Aaron J. Crowley

Stone Industry Consultant

Last month, we discussed the two different types of customers in the market for granite and quartz counters…the “Price Shopper Company Hopper” and the “Trust or Bust-Value is a Must” buyer.  

The price-oriented shopper is generally interested in getting a competing bid to use as a baseball bat for beating up the next guy on price. The value-oriented buyer is usually interested in a relationship where they will receive value equal to or greater than the price…in the form of education about the product, a positive and predictable experience, and the assurance that the finished product will be serviced and supported.

We also discussed the strategy of open-ended questions that help clients to divulge information that then helps us determine their type and how or if we can help them…by either sending the price “shopper” down the road or taking the next step of helping and selling the value oriented “buyer.”

That’s where we’ll pick back up: helping the value-oriented buyer to understand the realities of the industry and product they are considering and how our processes deliver what they want.

It’s the same “help them, help us, help them” philosophy we discussed in the previous article and it’s really a questions-based sales presentation with 3 basic steps:

Step 1- Identify your unique advantages. Pick 3-6 aspects of your company that you know differentiate you from the competition and would like your customers to understand.

For example’s sake, let’s say you have a Seam Phantom that creates absolutely stunning seams. If most of the competition installs ragged saw-cut seams, then you have a unique advantage that the value-oriented buyer is going to appreciate and more than likely happily pay a little more for it.

Step 2 – Create an open-ended question for each advantage that helps you with introducing and explaining how it’s valuable for the customer.  Here are a few examples for the seam quality advantage mentioned above:

“How impressed are you with the seams you’ve seen in other people’s kitchens?”

“What have you’re impressions been with seams you’ve seen in the past?”

“How familiar are you with the technologies that affect seam quality?”

Step 3 – Listen to the client’s response and then offer your unique advantage. This is where selling gets fun! Here is an example of how you could craft a scripted explanation or your advantage that would work with any of the above responses:

“Let me explain why some seams are so nice and why others are so ragged and raw. Many companies simply cut their seams and glue the sawn edges together, leaving a chippy void that must be filled with epoxy.

“Our seams are different! We’ve invested in technology that allows us to completely eliminate the chips left by the saw when cut. As a result, your seams will be nearly invisible.” 

The cumulative affect of asking open-ended questions and offering prepared explanations on 3-6 key factors in the granite counter process is astonishingly effective.  

By helping the value-oriented buyer to understand the realities of the industry, we help them understand what is important to them.  

And in the end, when we help them understand how we offer and deliver what is important to them, that helps us close the sale! 

Aaron Crowley is a stone shop owner, author, speaker, and consultant to mid-size stone companies. Contact him at aaron@fabricatorsfriend.com