How to Use Guarantees & Warranties to Boost Value & Reduce Fear

By Brandon Cockrell, Service Excellence Training

 

We all know that one person who we consider a little crazy.  IE: the thrill seeker who can’t get enough and continues to push boundaries.

The person who likes motorcycles, jet skis, quads, snowmobiles, extreme sports, sky diving, and the list goes on.

Some of these people, I love and admire. The best of the thrill seekers become famous “X-Game” athletes. These people are rare. When you consider your network of friends, family, and acquaintances, how many would you consider to be the daring risk takers?

Risk takers are not in the majority. They never will be in the majority. Biology and evolution determined most people play it safe (You live longer that way.)

Fear served its purpose in the days of the jungle because FEAR kept you ALIVE. That instinctive avoidance of fear is still what drives most of our daily decisions.

Even though you’re probably not going to die from your decisions today, you still fear the decision as though you might. To your brain, making the wrong decision is like dying a little death.

 

Let’s evaluate some of the reasons you may be scared of a decision:

  • This decision may get you emotionally hurt
  • Fear of looking like a fool
  • Fear of being taken advantage of
  • You could waste your money
  • Or worse, you could waste your time.

These are the most common fears that stop people from taking action.

These are also the top reasons why your clients avoid saying “yes.” Simply stated, “THEY ARE NOT RISK TAKERS”.

If you want to make it easier for your clients to say yes, then you are going to have to own the risk for them. You need to determine how you can take on a great deal of the client’s perceived risk.

So, you may be wondering, “Brandon, how do I assume the risk for my clients?” Well, I’m glad you asked.

Two words: Guarantees and Warranties. If you don’t have them, you need to get them.

 

Guarantees and Warranties

If you want to charge a premium price, then you better have premium guarantees and warranties. This is what allows a client to find more value in your company, your technicians, and most importantly, your service after the sale.

With any product, there are going to be different levels of purchasing. For example, if you go to your local outfitter store and look for a high-end cooler, you will find four to seven brands all priced differently.

There will be ones that come packaged with other accessories. Some with a rolling kit and a handle, and some without. Some might even have portable speakers. Once you sort through all of these details, you start to see how much the cooler itself costs. There is still a discrepancy from the most to least expensive.

Here is my challenge to you: Go look at your guarantees and warranties. In my experience, the one with the highest price tag is made with premium products, has the longest warranty, and the best guarantee. The lower end may not have any of these.

Let me show you a real-life example from when I went to buy a rotomolded cooler. If you aren’t familiar with these coolers, they are the ones that hold ice for three or more days. Without promoting any brands, I will show you how I made my decision.

 

Brand Price Weight Capacity Warranty
Brand Name Cooler #1 $239.99 34.9lbs 45 QT One year
Brand Name Cooler #2 $296.99 36.4lbs 58 QT Life Time
Brand Name Cooler #3 $299.99 23.7lbs 45 QT Five years
Brand Name Cooler #4 $269.99 26.8lbs 40 QT One year
Brand Name Cooler #5 $227.70 26lbs 45 QT One year

 

 

So, what you see above is what looks to be a standard one-year warranty in the industry of rotomolded coolers, but only one company dared to back their product for life. One of their marketing slogans is, “The last cooler you will ever buy”.

Which cooler do you think I bought? If you guessed the second one, you would be correct. It wasn’t the most expensive, but it was the most valuable to me.

Think about this the next time your technicians or sales professionals have to defend your prices. Where is your value? How are you backing your product? Do you have written Guarantees and Warranties to boost your value point?

Using Guarantees and Warranties will help your clients avoid the fear of doing business with you!

Remember, “Clients are Not Risk Takers”.

Brandon Cockrell is a Success Coach and Trainer at Service Excellence Training. He teaches techs and sales pros to boost average ticket, closing percentage, and increase client satisfaction. 

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Join the 11th Annual International Roundtable in Orlando-A Premiere Event for Residential Contractors

HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, and Remodeling Service Nation Members are headed to Orlando, Florida.

Service Nation is hosting their 11th annual International Roundtable. The three-day event is exclusively designed for HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, and Remodeling contractors. It is intended to provide additional opportunities for training, networking, and sharing best business practices in the Residential contracting industry.

The event will highlight keynote speakers and breakout sessions centered on four main components critical for contractors. Members will learn to develop and fine-tune lead generation strategies, streamline operations and processes, hire and keep the right employees and build a plan to improve their bottom line.

“A big part of what we do at Service Nation is providing training, education, and mentorship. We are always looking to deliver relevant training to all of our members. For this year’s International Roundtable, we wanted to concentrate on choosing speakers and topics that aligned with four main areas of focus for our members.  When business owners can improve operations, lead generation, recruiting and training, they can make more informed decisions and grow their business the right way.”- said Matt Michel, President of Service Nation Inc.

Learn Network Grow

The event includes more than just training and breakouts. Over the years, it has become a forum for all Service Nation members around the world to meet, network, and discuss ways to improve their businesses.

“Throughout the year, we provide regular opportunities for our Service Nation members to come together and discuss what’s working for them. The International Roundtable gives these members the chance to meet face to face and develop further those business relationships that make them successful,” said David Heimer, SVP of Service Nation Inc.

Service Nation is a powerful community of over 5,000 global contractors. International Roundtable helps support an environment of mentorship and offers a place for residential contractors to meet and absorb best practices and tips from other contractors across the country.

The International Roundtable will kick off with Alliance day on April 16th and will continue through Thursday, April 18th in Orlando Florida at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World. This event is open to all Service Nation members.

Attend the Event

If you would like to attend the event and are not a member of Service Nation, give us a call at (877) 262-3341 or visit www.goservicenation.com to sign up for $10!

To learn more about the International Roundtable visit www.irtshow.com.

About Service Roundtable:

Service Roundtable is the world’s largest private contractor group, dedicated to providing service contractors with an affordable means to drive new business and generate higher sales.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jessica Hezlep at 469-293-8816 or email at Jessica.hezlep@ServiceRoundtable.com.

Are We Guilty of Uber Pricing in the Tune-Up Season?

By Danielle Putnam

Uber is brilliant. I’ve listened to every podcast I can find by the founders and I’ve also done the same with Lyft.

I watch the two companies go neck and neck, and notice many of my friends start to pick up late night driving shifts after their day jobs. You can’t deny…the business model is brilliant. They solve a transportation problem in an affordable way, keeping the overhead low (drivers only work during ‘billable hours’), and they’re international! But, what do they have, and don’t they have? They have brand loyalty by the end user, but they do not have driver loyalty. Every time you take an Uber or Lyft, you use a different driver based on your convenience.

How does this model relate to our industry? It’s the direction the Amazon’s and big business is headed. They’re going in the direction of “click to order your service repair and a technician will show up”, regardless of which ‘company’ he/she works for. Until all those tech’s work for the big internet giant or whichever other players take the field.

We’ve already seen the beginnings of this happen, so sure, let’s say Amazon starts controlling the service calls and uses the Uber pricing model of raising and lowering prices on demand, that would work for them…but they are not you.

The contractor today is working hard to build their company brand, not a national or international brand, but a good ole solid trustworthy local town brand. So, why should they raise and lower their prices providing inconsistency for their customers? When you walk into Best Buy on a holiday weekend to get a new TV, did the price spike up because of high traffic? No! When you walk into Home Depot to pick out a new ladder, are you nervous the prices might be high because it’s during peak hours? No! If you’re building your company and YOUR loyal customer base, then why raise and lower your prices based on demand? Instead, this is where true dynamic pricing is needed, and it comes in the form of a menu. The power of the menu comes to play in a real way.

If every time you do a diagnosis, you present the customer with a menu of choices, they can pick their level of service. If it’s peak season and after hours but your customer chooses the bottom option, a quick fix, then terrific! You perform the repair in the shortest amount of time and you’re off to the next call after collecting the money for the repair, which ensured the entire job was billable time like your accountant does. Boy, we all know accountants don’t do anything for free, so, why should you?

However, if it’s peak season and after hours and your customer chooses a top option, your Platinum repair…well then, they just bought your day. No pressure, no price objections, no buyer’s remorse or sales resistance. And actually, if you look closely, Uber and Lyft do that too…they have a menu of car types, you can choose economy to premium, so even if their prices are changing, they still give power to the consumer to choose based on their budget.

Danielle Putnam is the President of The New Flat Rate and 2019 President of Women in HVACR.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

2019 Orlando International Roundtable

By Dave Rothacker

“People like us doing things like this.” – Seth Godin

 

In his latest book, “This is Marketing”, author Seth Godin uses this phrase to describe coworkers, customers, prospective customers, vendors, etc., who share a purpose, cause, or belief with a company.

 

“People like us doing things like this” is a brilliant snapshot of a robust business culture.

 

2019 Orlando International Roundtable

We’re gathered around the campfire today so that I can tell you how awesome the Service Nation Alliance Day and 2019 Orlando International Roundtable trade conferences, put on by the Service Nation, Inc., will be and why you should attend. But I am not going to do that, precisely.

 

I am not here to tell you about fun in the Orlando sun. I am not here to tell you about the outstanding keynote speakers, industry experts, and educational classes. I am not here to tell you about the networking, sharing best practices, information, and how you’ll go back home a better business person.

 

When you attend a high-level trade conference of this magnitude, you’d better get all of this. After all, Service Nation, along with Business News Publishing, also puts on the granddaddy of them all, the Service World Expo. So go ahead and check the boxes on all of the above. You’ll get all of this and much more.

 

Again, we expect to walk away from a Service Nation event with these features and benefits.

 

It’s Not about Features and Benefits

When we attempt to talk about an experience we love, it comes from the limbic portion of our brain, an area that has no capacity for language. Simon Sinek lays out the science here in this snippet from his ultra-famous TED Talk.

Features and benefits provide us with a logical, non-emotional, non-Limbic portion of the brain way to talk about a product, service, or experience.

Features and benefits are important, but they are not the driving force behind those giving testimonials in the video.

 

Why You Should Attend the 2019 Orlando International Roundtable

The passion and enthusiasm you hear and see in the video are generated by how the attendees feel. And the reason they feel this way is because the folks from Service Nation, their vendors, and perhaps most importantly, the other contractors, are leaving a positive, meaningful, and lasting impression with them. And they feel it in their gut.

 

People like Us Doing Things Like This

This powerful impression began as a seed when the Service Nation was first created in 2002. While I am sure there are many internal factors that a Service Nation (the parent company of the Service Roundtable and the Service Nation Alliance) coworker can better describe, the reason that I see and feel is care.

 

Care Fuels People like Us Doing Things Like This

It’s easy to say out loud, “we care.” But with Service Nation, it began and continues with action. Starting with the high level and quality of company founders, the listserv discussion lists (along with its 17-year archive of knowledge!), the available business material downloads, the Roundtable Rewards Program, the Service Nation Alliance, and events like Service World Expo and the International Roundtable. They all are the product of applied care!

When people who are not like us do things like this, value might happen, but it happens transactionally and leaves no lasting positive impression in the gut whatsoever. Nada. This frequently occurs when a corporation puts on an event and its employees, following orders, do their job. How will you know? You won’t feel a connection and you won’t experience that positive feeling in your gut that makes you want to tell your friends about it.

When people like us do things like this, not only does value grow, spread, and stick as a result, the net effect is a more energizing, collaborative, and productive community dynamic! And that’s not even its greatest attribute.

When people like us do things like this, it harbors and nurtures one of mankind’s greatest emotional needs: the need to belong.

Are you people like us? Come to the 2019 Orlando International Roundtable! If you attend and discover that you’re not like us, the worst that will happen is that you’ll be educated. If you are people like us, however, your world and your coworker’s world have the opportunity to begin a positive metamorphosis and realize a powerful sense of belonging the likes of which you’ve never experienced before. Don’t forget to look into the Service Nation Alliance for yet an even more powerful sense of belonging.

 

People like Us Doing Things like This

Are you a Service Nation Alliance member? Attending the Service Nation Alliance Day event? Go here for specific information.

Attending the 2019 Orlando International Roundtable event? Go here for specific information. Service Nation President, Matt Michel, has extensive expertise on trade conferences. Check out this article for trade conference preparation tips.

https://www.pmmag.com/articles/100358-trade-show-tips-to-maximize-your-experience

Dave Rothacker is a Service Roundtable member and Service Nation Alliance mentor where he writes two weekly columns. He strives to challenge contractor thinking and uses evidence-based research to enhance their learning.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

This is Marketing: You Can’t be Seen Until You Learn to See

By Dave Rothacker

In his latest book This is Marketing: You Can’t be Seen Until You Learn to See, marketing extraordinaire Seth Godin, uses the phrase, “People like us doing things like this.” In fact, there is a chapter devoted to it.

According to Seth, “people like us…” are prospective people in the marketplace who believe what the company searching for them believes. Identifying, relating, and addressing these folks is tactical. The real value in This is Marketing however, is foundational and prior to reading this book, I would have said strategic.

Seth on marketing:

  • Marketing seeks more. More market share, more customers, more work.
  • Marketing is driven by better. Better service, better community, and better outcomes.
  • Marketing creates culture. Status, affiliation, and people like us.
  • Most of all, marketing is change.
  • Change the culture, change your world.
  • Marketers make change happen.
  • Each of us is a marketer, and each of has the ability to make more change than we imagined. Our opportunity and our obligation is to do marketing that we’re proud of.
  • Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve their problem.

Marketing creates culture. Most of all, marketing is change. Change the culture, change your world.

The real value in This is Marketing is foundational. It’s rooted in a leader’s responsibility to establish the culture. And that comes from what is hot-wired into his or her DNA.

“If you want to make change, begin by making culture. Culture beats strategy – so much so that culture is strategy.” – Seth Godin

 

Establishing Culture

People like us doing things like this, describes culture. Whether or not you care to identify it, a culture surrounds your company. The following example of culture has not been formally identified in this company. Yet, as you will see, it’s neon-sign loud.

 

Warning: This one’s going to leave a mark. If you’re a thin-skinned leader, you might want to stop reading now.

Jack, your comfort adviser, comes back to the office throwing a complete hissy fit. Storming into your office, he says, “Mr. Jones is a cheap #&%$!! He tried to nickel and dime me to death!”

In a couple of hours, your most important vendor visits. Jack overhears his conversation with you and thinks to himself, “When it comes to cheap, Mr. Jones is a rank amateur compared to you!”

 

Where you come in as a leader:

Seth provides a great way to identify your market. He calls it the Smallest Viable Market. He has his sights set on the number 1,000. If you’re a coach, consultant, or just starting off as a contractor, this number is spot on.

As a leader, it’s your job to establish what type of customer you want. I believe that quest begins with your personal WHY, which also is your WHY for being in business. If your purpose hasn’t been hammered out yet, Seth provides a method for positioning your service. It’s in the chapter titled “In Search of Better.” This method can only be created by the company leader.

The number 1,000 doesn’t necessarily work for contractors. Many of you reading this have over 4,000 club membership customers alone. Seth’s point is to be selective in the customer base you’re striving to serve.

“It’s easier to make products and services for the customers you seek to serve than it is to find customers for your products and services.” – Seth Godin

Service Nation, Inc.’s SVP David Heimer, produces an insight-laden podcast called Profiles in Prosperity. David interviews various professionals in search of wisdom-filled stories to help business leaders build their companies.

I’ve joined David a few times on Profiles for Prosperity to talk about some of my favorite business books. He always asks this high impact question about each book, “What are a few tangible and practical takeaways an owner can use in his or her business today?”

It’s important to approach This is Marketing from the leadership position of culture-building and not one of tactics. With that in mind, here’s how I would answer David.

  1. Work to build the quintessential service company. This isn’t about striving to be unique. It’s about striving for excellence. Create a company worth talking about by hyper-focusing on the fundamentals.
  2. Commit to a way of being. Commit to build a culture around people who believe what you believe. Commit to a story that syncs with the worldview of those you hope to serve.
  3. A marketing promise:
  • My product is for people who believe_______________________.
  • I will focus on people who want________________________.
  • I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get_________________.

The most critical aspect of This is Marketing is that it approaches marketing from a leadership perspective and focuses on the people we serve. Understand, embrace, and put this concept into play. Focus and learn to see the market you hope to serve and leave the mass marketing, noise making, and spam interrupting universe of status-quo marketing in your rear view mirror.

For those seeking to build value and legacy into their companies, who value a community of caring professionals, and who thrive on sharing with others, there’s no finer example of “People like us doing things like this” than that of the culture surrounding the Service Nation Alliance. Call today…

Dave Rothacker is a Service Roundtable member and Service Nation Alliance mentor where he writes two weekly columns. He strives to challenge contractor thinking and uses evidence-based research to enhance their learning.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!