Too many salespeople complain that the only thing they ever hear from their customers is their prices are too high.
To these salespeople, the only thing holding them back from making more sales is their company’s unwillingness to be more flexible with price.
The argument the salesperson makes is that the competition has never been stiffer and the customers have never had more options to get what they need at a lower price. Gee, isn’t that a new argument?
Salespeople have been using that argument since the dawn of selling. You might say some things never change.
The real issue is not that customers have become cheap. In my opinion, the issue is salespeople have become cheaper! What I mean by this is far too many salespeople have allowed themselves to believe the only way they can be successful selling is if they’re discounting the price.
For many salespeople, the price discount has become the central tool they use to close a sale. I watch salespeople spend little to no time understanding the customer’s specific needs. To them it’s all about speed, and the best way to sell fast is to sell cheap.
If you think I’m kidding, take a look at the numbers your salespeople are reporting. The average discount has done nothing but grow in the last 5 years.
Salespeople are allowing themselves to believe the discount is essential. It’s time we stop the madness. We have to really challenge ourselves to understand why discounts are being offered at all.
As I already said, the biggest issue is the salesperson isn’t taking the time to truly understand the customer’s needs. The salesperson is not willing to ask questions and they lack the confidence to stand up to the customer when the customer asks for a discount.
It’s impossible to have the level of confidence you need to resist a customer’s demand for a better price if you don’t truly know their needs. Knowing their needs gives you the ammunition to counteract the customer’s request for a discount.
When they’ve shared with you their needs and you’ve been able to build on them, you naturally will feel more confident in holding firm on price. If, on the other hand, you don’t know how what you’re selling is going to help your customer, it’s only natural that you both will resort to the low price denominator.
Customers aren’t cheap. They become discount focused because salespeople have allowed them to become that way.
No, I’m not advocating you or your sales team should single handedly change what all customers believe.
What I am advocating is if you truly understand the needs of the customer and explore jointly with the customer how they will benefit from what you offer, then you can resist their price demands.
In fact, not only will you be able to resist their price demands, but you also will face less pricing pressure from customers. The reason is simple – the customer will see how much they need what you’re offering. In the end, you’ll have a happier customer and more profit in your pocket.
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.
Hi Mark. I understand your point and I agree with you, if you don’t know your customer needs you can’t have the leverage to maintain a high profit margin because you can’t promote the value of your offer. But when a price issue happen with buyer he just want to take like the salesperson the easiest way to do his job (the easiest way to sale for a sales rep is to cut the price) and present the lowest offer to the administration without having to present and debate the highest price proposal. Then the solution that we have is to present our product to the end user or the person who will get the benefit from our solution. Unfortunately often the buyer don’t let us know the name and get in touch with the end user. Any suggestion about this issue?