No one would argue that prospects seem more focused on price today than twenty or even ten years ago. The question—and perhaps the secret to your sales success—is why?
The answer could lie in the amount of look-alike products and services that exist in today’s market. If multiple companies can meet your needs fairly well, price can easily become the deciding factor.
Or maybe it’s because today’s buyers are more risk-averse. No one wants to lose their job over a bad vendor choice, but decision-makers in particular won’t want to stick their neck out for a company that is also the most expensive.
Customers may be focused on price because your sales team takes them there. Comments like, “we’re looking at other vendors” or “we’re not sure we want to spend that much” or “the decision is on the back burner” too often send reps to the proverbial pencil sharpener so they can offer a lower price… but did the prospect really ask for one?
Value is the key to pricing power. It’s not enough to tell a prospect about the benefits—the rep must help the buyer focus on the specific financial impact that the solution will deliver or what buyers will lose if they fail to act.
Being able to calculate the impact of your offering is the difference between a peddler and a salesman.
Which are you?
Quote of the Week: “You must not become a mere peddler of words. The thing to learn is what people are thinking about, not what they say.” — Sherwood
One of Aesop’s Fables tells the story of a farmer who owned a goose that laid golden eggs. The farmer surmises that there must be a large supply of gold inside the goose, so he kills the goose to capture all the gold at once. Once the goose is dead, it stops laying eggs completely and the farmer learns a difficult lesson—in his eagerness to get rich quick, he has destroyed his chance to get rich at any pace.
Your top customers are the business equivalent of the goose. If you neglect them, you might make the same mistake as the farmer. Unfortunately, most firms don’t realize when they’re neglecting their best customers. Here are some ways that you could be unwittingly killing your goose right now:
Assuming that the customer won’t leave because they keep buying from you. Your lower-level contacts may not know what’s going on at the top of their organizations. Your contact might say that everything is fine, but a competitor that delivers innovative ideas to his bosses can create a completely new vision without you.
Forgetting to do what’s best for your customer. Business models change, so it might not make sense for your customer to continue buying the same quantities of the same products. If you never discuss the alternatives because you’re afraid of losing a bigger order, a competitor that tells the whole story could make you look bad.
Keep those golden eggs coming by helping your customers grow and be profitable. Forgetting to do that is one of the best ways to kill your goose.