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Quantifying Quality: How to Beat Low-Bidders

Is it safe to assume that anyone whose price is $2,000 less than yours —for the same make and model — has got to be cutting corners?

Once in a while, you'll run into a customer who says, “I’ve got another bid on the exact same equipment you’re quoting me on, and you’re $2,000 higher.”

Is it safe to assume that anyone whose price is $2,000 less than yours, for the same make and model, has got to be cutting corners?

This closing technique lists all the actual physical things you include in your installations, and assigns a very reasonable dollar amount to each of them, thereby “quantifying” your quality. 

Give them the option of declining on some or all of them, and you're letting them decide if they want a cut-rate installation, or something that is actually worth owning.

Differentiate Between Price and Cost

YOU: Is it the price you’re concerned about or the cost?

THEM: Aren’t they the same thing?

YOU: The price is your initial investment; what you pay for the installation. That’s where most people focus their attention.

The cost is your overall cost of ownership. That includes such things as the ongoing maintenance, your utility bills to operate it, repairs, and its eventual replacement. Would you agree that the longer it lasts, the lower your overall cost of ownership?

 Over the lifetime of the equipment, your cost of ownership will far outweigh the initial price you paid for it.

I put a lot of thought into my installations. I do everything in my power to keep your overall cost of ownership to a minimum. I know my competition, and I know their work. I do things that go beyond what is standard in this area among my lower-priced competition. These things do add to the price of the job, but they reduce your overall cost of ownership. AND YOU DO HAVE OPTIONS. Would you like to know what I do that is different, why I do them, how they save you money, and what each individual item adds to the price of the job? Then, you can let me know whether or not you want them? BECAUSE I CAN COMPETE ON PRICE.


Charlie Greer

Do not, under any circumstances, pull out a pre-printed copy of this list, or they will take it out of your hands, tell you that is all they need, and you’re done. NOTE: prices shown are for example only. Your prices may vary.

At this point you'll go over your list (see illustration). Here are some important notes:

  • Memorize the list and write each item out on a plain piece of paper as you go along
  • Do not, under any circumstances, pull out of pre-printed copy of this list, or they will take it out of your hands, tell you that is all they need, and you're done
  • You can't just go over the list like a boring HVAC person. You have to "sell" every item that is on this list to the point that the customer has a deep burning desire to own it
  • If they tell you they don't want one of the items on the list, just draw a line through it and move on to the next item. After you've closed them, you can go back to that item and say, "Are you sure you don't want (name of the item)? They'll usually say, I'm already spending this much money. I might as well."

The "Nail Downs"

YOU: We've talked about a lot of things. Is there anything that I’ve gone over with you on how I do my installations that seems like overkill, or unnecessary in order to ensure that you’re getting a proper installation?

THEM: No, we consider all of that to be mandatory.

YOU: So, you believe there is everything on this list is absolutely necessary in order to do the job properly?

THEM: Yes.

YOU: And you're telling me that you are going to require whoever does this job for you to do all these things in order to earn the right to your business?

THEM: Yes.

YOU: Earlier, you expressed in interest, possibly a desire, to go with the low-bidder on this job. Well, when you add up the very reasonable prices of everything that’s included in the installation I’m willing to do for you, that my supposedly lower-priced competitor is not doing, they equal $3,000.  When we add that amount to his bid, his price for the exact same job would actually $1,000 higher than mine.

That kind of makes me the low-bidder, doesn't it?

Final Notes

You'll find that they'll frequently interrupt you after a half-dozen or so items and say, "Okay, I get the point. You're doing a complete installation and the other guy's doing a bare bones installation," and buy.

Sometimes, they'll ask if they can have a copy of your list to show to your lower-priced competitor. Now is when you can give them a neatly, pre-printed copy of the list.

That didn't happen to me very often, but when it did, I would say, "May I tell you what his response will be? The first thing he'll do, is tell you that you don't need all that stuff, because he doesn't want to do it. If you insist upon him including all those things in his installation, he'll tell you my prices are too low."

That's happened.

Email your polite request to [email protected], and I'll email you my the dialogue I used to sell each item.

CHARLIE GREER has recorded his Quantifying Quality dialogue on the audio disc, "Quantifying Quality: How to Beat Low-Bidders." For information on all Charlie's products and services, go to, or call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822). Email you comments or questions to [email protected]



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