Stop the Discounting…Even When Business Has Slowed
We are seeing a selling panic ensue due to the turmoil of the last few months. Salespeople have been doing anything to win business, no matter what the price. This trend obviously isn’t a good one, so I have reviewed some data and contemplated exercises to help salespeople sell value rather than sell based on price,
Yes, we can certainly coach salespeople on what to say and when. But that likely isn’t enough. You see, selling value isn’t just a tactical skill set. It is a combination of skill set and mindset.
There are many factors that go into the ability to sell based on value rather than on price, but there is an especially important mindset that must be present to enhance one’s ability to sell value over price.
Personal Purchasing Habits
If the salesperson themself is value-minded that goes an exceedingly long way. However, 72% of all salespeople have personal purchasing habits that make it difficult for them to sell based on value. They shop for the best deal.
Since they are more concerned with getting the best price or deal for themselves, they may feel the need to negotiate. So, guess what? They accept that behavior from their prospects as well and even expect it.
And, guess what else? When they hear “I need to think about it” or “Is there anything you can do with the price?” They accept it as prudent behavior and therefore they jump into action, trying to give the “best deal.” It’s after all what they would want if they were the customer.
All of this leads to discounting. However, there are two critical pieces to solving this potentially profit killing issue.
Steps to Stop the Discounting
Step One: Salespeople must work on changing their own purchasing habits.
It’s hard to expect customers to buy quickly if the salesperson themself is consumed with getting the lowest price or “best” deal. It’s just how they see the world.
A key component in fixing this issue is for a salesperson to resist the urge to shop around. To resist the urge to comparison shop. What they must do when making sizable purchases in their own life is the following:
- Explore why they want it fully
- Decide to buy it
- Contact only one supplier or vendor
- If the salesperson is acceptable, purchase
- If the salesperson is not acceptable, go to only one other supplier and purchase
If an individual can overcome their need to negotiate, comparison shop and deliberate extensively over a personal purchase, then they will become much less patient with customers who act like they need to do the same, but are just stalling or blowing the salesperson off.
Step Two: Sellers must be able to articulate the value their products and services provide to customers – from the CUSTOMER’S point of view.
Rather than focusing on the benefits of the product or service or understanding why a customer SHOULD buy, the salesperson must focus on why the customer would want and value the product or service – what it would do for the customer. A good exercise to help accomplish this can be found by downloading our Value Proposition Creation Toolkit.
Avoid Setting a Precedent
We know it can be tempting for salespeople to discount prices when the economy has tightened. But by doing it they can set the precedent for future lost profits.
These two exercises provide a good start toward helping salespeople maintain prices by selling based on value. To go further, we can help in a more customized way through training, coaching and by instituting repeatable predictive sales processes, and a qualifying discipline. We’d be happy to help you.