Build strong relationships
One of the keys to good selling is developing strong relationships with your clients to engender trust and confidence.
It can take time to build good relationships with clients, and the process really needs to start well in advance of a potential project. So work out your target market, and identify the specifiers that you’d really like to have as clients. Research the types of projects they are involved in and the kinds of products they’ve used in the past.
Develop your relationship gradually, perhaps positioning yourself first in an advisory role to build their trust. Avoid a full-on sales message at the start; instead, demonstrate and share your knowledge of the HVAC industry and its products.
Identifying the needs of your client is vital if you are going to be successful in selling them the perfect product for their project. The best way to do this is simply to listen. Not only will they have specifications about the type of product they want, they will also undoubtedly have budget constraints, design and visual factors, and health and safety features to consider. By all means ask lots of questions – but make sure you listen carefully to their answers.
Talk their language
Specifiers will need to know a wealth of technical and statutory information about your product, and they need it presented in fine detail to enable them to assess the product fully. This could include details on carbon emissions, British standards and CE marking.
Always bear in mind what your client’s role is in the construction process, and tailor the information you provide, and the way you provide it, accordingly. For example, some specifiers may require comprehensive product details, while others may be more focused on pricing or the speed of delivery.
Know your product inside out
You’ll need to be able to answer every question the specifier asks about your product. This could cover:
Does the product meet industry standards? What are its components? How should it be used? What is its lifespan? How sustainable is it?
As the landscape shifts towards sustainable design, construction projects are increasingly using green products. There is often also a range of rating criteria to comply with.
Where is the product made and by whom? Is the manufacturer reliable – is it in a good financial situation? Does the manufacturer provide a warranty and technical support?
How easy is it to install your product? Is the instruction manual simple to follow? Does the product need to be installed in a particular order during the project?
How easy is your product to maintain? Will it need specialist maintenance? How easy – and cost effective – is it to replace components of the product?
Ultimately, how much will your product cost during its life cycle? Does it offer value for money over its competitors and why? Can you break down the total cost into figures for purchase, installation, operation, maintenance and repair?
Finally, make sure you stay informed about any changes to the product, and review your product’s specification on a regular basis.