Vinyl Records

You live long enough, you collect a pile of stuff.  Don’t need much of it, but there’s some stuff you just can’t get rid of.

Your records, for instance.

Man, can I identify with this one from one of my faves, Todd Snider

There’s a couple thousand of mine collecting dust in the basement closet, but I can’t bear to part with them.

I think it has something to do with eternity and mortality.

And speaking of eternity, it seems like one has passed since we started that 35-question quiz on Hydronics, Price, Value and Customers (click here to review).  We’ve been going over the quiz question-by-question, and we’re finally down to the last two. Both questions are pretty important, so we’ll take them one at a time.

#34. If I start getting every job I bid, it’s a sign that I’m turning into one crackerjack salesman.  Crackerjack!  FALSE

It could be true. It’d be nice if it were true. If you really work on your selling skills, you’re bound to improve your closing ratio.  But every job?

My good friend Larry Steinmetz says there’s probably another reason:

You’re prices are too LOW!

It’s natural to be excited if you land six or seven jobs in a row relatively easily, especially in this economy.  But amidst the warm glow of sales success, you probably should ask a few questions:

  1. How did these new customers find out about me?
  2. What did they say when they found out my price?
  3. Am I suddenly getting more requests for proposals without doing any prospecting or advertising?
  4. Am I preparing Profit & Loss statements on these jobs, and what are they telling me?
  5. Do I have enough cash on hand?

We all love word of mouth and referrals are great, but a bunch of referrals all at once may indicate the word is out that you’re a “good deal,” or “low-priced.”

Get a smokin’ deal on something and you want to shout to the world about it, don’t you? Few, however, will brag they paid “top-dollar” for a new boiler. If these new customers of yours come from current customers bragging about their “great deal,” look at your pricing.

If your customer doesn’t fight much, or at all, on price and wants to sign up right away, it may be a sign your price is too low.

The 13 most beautiful words you can hear from a potential customer are “I have three other prices; you’re 20 percent higher than all of them.”  The customer may or may not be telling the truth, but the good news is they’re telling you they’re not a price buyer.  They are, however, trying to negotiate with you.

If they ask, “does this price include everything?” or “Quick, get me a pen,” your price may be too low.

If you’re getting calls from new customers – especially builders or GC’s – asking you to bid their job even though you haven’t done any new advertising or marketing, you may be getting a reputation for low price.

And if the P&L statements for these jobs show dwindling profit margins, or if you simply find you don’t have as much cash on hand despite being busy, then you definitely need to look at your pricing.

You really shouldn’t get every job you bid – it’s just not a reasonable expectation.  A wise business owner should keep track of the jobs he gets vs. the jobs he bids and determine what a reasonable closing ratio would be.

And if that closing ratio starts going up for no apparent reason?  Well, you may be on the road to becoming one crackerjack salesman.

Want to test that conclusion?

Raise your prices and see if it continues.

And vinyl lovers rejoice – it appears LP’s are making a comeback…

Long live the counter-revolution!  33-and-a-third revolutions, to be exact!



3 Responses to “Vinyl Records”

  1. Hi John,

    Your webinar on FloPro Designer Software which i tried to view was unsuccessful. Media player came up with an error message saying does not have codex for this file. I have been able to download and view other webinars. I probably am not the only one who is having this problem. Any chance there will be a PDF file on this webinar?……

  2. Good stuff John, and if I can build on your thought a bit, I’ve always felt that the absolutely, positively greatest thing you can hear from a customer is “well, you’re still X% higher than my other bids, but I’m still going with you because. . .”
    NOTE 1: You’ll only hear this comment AFTER they have tried to negotiate you down that X% and you’ve stuck to your price.
    NOTE 2: Whatever they mention as the reason why they gave you the job at the higher price, is something you should build into your sales presentation. If it was important to this customer, it’s likely to resonate with others as well.
    Gotta go now. Headed down to the basement to count my LPs. . .

  3. Touche Tim! And excellent point about making sure their reasons work their way into your presentations…people want to know that other folks just like themselves paid “those kind of prices” too.

    I keep mentioning Larry Steinmentz –not sure if you’ve ever heard of him but he’s the best I’ve ever seen, heard or read on this topic. Just found his YouTube page – features 10 short videos – you might like it!

    Here’s the link:

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