4. Differentiate Your Offer. In tough times it is imperative you differentiate your offer. If you want to be seen as being different you need to be different! And you especially need to do it in tough times as your prospects and customers may be looking to cut costs, source the cheapest provider and if that isn’t you … you could be in trouble. If your prospects can see that you are different … that from you they get something they can not get anywhere else they will pay different … even if it means paying more. Know what makes you different. Is it your product or service (what you sell), is it your company (your brand, how long you have been in business, your reputation, people and facilities) or is it how you do what you do (the experience)? Whatever it is, and it may be one of these things or all three combined – you need to demonstrate it, enthuse about it and make sure your prospect gets it or you are in a Dutch auction and selling has finished – bring on the pricing exercise and watch your profits take a hit!
5. Justify And Demonstrate Your Value For Money. Tough times doesn’t change the fact that your price reflects your quality and service and that your perceived value (what your prospect is willing to pay) will be based on what they perceive they are getting. In tough times the salespeople that can demonstrate that what they are offering provides excellent value for money will continue to win sales where others don’t (even when you are selling at higher prices!) For too many salespeople the price objection is often the most difficult to overcome simply because they do not know what makes their price worth paying (they do not know how it is arrived at) and too often wrongly assume it is all about the product or service they are providing. In most cases this isn’t their fault though as they are not told anything different by their company, they are just expected to go and sell it, leaving them having to justify what they do not understand.
Develop a model (as below) of how your price is arrived at and put values against each of the components that make up your offering. The component parts of it will include the product or service itself, the level of support you provide, account management (if appropriate), technical knowledge and assistance, your Unique Selling Points (U.S.P.’s), stock and availability, etc… Identify all of the appropriate components and put a value against each remembering to include profit. Don’t be worried about putting a value against this as it is definitely there – you need to make it to survive and grow and your customers and prospects need you to make it in order for you to continue to look after them (even though they may sound like they are saying something different). Your model, if developed as a bar-chart will look something like:
You can even produce this as a selling aid in your presentations to demonstrate your value (what makes you worth your price) although you may not wish to produce this to scale or with actual values against it. It is only a visual representation of the value you bring and a visual justification for your prospect as well as a memory jogger for you to discuss all of those things and build value. Remember the key here is to always discuss these components and the benefits they bring (the value) before you give the price to eliminate or at least minimise the price objection.
Believe in your product and service, believe in your company and the value you offer. Believe in your ability to make things happen, apply the above and you will not only survive in tough times, you will be able to thrive in them. You really can sell your way through tough times providing you do What It Takes to Succeed (WIT2S). Think better, do better and you will succeed!