Not because your sales pitch is boring, or irrelevant. I am sure it’s neither of those things.
But, let me ask you this – are you lulled by the comforting words you hear coming from your mouth at the beginning of a pitch? Perhaps nearly word for word-perfect from the last time you pitched? Is there something inside you that clicks into place once you hear those few opening lines? When you think – ok, hard work done, I can relax now, I know the steps I need to follow?
Also, let me ask:
How much of your sales pitch is performed with you on almost autopilot where you are looking for key buyer signals, phrases and keywords? You’re thinking about the conversation, of course you are, but you’ve been down this opening track so many times before that you’ve not really paying that much attention.
In many ways your prospect is probably paying more attention to what you are saying than you are.
Also – how much of your sales pitch is designed to get you and the prospect to a stage where you uncover ‘pain’ as quickly as possible and then try to solve it?
As Anthony Robbins said about sales – ‘it’s a hurt ’em and heal ’em business’
Is that what you’re still doing?
Last week I posted about what you can do when you are providing much higher levels of value for your prospects, yet they are still giving the order to the cheapest competitor, we talked about value and how the sales person needs to make the value of their proposition something that the competitor can’t compete with. You can read the full post here
One thing that is worth stressing is that whatever value you as the sales person are creating for the prospect, well, that value must be something that the prospect actually wants, will hold dear, can see tremendous benefit in and fully understands that they can receive a payback from that is commensurate with the higher price you are asking.
The payback can be many things: money, time, status, ego, longevity/future proofing; and that’s where it gets complicated.
You have to know what the buyer’s motivations are.
Now this requires some clever questioning, but before you get to that stage there are other chunks of information that you need to know:
- What are your competitors offering?
- How are they pricing their offering?
- How are they justifying that?
- Where do you sit in terms of the above?
- What can you do to improve your position?
- What can you do to add value?
- What markets can you add value to?
Only by fully, and I mean fully, understanding your market place and that of your buyers and your competitors can you ever hope to:
1. Be competitive
2. Present a competitive offering
However – regardless of all the other motivators you may be able to uncover, by far the most compelling motivator to persuade the prospect to buy from you and not a competitor is this:
If you can clearly demonstrate how your product or service will help your buyer secure market advantage and strategic competitive advantage over their competitors, then you will easily disable any competitor approach to your prospect…and make the sale yourself.
This is what I’m going to talk about next – you must know fully how your prospect will use your product/service. Again – no assumptions – your prospect needs to walk you though the whole process, whether it’s a telephone system, a fleet car, and insurance policy. Yes, it may take time – but you need to understand how they use it, because once you understand that, you know how you can add MEANINGFUL value.
For many of you this will mean dedicating much more time to the sales process than you already do, or more likely spending your time with the prospect and their team differently, so you can see how they work and how they can best make use of what your firm can offer.
Don’t stop at how the firm you are selling to uses your offering…look at how they use your product to make their own offering better.
Remember – If you can help your buyer firm do what it does better than anyone else in their competitive marketplace, then you can demonstrate tremendous value, and most likely, cost will be a secondary issue in the buying considerations.
For a very simple example, integrating supply chains is a very easy win, you may design a system where you can help your buyer to be the most competitive by helping them to be more responsive to their client and prospect base simply because you are fulfilling their orders more quickly than your competitors can, or you may collectively decide to change the financial terms of the commercials in order to both maximise profit and share that profit in addition to base line costs.
Once the sales team step away from standardised pricing, standardised sales and selling models and really start to understand how they can work with the prospect to help the prospect to secure market advantage and improve its own market position and service… that’s something that competitors will struggle to compete with, and more importantly will struggle to replicate. This way of building sales relationships is virtually impenetrable and supports longevity and loyalty, which supports profitability.
So – before you think about dropping your price, think about dropping your sales pitch!
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