People who sell (that includes you!) do many things that hinder their success. Projection of Values is one of the leading sales killers.

We all do it. I remember years ago talking with landscapers about landscape lighting. I heard the same objection over and over, “My customers would never pay that kind of money for this stuff.”  Well, landscape lighting has been one of the fastest and consistent growth segments for the past 14 years. Now virtually every landscaper does at least some lighting.

Apparently the customers of landscapers will pay that kind of money! This is a perfect example of Projection of Values. To project values means, you assign the same values, perceptions, wants, needs, desires, expectations that YOU HAVE to your customers. You believe they will not pay for landscape lighting because you would not. This is a fatal error. By doing this you have killed sales before you even try.

The most insidious problem with Projection of Values is the destruction of your belief in a product (product line). Because you would not pay for it and assume nobody else will either, you do not believe the product is of value or benefit. There is a simple truth in sales; you cannot fruitfully sell what you do not believe in!

Now, lets look even deeper, here’s a question to ask about yourself; if you wanted landscape work done at your house, would you hire your company to do it? Or would you say, “Nobody will pay that kind of money for this stuff.”?  Forget that you know how and are equipped to do the work yourself, if you weren’t, would you spend the money to hire a landscaper? If your answer is no, you may have a mental block encumbering your ability to sell your services. Remember, you cannot be successful selling something you do not passionately believe in.

You must believe in your company and services. I see too many landscapers who lack sales confidence and I believe this is the root cause. But further discussion takes us into yet another sales killer. Let’s get back to Projection of Values.

Your customers will pay for lighting and landscaping and $50,000 patios and even $12,000 outdoor TVs. They want this stuff, it’s part of THEIR values. And here’s another little secret; the cost is not a problem for them! You may not be able to drive a $350,000 European sports car and live in a $1 million home, but they can. So what’s $5,000 for a lighting system to them? If they want it, they can and will buy it. Why shouldn’t you benefit?

Your customers and prospects have different values, expectations, wants, needs, and desires.  A wise seller learns what those are and what works to satisfy them. A wise seller never assumes a customer thinks the same way as they do.

Projecting Values destroys your ability to satisfy a customer’s wants and diminishes your ability to sell. Because we all have to fight the tendency it is the number one sales killer.  Do not assume your customers think like you! Instead, learn to think like your customers. Once you do, you’ll see a whole line of possible opportunities before you. There are so many new products and services you could be offering your customer once you know how they look at the world.

Remember the lighting example above? Well if you do lighting, why are not automatically including mosquito repellent (Nutone) in every lighting quotation? Adds maybe 5 minutes to your install (OK, maybe a few more minutes than that) and a little cost for product. Now you’re story for your customer is that you are taking care of their lighting wants AND making nighttime life in their outdoor living area even more pleasurable. Their guests will never have to ask them for “bug spray” again.

Do you believe your customers guests ask for Off when on their patios? They do, it isn’t uncommon for many women to carry it in their purse when they know they’ll be outside.

“Ah, nobody will spend money for that”, you may say. Well there you go again. Yes they will and gladly. Your customer will appreciate you pointing out ways to improve their home. They will value you as a professional.  And they won’t have welts after spending time on their patio.

Changing your mind frame will open up new opportunities for you and your customer. You will create new jobs for yourself and have more satisfied customers because they are improving their home with great products that you suggest. This may be a little overwhelming at first. Talk with your local WCC location about easy up-sell ideas and new products to the industry.

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