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Question: In a price comparison to another company with no guarantees, how do you put a price value on all the guarantees we provide? We are at $20k they are at $16k, we guarantee everything, they only verbally promise.

Gary Elekes; EGIA faculty member and iMarket Solutions Founder:

We use what we call a “Consumer Specification.” We force the customer into a conversation about how much they actually value those types of things, like peace of mind. That’s in writing. Specification is actually a document we use as part of our presentation system.

A lot of comfort advisors will do this verbally. The $16k company you mentioned in the question probably isn’t as orderly in their presentation system.

We would generally have a printed specification and a comparison, so we have the ability to compare and contrast when that question comes up. We want that conversation to happen. That’s how we would classify that discussion.

In terms of value, it’s going to be highly dependent on the past experiences of the individual customer. If you’ve never had a flat tire and you’ve never had to call AAA, then AAA doesn’t have a whole lot of value to you because you haven’t had that experience. But if you have had a flat tire and AAA has taken care of you, then you probably have a better idea of what that experience is worth.

Some of that is going to be interdependent on the individual client and their customer experience. Again, we’re back to the fact that not every client is going to be right for a high-quality, high-end company.

One of the things we’ve done and taught in the past that creates a warm process – warm meaning that the clients have experienced some education – is a pre-call process. With permission from the client, we send out an email highlighting some information on the process so our clients can make the most informed decision possible.

We’ll include a document that is the specification for how we’re going to do business, which outlines the differences between our company and all the other companies in the marketplace. It shows what we do from a quality control perspective, as well as our guarantees and warranties.

We give them the questions to ask. We literally give them the 23 questions they should ask anyone they’re doing business with. They are very penetrating questions. Obviously, if I’m a $20k company and I’m a high-quality company, I can answer yes to all of those questions.

We already know that most of the companies won’t be able to answer all of those questions, so we’re not risking anything by doing that.