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In Remodeling Sales, Desire Trumps Price


In Remodeling Sales, Desire Trumps Price

Desire—a strong want fueled by emotions—controls what we buy, from whom, and how much we’ll spend. Boost your sales by tapping homeowner desire

By By Steve Howard & James Mueller April 8, 2016
Homeowner desire trumps price in remodeling PR April 2016    
This article first appeared in the April 2016 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Most homeowners don’t buy what they need, they buy what they desire. Desire is a strong want fueled by emotions. It controls what we buy, who we buy from, and how much we’ll spend. The higher your customers’ desires, the less they compare, the less important the price, and the quicker they make a decision to buy.

In sales there are two types of desire: those your customers already know about, and those that you help them discover. A customer may say that they’re only looking for a certain function or feature, but the skilled salesperson knows that almost every customers’ subconscious mind is impatiently waiting for the next desire to appear.

For the best salespeople, remodeling sales is fun and rewarding because it’s not just about creating new desires, it’s about helping customers discover and define the hidden desires they already have. When desire is high, customers will buy.

All human desire can be broken down into one of the 5 P’s: Peace of mind, Pride, Prestige, Profit, and Pleasure.

1] Peace of mind: This can be one of your client’s strongest desires. The emotional benefits include freedom from want, worry, and discomfort. You can deliver this with quality installation, warranties, and lists of happy past clients that your prospects can call.  

2] Pride: Most people take pride in their home. The more you help customers connect the benefits of your products to their feelings of pride, the more desire you create and the more premium products you will sell. Maybe even more importantly, when you deliver an experience that clients are proud to tell their friends about, you’ll generate a pipeline of pre-sold referrals.  

3] Prestige: These buyers are the ones who will gladly pay $500 for a kitchen faucet when a $50 faucet would perform the same function. For these consumers, it’s not about function, it’s about fashion. Prestigious styles and brands help homeowners make silent statements about their status and social standing.

4] Profit: Homeowners profit from home improvement in two ways: financially and emotionally. Properly trained salespeople know how to offer both. An executive-chef kitchen adds to the home’s resale value, but it also pays emotional dividends every time the client enters the room they designed around their unique requirements or sits down to a perfectly prepared family dinner.

5] Pleasure: This desire isn’t measured by money and can’t be tracked by ROI. Your ability to deliver a solution that provides big intangible benefits such as enjoyment, excitement, and happiness drives profitable sales and satisfied customers. People will go out of their way to buy things that make them feel good and will completely avoid things that make them feel bad. 

Voyage of Discovery

To immediately improve sales and profits, find and satisfy customers’ most pressing desires. Ask questions to discover their wants and needs, such as: Would a five-year warranty be a low, medium, or high priority?

When you ask buyers to rate wants and needs, you learn about each one’s importance. The most desired benefit could be 10 times more valuable than the next desired. Determining priority lets you customize the solution, giving you a huge advantage over the competition. Then, to create new desires, ask questions that help customers connect with their feelings, such as: What would you like your kitchen to say about you?

Also remember that buyers don’t desire products, they really desire the benefits that the product provides. The quickest way to transform interest into desire is to demonstrate what the goods will do. But what one customer desires another may find unacceptable. So before having a conversation about features and benefits, learn the customer’s feelings and opinions. For example, you could ask, What’s been your experience with vinyl windows? 


Steve Howard is founder, and James Mueller is president of No Pressure Selling, a 30-year-old firm dedicated to helping contractors improve sales and profits by selling the way homeowners want to buy.

For more sales, tap homeowner desire.


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