The decision has been made. Your company is taking a price increase and it’s your job to go out and make it happen. You knew it was coming but you were hoping it wouldn’t happen. You would rather management find other ways to maintain profit without taking a price increase. It’s now time to put all of this aside and begin building your plan of action. Listed below are 9 things you should not do:
1. Do not base the price increase on the rising cost of energy or any other single item. Remember, what goes up typically also comes down. If you base the price increase on energy, as soon as it starts to come down, your customers will start demanding a price reduction.
2. Do not attempt to sell the price increase based on how your competitors or other suppliers are also going up in price. This makes you look weak and makes it appear your price increase is based solely on the reason you think you can get away with it.
3. Do not attempt to slide the price increase through by announcing it to your customers on the bottom of an invoice. You’re inviting trouble if you do this and it makes you and your company appear anything but professional and upfront.
4. Do not attempt to hide the planned price increase until the day before the price goes up. Again, this makes it seem like you and your company are trying to slide the increase through. When you do something like this, you end up losing a significant amount of integrity, which will translate into lost sales.
5. Do not immediately join in with your other salespeople complaining about how difficult it’s going to be trying to get the price increase through. A very high number of price increases fail to stick based solely on the fact the sales force refused to believe and support the price increase.
6. Do not apologize for the need to take a price increase. Apologizing may appear to be courteous, but this is business, and if you apologize, you will come across as if you do not believe in the price increase.
7. Do not present the price increase at the very end of your sales call and do it in a manner where your body language appears nervous and your speech is less than confident. Customers will see through that, and professional buyers in particular will pick up on the signs of weakness and attempt to leverage it for an exception.
8. Do not waste your time thinking about all of the things the company could have been doing in your mind to avoid the need to take a price increase. Spending time doing this will only increase your odds of not succeeding because of the damage it will do to your sales motivation.
9. Do not go into the meeting with the customer thinking about how you will try to negotiate an increase less than what it is supposed to be. If you go in expecting less, you will walk out with less.
Thursday of this week I’ll share with you 11 things you should do when you are selling a price increase.
Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.