If there is one most asked question that salespeople enquire advice on is how to keep their initial price offering and still win the deal. Many are expecting a magic trick or a smart negotiating skill or process. Even you, while you are reading this, are glancing over the text to see if there is a “silver bullet” after all. Maybe, just maybe you have missed something? Many are disappointed to hear that there isn’t.
Yet, selling without discounting is possible but requires hard work. Nothing comes easy. If it was, we were all already doing it.
Let’s first clarify what in most cases the final assessment is for a buyer to say “ok, let’s go ahead, I would like to change and buy your service/product”. Think about a time when you bought something at full price. What was it? A pair of the latest Nikes? An iPad? A Louis Vuitton handbag? Why did you still buy it although no discount was offered? Exactly! In your mind, it was the only product or service that would give you the satisfaction you were after.
For whatever reason, your emotions were telling you that buying your desired item would meet the goal you had in your mind. Although you preferred to have paid less, in the end, you weighted up the value of possessing what you wanted and agreed with yourself it was worthwhile.
Important to note here is the process that most likely happened before your purchase. Without a doubt, you did your research (yes, online shopping) and you came to the conclusion that no other product or service on the market could achieve what you are trying to achieve.
Now transfer this to when you are out selling B2B. Do you really understand the buyer’s objective? What do they want to achieve? Why do they even consider changing from what they have currently in place? Why can’t they achieve what they are trying to achieve with their current supplier?
What has changed in their market or industry that makes them consider a change? Did something change at their competitors and now they need to react and take action? Or have their end customers triggered their thinking they should change something in their process or value creation? Maybe there is internal pressure to deliver better quality. Maybe they realize they need to innovate and do something different to stay ahead of their main competitor.
You see, the above questions are only a small list of things you need to find out. You need to be good, really good at understanding the customer situation. Assessing the changes that are causing the new situation the customer finds themselves in and how you can help them achieve with what they are trying to achieve, that makes you stand out from other sales reps. You are selling with the Buyer’s perspective.
This also means you need to be comfortable sharing with your prospective customer the risk you see when they are not making a change. Risks like cost your customer did not see before or the risk of missing out on additional revenue streams they did not consider as possible.
Selling without a discount does not happen in one call or visit. You are displacing your competitor through several meetings with several stakeholders, from “warehouse to penthouse”. With the Director of Operations, you help with gaining operational efficiencies. With the Sales & Marketing person, you focus on how you can help to grow their revenue. With Finance you uncover together overall cost savings and finally with the CEO or owner you are comfortable discussing the ROI. You have moved on from being a sales rep to a Trusted Advisor.
Once customers see the strategic value for their company to make a change, and also recognize your company is the only one that can deliver the new desired outcome then they are willing to pay for that in exchange. All they need now is a fair price. A price that makes sense as an investment for a greater return.
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