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by Gillian
on December 18, 2014

When you're in the sales world, no matter how long you've been in the game, you're never going to get away from cost. You could be on a sales call with Bill Gates and still find that the conversation comes down to -- how much does it cost?

And facilities managers are certainly no exception. With multiple buildings, employees, and ever-diminishing budgets, facilities managers are not going to let you gloss over the cost of your building services or products. If you want to sell to a facilities manager effectively, you need to know how to address the cost question (assuming you aren't offering the cheapest option, which we'll assume you're not). You might just find your answer in lifecycle cost.

What is Lifecycle Cost?

Lifecycle cost (LCC) is a term applied to any transaction that involves goods, services, structures, or systems. It is the amount that it will cost the purchaser to buy, install, operate, maintain, upgrade, and dispose of something. The life cycle cost of you building services is going to be significantly bigger than its initial price tag.

In the federal government, life cycle cost is particularly applied to building and their water and energy system. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) developed a manual specifically for facilities managers in order to help them determine the life cycle cost of the various components of their facilities. While you may not be selling water or energy systems, you can still use the idea of life cycle costing to your advantage during the sales process.

Lifecycle Cost and Selling to the Facilities Manager

When you want to be successful in sales, you have to know your own product inside and out. That should go without saying. But if you want to include life cycle cost in your sales strategy, you'll also need to do some research, both internally and externally. When speaking to a facilities manager, they are going to have at least part of their mind on why they should choose you instead of the cheapest option. That means you have to know what their other options are. Who are your competitors and what do their costs look like in comparison to yours? Be able to answer any questions the facilities manager has about how your costs compare. This is when you can bring up lifecycle cost.

You know how much your building services cost. You know how much you'll expect a new client to pay upfront and how much every month. But do you know how long your product lasts? Do you know how much a new client would pay for professional installation, if they need that? Or how much the

If you don't, you should learn it and start including all this data in your regular sales cycles. Are you the cheapest around? Probably not on paper. But maybe your HVAC system requires less maintenance. Maybe it's built to last and won't need to be replaced for decades. Maybe you have competitors that contract their repairs to less qualified vendors, where shoddy work can end up costing more. Whatever it is, lay it on the table. Your services are not the cheapest. But they are the most affordable, in the long run. That's what life cycle cost is all about.

If you want to learn more about selling to the facilities manager, download our new eBook, 5 Steps for Selling to Facilities Managers. Just click below to star