The phone rang and on the other end was a salesperson who, after introducing himself to me, quickly rattled off what it was he was selling.
I interrupted him to let him know I had zero interest in what he was selling.
Without missing a beat, the salesperson then quickly pointed out that if I would buy today, I could get almost 50% off. Needless to say, I still wasn’t interested and proceeded to end the conversation.
Come on. Let’s get real.
Where did this salesperson come up with the idea of throwing out a statement like that when we’re not even 15 seconds into the phone call? If you ask me, it was lame and pathetic and the only thing I could think of is whatever it was he was selling must have been way overpriced to begin with.
Negotiating with the prospect or offering a discount to a prospect to entice a sale is absolutely pathetic.
If you want to destroy all sense of value and make the transaction purely a financial race to the bottom, then fine — go ahead and do it. It won’t get you far, though.
Sell first. Negotiate second.
Every salesperson needs to learn and live by this simple rule.
When you’re prospecting, you’re in the phase of the relationship where you’re trying to determine what the customer is looking for. You’re trying to determine the customer’s needs, desired benefits, and critical concerns. Only after the customer has shared with you these can you begin to establish value with the customer.
Additionally, it’s only after the customer has shared with you these items that you can even begin to think the customer has any level of confidence in you.
Confidence drives price. This is a simple concept that is lost on too many salespeople. The more confidence the customer has in you the salesperson, the more they will be willing to spend.
Next time you even think about offering a prospect a discount of any type, stop and instead replace the urge to discount with the urge to ask another question to allow the customer to develop more confidence in you.
Remember — more confidence equals more price. Negotiating is not part of the sales prospecting process, so don’t ever let the two mingle.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
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