Issue: For The Price Of a Latte
Everyone wants to lower their energy costs and raise their
comfort level within their homes, but they often experience
sticker shock when they see the price of the investment they
have to make, which can come to several thousand dollars to get
those benefits. Regardless of industry, you likely face the same
problem writing business: how to sell a high ticket item or
service in a down economy?
Ken Yeager is Director of Sales for AFCFirst, a leader in Energy
Loans that help homeowners finance the purchase of energy-saving
home improvement equipment once the various oil and energy
companies sell this equipment to their clients. The challenge is
that the cost of the equipment is in the “Twilight Zone,” -- too
much for a credit card, but not enough for a home equity
loan—which can make it difficult for the energy company
salespeople to close a sale.
So, Ken finds himself on the road giving presentations to these
energy company sales staffs to help them facilitate that
process. His challenge is to give them the tools and the
language to make it easy for their customers to buy that
No surprise, he reaches for metaphors and analogies to achieve
First, he helps the salespeople make their customers comfortable
with the notion of financing. He does this by referencing lots
of acceptable purchase-by-financing examples that would be
familiar to customers: cars, Nutri-system, Infomercials, Sears,
Then, he helps the salespeople demonstrate how easy and
affordable these loans can be. He acknowledges that the cost of
a new boiler, for example, can initially feel like a ‘body blow
to the wallet,’ “But,” he promises his energy client company
sales staffs, “They can also, in fact, be something affordable.”
He demonstrates how to make the ultimate purchase prices
palatable to customers by breaking down the actual payments to
other expenses equally familiar to customers. For example, “A
$5000 investment works out to $80 a month – the cost of your
cable system. On a daily basis, that is less than your Starbucks
latte. For the price of their daily coffee, your customers can
enjoy the cost savings and comforts of an energy efficient
Ken’s metaphorical approach is very successful. By the end of
his presentation, energy company salespeople are convinced A.
that financing is a very attractive option to offer people, B.
that everyone can afford these improvements, and C. that they
want to recommend AFCFirst for financing. From Ken’s point of
view: mission accomplished.
In Your World
In this economy people experience sticker shock for any high
priced item or service. How are you positioning your fees,
rates, or prices? What can you do metaphorically to demonstrate
their affordability to clients and turn a “Too expensive”
objection into a “Yes, I will buy” commitment?
See you next month. Remember to Make What You Say, Pay—with
Anne Miller, "Metaphorian"
P.S. For more information on AFCFirst, go to
Good Advice from the
Aptly Named “Nurturing Institute”
One of my favorite websites is
www.nurtureinstitute.com because its title is the
perfect metaphor for what it does: help clients nurture and grow
their business through marketing. They have just published a
very worthwhile white paper “6 Ways to Build Credibility,” which
I highly recommend.
Click here for this white paper.