Editors Blog


Now You're Speaking My Language

February 23, 2012
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Recently I was browsing online when I ran across an article on Forbes.com titled “The Cheapest 2012 Cars to Own.” The subhead read: “Look at bottom-line ownership costs, not just the sticker price, to find a maximum long-term value.”

That idea immediately made me think of how contractors and others in the HVACR industry talk to their end user clients about getting past the initial cost to looking at the long-term savings that the new equipment can garner for the owner.

But one of the important things about talking to those not in the industry is making sure you’re being understood — by using language the customer can understand.

In the article mentioned above, the author looks at various elements including base MSRP, repairs, state taxes, financing, fuel cost, and cost per mile.

Perhaps comparing language used in the automotive world — equipment cost (base MSRP), accessories/add-ons (various packages), fuel, etc. — will help customers understand the cost and savings that the new equipment can have and help them get beyond their sticker stock or the equipment.

While there are people who buy cars more on looks than anything else, a lot of people look at whether the car is considered economical, which is the initial cost, yes, but also how many miles per gallon does it get, how often or how many days a year is it going to be in the shop, etc.

Customers are used to looking at big-ticket items in terms of more than just the first cost. Using terms that they already understand and in a way they’re already used to viewing big purchases may help you and some of your customers and potential customers communicate better and seal the deal.
 

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