Written by Sean McPheat |
Many salespeople believe that their customer base revolves around the concept of price. That is, price is the be-all and end-all of their decision-making process. Certainly, if they listen to what many of their prospects say, you can understand the reasoning.
Expressions like: “You’ll have to do something with your price before we can even consider this” or “What’s the best deal you can offer me?” or “You competitor offered 25% off list price. How far can you go?” are designed to make the sales person feel they have to concentrate on price before the sale can be advanced in any way.
Actually, you can make sure that price isn’t the main criteria for decision-making in the customer’s mind by building on these three components:
Make sure you know the value of your products and services and how they link to the customer’s business situation. This is the key to creating value and is at the heart of selling with integrity and credibility. A salesperson must understand the departments that are most affected by the solution, and the financial impact of his solution on various departments within the entire company .
Understanding the customer’s critical issues, dissatisfactions, and frustrations, plus recognising the business opportunities that arise from them, takes research, time, commitment, and dedicated work. But it is definitely worth it.
If you’re able to find out information prior to the visit, or on previous visits before you start talking about prices, then you build opportunities for you and the prospect to select other, more credible, ways of achieving their goals and objectives.
Make sure you can help the customer calculate the cost of not using your solution. Before you can offer a remedy, you must be able to firmly establish the results of not using or buying your solution. You must help the customer identify physical symptoms of his problem and show him that multiple departments are suffering. Remember, if there is no pain associated with the current situation, then you’ll find it difficult to move the prospect out of their comfort zone and make the decision to change.
Pain is the most basic human motivator for change. It is the natural defence mechanism that tells people that if they don’t change and deal with a problem, they will face consequences. And of course, change itself is painful. Therefore, change will not occur until an individual or company recognises that the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.
Tell the prospect the impact of your solution over those of your closest competitors. Make these figures specific. This is where you should be able to pre-empt all but the most irrational objections. If you can get the customer to recognise that your product will provide a specific financial impact, such as cutting the cost of a critical process or increasing desired revenues, they will realise that your premium pricing makes solid business sense. You get them to identify how the benefits outweigh the costs incurred, especially if they see a competitor’s offer as offering more value to you.
When you quantify the impact of your solution, it will quickly become obvious to your customer that your solution, at your price, makes for a solid business decision. If that is clear to them, it solves he challenge of them having ‘buyer’s remorse’ and helps them persuade other decision-makers who might have a say in the final decision.
Try these three ideas out before the prospect talks specifically about price. It will build the value of choice before their mind goes to think about commoditising your product.
Originally published: 9 February, 2015