Tag Archives: Price

Would You Buy from You?

JBMG_5500aBy Jeff Bowman

Having been involved in sales and sales training for the last 30 years, I have seen some major changes in both buyer habits and sales skills usage. The economy, the type of product or service you are selling, the demographic you are selling too and the cost of the product are among the many factors that affect the type of sales interaction that should take place. Sales training continually ranks very low on the list of business expenditures, however it is probably the most important factor in the success of your business, and one of the most tracked and analyzed areas of measurable data a company has.

I have put together a list of the 5 most common mistakes a salesperson will make and how to avoid them in future interactions. They are certainly not a replacement for continual and effective sales training, however they might resonate with you on a recent lost sale.

1. Calling on the wrong person is something we have all done, and it results in a waste of time and effort on your part. I used to call on whoever I could reach at the company, or the person I met at the networking event, and found that it was very counterproductive. Sure, we can consider those people “influencers” however simply asking the question, “are you the decision maker?” or “will you be the person signing off on this?” will get you further.

2. Relying too much on the web and social media to sell for you is a trap that a great number of companies are still trying to get out of. All we hear about today is how we need to be online. Online is no substitute for your direct selling skills. Online tools are an important part of your marketing mix designed to create awareness and help the potential client move towards contacting you.

iStock_000016561283Small3. Dropping your price to meet the customer’s expectation of value is a killer. By dropping your price, you have simply created a new selling point for future negotiations. Hold your price; increase the perceived value by adding something additional on, an extra month of coverage, free delivery, 30 days additional warranty, some small inexpensive accessory.

4. Selling an “opportunity” is far different from selling to a “need” and will usually result in rejection. Don’t assume that because you have uncovered an opportunity for a sale that the client has a definitive need at this point in time and has to purchase from you. For every solid sale potential there are thousands of tire kickers.

5. Overselling or continuing the sales pitch just because you are uncomfortable with the pregnant pause to allow a prospect to consider the options and come to a decision, could end the interaction prematurely. Uncover the need, assist the prospect by suggesting a product, describe the features it has that satisfy the need as well as identify the benefits to them. STOP. Let them consider it and watch for a buying signal!

All of these mistakes are preventable, sales training to continually upgrade skills and competency levels are an investment every business needs to consider. These skills are tools of the trade. Are your skills up to par, and more importantly, would you buy from you?

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Filed under Customer Service, Jeff Bowman, Sales, Training and Development, Uncategorized

I’m Mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

By Jeff Bowman

Unique selling point, differentiation, value proposition and customer satisfaction are all terms  common to sales and marketing professionals.

In an environment where we are easing out of a recession, consumers clamor for value in whatever they buy. Hard earned dollars are spent  on products and services that offer a good value in return.  Coupons are clipped and used more frequently, percentages off retail price or in simpler terms an actual cash value discount are offered more frequently to entice  customers.  In consumer items, it is value in terms of cost per unit or serving.

Good business owners know and understand this, and in most cases respect the power of the consumer to understand, compare and make the value call when it is time to purchase.

Why then is it that we as consumers are constantly being mislead by the large corporations that produce  food and health products that we use every day?  I am exasperated each time I pick up a product where the package size has been changed, reshaped, remolded, or made environmentally friendly – a ploy to downsize contents.  Wake up consumer!

The marketing spin that corporations use in an effort to disguise a lower value offering is ridiculous.

Now I am from the generation that believed a person could simply put a mask over their eyes and become a super hero. “Who was that masked man?” In fact as it was pointed out to me yesterday Clark Kent was disguised only by reading glasses.

I can see through the spin.

When ice cream went from a round 2 litre bucket, to a square tub, that made sense because it fit in my freezer better. What didn’t make sense was that the contents were then reduced to 1.5 litres for little or no price change. Cereal boxes have gone from the large family size to pint size boxes that hold no more than 5 or 6 bowls of cereal.  But they did it for me because now it stays fresher!

Yesterday I lost it. I bought Minute Maid Orange Juice.  It seemed different somehow.  When I got it home, I saw the difference when I put it in the fridge next to another juice can. 330 ml, has now become 295ml.  A 10% difference!  Pennies right, who cares? Consider that you add 3 cans of water to the concentrate to make the juice to drink. Now you are down 140 ml of juice.

It didn’t stop there.  I went to my local sub shop that advertises $5.00 footlongs, to ease my hunger pangs.  I measured that sub when I got home.  10 inches! 2 inches less than what they advertise. Enough to inspire sub envy in any man! Should I have taken it back?

The examples are endless today. Is it okay to give your boss 15% fewer work hours for the same salary? Is it okay for athletes to perform at 15% below the previous year? Why don’t schools drop the pass average to 41% instead of 51%?

I just don’t get it! In an age where the Internet can influence the masses in mere minutes, why do corporations continue to dupe us with decreased value offerings? The answer is, the majority of us do nothing.

Don’t you think you have a right to speak up when you get cheated? Business ethics dictate that companies offer customers the best value for their dollar.  Those that do should prosper, those that don’t should hear about it.

I can’t hear you!

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Filed under advertising, Customer Service, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Sales

Value comes at a price

By Stephen Rhodes

Businesses face great temptation to lower their prices during in poor economic times.  In recent weeks it seems that everything is on sale or just reduced,  or 50 per cent off. Some of it is seasonal, of course, but some of it is desperation.  Many businesses will buckle to the great temptation and regret it later.

Shopping cartWe all know there is “no free lunch”  and “something for nothing” establishes the value of a service or commodity at precisely nothing. If your brand is built on volume and price that’s fine, but if your brand is built on quality and service, reducing your price simply hurts you long term.

Anyone can be cheap but only one will be the cheapest. Is that turf you want to own coming out of a recession? Likely not.

Instead focus on adding value. Talk to your customers. Listen to their problems and be a  problem fixer. They are in this downturn too, remember.

Consider their plight. Service their needs. Provide added value, but don’t drop your price. Good value comes at a price. Don’t cheapen it.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Filed under Branding, Managing, Sales, Stephen Rhodes