I was in line at Target when a 20-something woman came up behind me and decided that the line—myself and one other customer, each with two or three things—was too long. She dumped all of her items on a shelf in front of the checkout counter and left the store. I found myself wondering whether or not she only shops at stores that have an open checkout lane waiting just for her.
Each passing generation seems to further embody the idea of wanting it now. Whatever the problem, we expect there to be an app for that; a way to fix it and fix it quick, because the world is all about meeeee. So where does that leave the remodeler who has a six-to-eight-week lead time? Probably with a whole lotta 'splainin’ to do, that’s where.
Thanks to the likes of Angie’s List, your younger prospects not only want it now, they also know as much about your products and nearly as much about your company as you do. If you’re really lucky, they’ve been to the Houzz or Porch websites, have all of their selections made (including those spiffy Unobtanium cabinet door handles), and even know how much you should be charging them. Can’t wait to show up for that call, can you?
So what to do? A few thoughts:
Paint a picture: Take your younger customers back to a time that they don’t remember, a time when faster didn't mean better. You and I know all of the reasons to get it right instead of getting it fast; they might just need some educating.
Smooth the path: How can you eliminate the obstacles standing between them and their project? It’s an express, self-checkout world that we live in–just think about Amazon’s one-click ordering system. Find ways to smooth the path between them and you. Too many selections to be made? Offer pre-configured kitchen or bath packages as a starting point (but make them customizable: no one wants the same project as someone else).
Open your books: Houzz or Porch tells them that the project should cost $20,000, and you know that it’s every bit of $30,000? Show them contracts for similar projects, but don’t stop there: Put them in touch with clients for whom you've done the work. Let your customers tell them why they’re so happy that they spent the extra money. That’s a hundred times more powerful than telling them yourself.
Like it or not, it’s their world and you just live in it. The more you can adapt your world to revolve around them, the less likely they are to leave their cheese at the checkout counter—if you know what I mean.