Homeowners always want to know what the price is. They ask when they call to set the appointment. They might even stop you before you begin your presentation and say: You know, we just want a price here.

Actually, if they buy, it’s not going to be because of price. It’s going to be because you’ve made them feel that whatever they pay, it’s worth it.

That’s why if you blurt out a ballpark price before you’ve moved through the steps of your selling system, you’re done. The homeowners aren’t going to buy because they don’t know what they’re buying yet. The salesperson’s job is to help them understand why the product works for them.

Total up the Cost

So you’ve gone through your steps. You’ve showed them the product. You’ve discussed, and they’ve agreed, on the need for X number of triple-pane windows with low-E, grilles, and frosted glass. They say: “How much will this cost?”

Here’s what I do. I get out my calculator and a clean piece of stationery. I go through every item we’ve just talked about and ask for agreement on the products and options they might want. And while we’re having that conversation, I list each item. I total the price, using the calculator, and say the number while I’m writing it down on that piece of paper. I give them three numbers: the cost of the job, the potential monthly payment, and the size of the deposit we require. Price/payment/deposit.

I say: “Then you’re done.”

At that point I stop talking and wait.

Three Magic Words

This is when the homeowners will tell you what they’re thinking. They might say, “That seems like a lot.” Or, “We’re going to need to talk to a few other companies before we make a decision.”

Whatever they say, I want them to explain it. For instance, if they say that the price is too much, I ask: How do you figure?

If they want to talk with other companies, I ask about which ones and when.

If they don’t buy from you, they’re going to be just as disappointed as you are. If you go to the store to buy pants, are you happy walking out empty-handed? The homeowners wouldn’t have called you to the house if they didn’t want to buy something. What they need is a reason. Give them one. —Jake Jacobson is vice president of sales at Premier Window & Building, a Maryland home improvement company. Reach him at trainyes@verizon.net

More REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR articles about giving prospects the price of the job and overcoming their objections:

All I Want Is: Manage that telephone request for a price in a way that leads to an appointment

Price Shoppers: Dealing with homeowners who are price shopping — and realizing that today, with Internet sales, who isn’t?

Overcoming Objections Before the Sale