We all know the potential pitfalls of “selling on price”, but usually that statement is incomplete. If you were to sell at a price that represented full value for you, your company, and the buyer then there wouldn’t be that much talk about the whole thing would there? Why not, because everyone realised value, and since value is subjective, it is not tied to a specific number, but to other elements, usually the buyers’ objectives and the challenges they perceive in attaining them.
So rather than spending time talking and worrying about price, sellers need to spend that time and energy building value in the mind of buyer, based on their current requirements and circumstance. First thing we need is a definition of value. Because this is such an important element of sales success, the tendency among many in sales and those talking to sales (people like me), to over complicate the definition, often introducing the attributes rather than focusing on defining value; once defined you can look at some attributes, and how to leverage those in establishing the level of value required by the client and you.
Lets start with the definition:
Buyers will see value in those things that eliminate barriers and gaps between where they are now, and their objectives.
If their objectives were easily attained, they would get to it and do it. The fact that they may be seeking a solution, suggests that they are facing some challenges, obstacles and gaps in their ability to attain those objectives, or what I call opportunity.
Knowing what those objectives are require leveraging experience, work and discipline. Let’s be clear, this does not exclude new sellers, experience includes leveraging the collective experience of your company and fellow sales people.
Experience involves reviewing outcomes of previous deals, not just those you win, but losses, and the ones that went to no decision. Simply stated, understanding the wins will help you understand what to look for and repeat. The other two, allow you to spot changing trends and help you avoid the tunnel vision created when you look only at the wins. The bonus to the no decision camp is the opportunity to rekindle the opportunity with elements learned, and create a win in shorter time frames.
Couple the above with the core elements that impact buying decisions, that is why people buy, and more specifically why they buy your product, and from you. You now have the base to build from, building the question set, you need to nail the objectives, the related obstacles and gaps. With this in place you are now ready to Mine The Gap for success. The interesting aspect of this is that while it is simple, it takes real work to execute, and offers no short cuts; in fact if you do try to short cuts, it will punish you with failure. Sorry, no silver bullet here.
On the other hand, if you do develop the discipline, you will be able to engage with those who seem to be all set or uninterested, and be pleasantly surprised by the fact that people see the value you bring, and be willing to pay full value for it. So go ahead, sell on price, full price.
What’s in Your Pipeline?