Ira Friedman

Ira Friedman
The Documentation Package, Part 2

Your Documentation Package includes a line listing—with pricing—of every component you need to complete the system. Let your client know that when the Documentation Package is delivered, in 10 days, you should schedule a meeting to then review the items and their pricing.

Selling the Documentation Package


You’re well on your way through the Companion Selling® process. You’ve had your initial meeting with the prospect. You’ve had your follow-up phone call. And now you’re having your third encounter. By this time, your prospect is ready to get started, so you need to set the rules of engagement.

Creating Desire by Being Creative

Editor’s Note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of education columns. This month, he encourages you to be creative and to share your enthusiasm with your clients. n Part 12: At this point in the Companion Selling process you’ve discussed the project with your prospect. You’ve shared some of your Secrets List. You’ve developed a Performance List, you’ve Ballparked, and you’ve established a budget the client is comfortable with. Refer back to previous columns in this magazine (or at www.customretailer.net) for a refresher. Time to Build Desire Companion Selling is a shared process. You are the trail leader walking through the

Creating Desire by Being Creative

Editor’s Note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of education columns. This month, he encourages you to be creative and to share your enthusiasm with your clients.
n Part 12:
At this point in the Companion Selling process you’ve discussed the project with your prospect. You’ve shared some of your Secrets List. You’ve developed a Performance List, you’ve Ballparked, and you’ve established a budget the client is comfortable with. Refer back to previous columns in this magazine (or at www.customretailer.net) for a refresher.

Time to Build Desire
Companion Selling is a shared process. You are the trail leader walking through the

Companion Selling Part 11: Honoring the Budget

Companion Selling ® is a sales and marketing strategy developed by Bay Audio. This column is excerpted from The Bay Audio Guide to Companion Selling.
Companion Selling works best when you respect your client. So the first time your prospective client exposes his vulnerabilities – when talking about budget – your response is critical.
After listening to your client and establishing a rough idea for the system he wants, you create a Ballpark price, and say:
“We’re looking at $100k for a system with this degree of automation, aesthetics, and performance. What is your budget?”
Asking your prospect what he has budgeted for

Building A Pricing Backbone, Part 2

Editor’s Note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This month, he continues his instruction on Building Pricing Backbone, which incorporates several staples from his earlier columns. Part 10: Last month we discussed the importance of establishing Backbone systems—these are standardized systems you can refer to when Ballparking. Ballparking Is Not an Estimating Exercise; It’s a Selling Exercise Let’s review the Ballparking process. First, you Ballpark after you’ve developed a Performance List with your prospect. The Ballpark number is thrown out to establish a value for the project. As discussed earlier, the Performance List is a well-established story you

Building A Pricing Backbone, Part 2

Editor’s Note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This month, he continues his instruction on Building Pricing Backbone, which incorporates several staples from his earlier columns.
Part 10:
Last month we discussed the importance of establishing Backbone systems—these are standardized systems you can refer to when Ballparking.
Ballparking Is Not an Estimating Exercise; It’s a Selling Exercise
Let’s review the Ballparking process. First, you Ballpark after you’ve developed a Performance List with your prospect. The Ballpark number is thrown out to establish a value for the project. As discussed earlier, the Performance List is a well-established story you

Mastering the Ballpark Figure

Editor’s note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This month, he focuses on Ballparking. Different than estimating, Ballparking proves your abilities and strengthens trust between you and the client. Part 8: Once you’ve developed a Performance List and you’re able to recite it back to your prospect, it’s time to start Ballparking. Ballparking is your way of immediately sharing pricing information. It’s your rough estimate for each constituent and discipline of the project. Ballparking is not the same as estimating. It is a way for you to test your prospect’s understanding early on in the process. Companion Selling treats

Mastering the Ballpark Figure

Editor’s note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This month, he focuses on Ballparking. Different than estimating, Ballparking proves your abilities and strengthens trust between you and the client.
Part 8:
Once you’ve developed a Performance List and you’re able to recite it back to your prospect, it’s time to start Ballparking. Ballparking is your way of immediately sharing pricing information. It’s your rough estimate for each constituent and discipline of the project.
Ballparking is not the same as estimating. It is a way for you to test your prospect’s understanding early on in the process. Companion Selling treats

Developing the Performance List

Editor’s Note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This column focuses on crafting a Performance List, which consists of rough ideas that describe the functionality, aesthetics and performance levels of a system. Part 7: A Performance List contains all the prospect’s wants and needs. Your prospect says they want a surround system in the bedroom hidden from view when not in use, and you describe the perfect solution. Key to your description is the knowledge that your prospects have a limited understanding of the aesthetic, control and performance possibilities available to them. They might be thinking the plasma hides

Developing the Performance List

Editor’s Note: In August 2007, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This column focuses on crafting a Performance List, which consists of rough ideas that describe the functionality, aesthetics and performance levels of a system.
Part 7:
A Performance List contains all the prospect’s wants and needs. Your prospect says they want a surround system in the bedroom hidden from view when not in use, and you describe the perfect solution.
Key to your description is the knowledge that your prospects have a limited understanding of the aesthetic, control and performance possibilities available to them. They might be thinking the plasma hides

Using Your Prospect’s Input

Part 6: There are certain aspects of the project you decide: 1. Products 2. Process There are aspects of the project you may allow your client to help design: 1. Aesthetic issues 2. Interface Avoid the Puma You choose the products. You choose how they’re installed. That’s not up for discussion. If the prospect has product suggestions, steer them to your choices. Why is this important? Because you cannot control the project unless you control the products. It’s that simple. Like the trail guide, you choose the path. If a hiker asks to go up the north side of the hill, and you know

Using Your Prospect’s Input

Part 6:
There are certain aspects of the project you decide:
1. Products
2. Process
There are aspects of the project you may allow your client to help design:
1. Aesthetic issues
2. Interface
Avoid the Puma
You choose the products. You choose how they’re installed. That’s not up for discussion. If the prospect has product suggestions, steer them to your choices. Why is this important? Because you cannot control the project unless you control the products. It’s that simple.
Like the trail guide, you choose the path. If a hiker asks to go up the north side of the hill, and you know

Using “What If” Questions

Editor’s Note: In August, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This month, he reviews the advantages of asking “What If” questions. He emphasizes their ability to engage your client, create enthusiasm and ensure a fantastic end-result, no matter the size of the project. Part 4: When Chantel meets her prospective client, she asks a lot of “What If” questions. “I know you want this room to be brighter and sunnier than it is now. What if we knocked through this wall and added a window right here? That would look great!” Or, “What if we added extra lighting fixtures to

Using “What If” Questions

Editor’s Note: In August, Ira kicked off his series of educational columns. This month, he reviews the advantages of asking “What If” questions. He emphasizes their ability to engage your client, create enthusiasm and ensure a fantastic end-result, no matter the size of the project.
Part 4:
When Chantel meets her prospective client, she asks a lot of “What If” questions.
“I know you want this room to be brighter and sunnier than it is now. What if we knocked through this wall and added a window right here? That would look great!”
Or, “What if we added extra lighting fixtures to