A friend recently told me about a sales opportunity he had been working on.
Multiple people involved in the decision making process and my friend met with everyone (as a group) to determine their current problems, goals and objectives. He developed a proposal, followed up, followed up, and followed up some more.
However, as time went on, the terms of the deal began to change.
- The size and scope of the opportunity dropped—significantly.
- His prospects began asking for more concessions.
- Several people who had expressed high interest now appeared dis-interested.
- A few of the decision makers stopped responding to his correspondence.
All in all, my friend felt less comfortable pursuing the opportunity.
So, he sent his contacts a polite email and said that he was walking away from the opportunity. He explained his rationale and expressed disappointment but he also left the door open for future conversations.
Within 24 hours, one of the decision makers called him, apologized for the problems and promised to get everything back on track.
Several days later, my friend closed a deal that was worth approximately 10 percent of his quota.
Having the courage to walk away from a potential sale is difficult for most sales professionals. However, it can actually help you increase your sales because it can free up time to work on better opportunities
Plus, in some situations, it can actually cause your prospect to sit up, take notice and get them to start chasing you!
Looking for a dynamic speaker for an upcoming conference or sales meeting? Check out this video. 905-633-7750 or Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca
The Toronto Star recently ran an article about a few Baseball Hall of Fame inductees and included on the list was former Toronto Blue Jay, Roberto Alomar.
Part of the article included comments from former teammates and one of these individual’s mentioned Alomar’s constant effort to improve his skill and knowledge of the game.
I suppose that’s one of the reasons he ended up in the Hall of Fame.
Salespeople can take a lesson from Alomar’s playbook.
The business world is constantly changing but many sales people don’t keep pace with these changes. Instead, they continue to use tired tactics, outdated scripts, and ineffective approaches.
Consider these questions…
- When was the last time you attended a sales training workshop?
- What was the last sales book you read?
- How often do you implement a new technique, strategy or approach?
- What changes have you made in your sales approach in the last three month? Six months? Twelve?
- Are other sales people in your company achieving better results than you are? If so, what are they doing differently? What could you learn from them?
- If you are relatively new to sales, when was the last time you asked an experienced veteran for advice?
- If you are a seasoned sales pro, when did you last observe a younger sales person’s approach?
Several years ago I attended a conference and one of the breakout sessions focused on negotiating skills. I struck up a conversation with the guy beside me and learned that he was the lead negotiator for a prominent gravel company. When he told me that he had held that position for more than 15 years, I asked why he was attending this particular program.
“I can always learn something and even if the session only reinforces what I know, it will be worth it.”
What a great perspective!
He truly epitomized the concept of being a lifelong learner and reminded me of the importance of keeping an open mind.
To succeed in today’s challenging business climate and increase your sales, it is essential to maintain a student’s mindset and constantly look for ways to refine your skill and update your knowledge.
Could you or your team benefit from some training? Contact me and we can discuss what would help you achieve the best results. 905-633-7750
Yesterday’s post outlined eight reasons why prospects and customers say, “You’re too expensive.”
Today I will take a look at how you can determine what someone actually means when they express that objection.
One of the easiest and most effective ways is to simply ask, “Compared to what?”
This simple-to-use question will help you determine why the other person stated that objection. I once used this approach with a prospect and learned that another trainer he had used charged a measly $500 for a one hour presentation. His experience led him to believe that all sales trainers charged a comparable fee.
Another approach is to say, “Mr. Jones, I’ve heard that before. Everyone has their own reason for saying that…tell me…what makes you say that this solution is too expensive?”
This open-ended question encourages the other person to articulate what’s on their mind and is effective at opening a dialogue. They might say something like, “Well, we’ve seen a similar product and it was considerable cheaper” or “That’s more than we allotted for this purchase” or even “We weren’t planning to spend that much.”
Regardless of their response, you now have a clearer picture of what’s going through their head and you can offer the appropriate solution or recommendation.
The third strategy is to say, “Many people express concern about price. Is it that you don’t see the value of (insert your solution here)?”
In many cases, people will say that they see the value but hadn’t budgeted the right amount. Or, they might tell you that they don’t actually see the corresponding value. Either way, you have uncovered the real objection and can now respond accordingly.
Having said all of this, there are times when people won’t tell you what’s on their mind or why they’re stating that objection. This usually happens when someone is unwilling to make a decision but doesn’t want to say no. It’s an easy out for them.
Lastly, NEVER, EVER, drop your price immediately when you hear this objection.
This may sound like a no-brainer but it’s amazing how often salespeople automatically think that this objection means they need to offer a discount. And, if you offer a discount too quickly, people will think they can negotiate an even better price by pushing you a bit harder.
If you want to increase your sales and improve your results, take a moment to uncover the real reason why someone says, “You’re too expensive.”
Could your team use some improvement in their negotiating ability? Feel free to contact me and we can discuss it. 905-633-7750 or Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca
Everyone in sales has heard this common objection at least once in their career unless, of course, you sell the lowest priced product in your particular industry. But what does that objection actually mean?
Here are eight different reasons why people express this objection.
They don’t see the value.
This is usually a result of the sales people failing to demonstrate exactly how the prospect or his company will benefit from using the product, service or solution.
They have a preconceived idea of the cost or price.
Many people have a preconceived idea of how much a particular product or service will cost. For example, I was recently considering the purchase of an iPad until I discovered that the starting price was over $500. Until that point, I was under the impression that they were considerably less than that and not being a technology geek, the value of the purchase did not exceed the sticker price (see above point).
It is more than they budgeted.
Many people allot a specific amount of money for a given purchase and if your solution exceeds that budget, a prospect’s first reaction might be, “Wow, you’re expensive!” This doesn’t mean that they won’t move forward with the decision; it simply means that they need to adjust their mental budget.
They are comparing your product to another brand.
In today’s complex world, it is common to find multiple versions of the same product. Electronics are an excellent example. Two brands of televisions may look identical however, there are usually a few defining features on each that makes them different.
A competitor is selling the same or similar product for less.
Predatory pricing occurs in virtually every industry and many prospects use this fact to negotiate better price. However, just because a competitor is selling a similar product does not mean your customer is comparing apples to apples.
It is a negotiating tactic.
I know from personal experience that simply uttering the words, “Wow! That’s expensive!” can cause the seller to immediately offer a discount. Resist that knee-jerk reaction.
They can’t afford it.
There are times when someone simply can’t afford your product or service and their natural response is to say, “That’s expensive.”
It’s an excuse.
In certain situations a prospect will state these words just as an excuse to end the sales conversation and walk away without making a buying decision.
There you have it, eight reasons why people say “You’re too expensive.”
As a sales professional, your objective is to uncover each person’s individual reason. We’ll take a look at how you can achieve that in tomorrow’s post.
Could your team use help dealing with this objection? Give me a call and we can discuss the approach to take to help them improve their results and increase their sales. 905-633-7750. Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca.
Let’s face it, in recent years there has been more focus on price which has led to increased pressure to discount. Corporate buyers and decision makers as well as savvy consumers all seem to demand lower prices and price breaks.
What’s a sales person to do?
Here are six strategies you can implement that will help you reduce or limit the impact of the discount game.
Ask better (aka tougher) questions to REALLY determine your prospect’s buying motivators.
This sounds simple but few sales people have developed the ability to ask tough, penetrating questions. The purpose of these questions is to gain a thorough and accurate picture of your prospect’s situation. The days of asking easy low-value question have long gone.
Help the other person see the impact of the problem.
I first came across this concept in Questions That Sell by Paul Cherry. This questioning technique means that you articulate the problem in terms that the other person can relate to. For example, “Mr. Jones, you mentioned that your current shipper has caused damage to your products at least twice in the last month. What did those damages cost in terms of repairs, customer perception and your time?”
Position your solution more effectively.
This is the reason you execute the above point. The more you can show a person EXACTLY how they (and their company) will benefit from your offering, the less they will be inclined to demand heavy discounts. This means that you MUST execute the above two strategies with every customer and prospect.
You also need to discuss the return on investment (ROI) in terms that make sense to each person. Talk about increased market share, revenues, employee morale, or reduced cost of sale, errors and mistakes, employee turnover, etc. Use case studies and customer testimonials to reinforce the impact your solution can have on your prospect’s business.
Learn to negotiate.
Over the years I have noticed that many sales people are not good negotiators. They quickly resort to discounting or demands because they are afraid of losing the business. Negotiating is a learned skill and one that takes constant reinforcement. I once attended a conference and sat beside a VP of Sales for a large aggregate company during a breakout session that focused on negotiating skills. When I questioned his motive for attending the session (he had more than 15 years of experience) he stated, “I can always learn something and a program like this always reminds me of something I have stopped doing or need to continue doing.”
Be prepared to walk away.
If (or should I say when) a prospect gets to greedy and demands unrealistic concessions, you need to seriously consider whether it makes good business sense to do the deal. Too many sales people fail to walk away from deals that cost them money or don’t generate sufficient profit to make the sale worthwhile. I have spoken to many people who accepted the terms of a deal that ended up costing them time, money, frustration, and stress. If something feels wrong, take a time to consider your options and don’t be afraid to pass on a sale that doesn’t feel right.
These six strategies may simply the process but they can make a significant difference in your top lines sales and bottom line profits. It is critical to remember that every time you discount a product you need to generate more revenue to make up for the loss in bottom-line profits.