We live in a world that seems to focus on price— not value. Price is only one factor in a buying decision. What we often don’t realize is that we make value-based buying decisions every day. We buy our clothes, cars and food based on the perceived value that we get from what we purchase.
A recent Harvard University study revealed that buyers want more than a “cheap price”. In fact, only 1 out of 6 buyers are true price shoppers. The study also showed that salespeople are more concerned about price than customers.
As a true sales professional, it is your job to determine what the prospect values. Sometimes, higher prices can actually be considered a selling advantage. A higher cost creates a perception of higher quality or a "cut above".
Leasing professionals who employ value-added selling techniques sell 3 things:
Living is selling.
Life is a constant sale. And the path to success for both living and selling is the same. People value, and pay more for, the way you make them feel. People buy emotions.
Knowledge is power.
Knowing your product from the inside-out is an important step in communicating your knowledge your community. When I was out in the field leasing with a traveling leasing company, I was given 2 days to learn the community before I started leasing. I was able to do this a number of ways:
First, I completed a 22-page Product Knowledge Workbook that was so intensive that I had to measure windows, find out the closest place to get a money order, and calculate average costs of utilities— just to name a few. This allowed me to get to know my community intimately and. When you have extensive knowledge of your community, it helps you learn what features and amenities are important to your prospect. Use these to sell the value of your community.
Second, to have confidence in yourself and what you are selling you need to FALL IN LOVE with your product.
Be passionate about who you work for and show that enthusiasm to your prospects.
What people care about in this day and age are testimonials. You can tell a lot about a company on Apartmentratings.com by seeing which companies monitor and respond to resident reviews. One way to monitor your company’s reputation is by using Google Alerts, a free online tool that will track mentions of your community and/or company.
I recently did a webinar with Lisa Trosien and she included an idea to print your own testimonials directly on your floor plans. Share your testimonials with prospects about how happy your residents are with your company and community.
Selling on value is a mindset. It starts with your self-concept. Begin to see yourself as a value-adder. Gain a thorough understanding of what makes your community unique and how you’re better than your competition.
Be proud of your price and avoid becoming part of the price problem. Sell the value added benefits such as superior maintenance staff, amenities and your company (don’t forget yourself!).
Becoming a value-centered sales professional doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a change in philosophy and approach. As you begin to see yourself as a value-centered Leasing Specialist, make it your goal to become a strategic thinker and to learn what your prospect values.