Best Selling System, please contact Peterson at 1-800-991-1711 or, or attend the one-day seminar, co-produced by KBDN and SEN Design Group, entitled “Double Your Sales Volume Using a Proven Selling System.” Peterson also welcomes comments, questions or concerns.