The Power of Offering Choices in Your Business
Customers love to be in control. About 88 percent of consumers do online research before they make a purchase, and more than a third of buyers prefer a “sales-free” experience — and those percentages are only increasing with younger generations. Essentially, people don’t want to be “sold to;” they want to be presented with options so they can make an informed decision. This attitude is no less the case in the home improvement industry, as most people hold strong opinions about their homes. Offering choices includes providing options on the level of service they want and how they finance the project.
By offering choices to your customers in every aspect of your business, your customers will get what they want, feel more empowered and satisfied with the service they receive, and share their positive experiences with others. This process will boost your sales and give you a competitive advantage — and your business will thrive.
Here’s how you can implement the power of choice.
Never Assume What Your Customer Wants
When playing football, a quarterback can hand the ball to the running back, keep it, or throw it long. The opposing team must be prepared to read the play and react accordingly. If they assume beforehand what the quarterback will decide, they don’t have much of a chance of winning.
Similarly, you can’t assume what your customers will choose. A millionaire, for example, might want a simple house they can afford out-of-pocket instead of a luxurious mansion that they have to pay for with a mortgage. On the flip side, a customer low on cash might prefer more expensive options that they can purchase with a loan and pay off later.
The key is to offer choices and let the customers decide.
Align Your Entire Business Toward Choice
So, where can you implement choice in your business? The answer is simple: everywhere. You can build a culture of choice throughout your entire business, including your customer service, marketing, sales, production, and innovation.
Offer your customers multiple levels of products and services: good, better, or best. Let them also choose how they want to pay for it. Offer various project financing methods, including same-as-cash financing or low monthly payments. And many payment options accommodate both. About 75 percent of home improvement projects over $2,500 have some supplemental financing, so supplying payment options is vital.
Putting your customers in the driver’s seat for all these decisions will make them happy working with you and more likely to use your services.
Educate, Don’t Obligate
Along with offering choices comes the responsibility of educating your customers so they can have all the information they need to make a good decision. To do this, you must first understand where your customer is coming from. They have likely already done their own research on the internet, but you will need to add your expertise to the knowledge at hand.
Be cautious, however, that educating your customers does not come across as pushy or forceful in any way. No one likes to feel pressured or manipulated. Your role is to serve as a guide to help them clearly understand their options and what might be best for their goals and situation.
Present Options Consistently
Finally, when you offer choices to your customers, you want to make sure you’re consistent in your sales script. Not only does this prevent you from falling into the trap of assuming things about your customers, but it also protects you from potential lawsuits that could result from unfair treatment. Present all your options to all your customers. If you do this, your customers will love the array of choices available to them.
In summary, remember that when offering choices, you should (1) never assume what your customers want, (2) incorporate choices into any area of your business that you can, (3) focus on informing your customers rather than persuading them and (4) always present choices consistently from customer to customer.
In today’s world, consumers want to be empowered. Stand out from the competition by offering choices in every area of your business. By following these strategies, you can please your customers, boost your sales and, ultimately, transform your business.
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