How do you sell, price or service?
When going after new clients selling on service alone can can be a hard nut to crack. What do you or can you say that everyone else is not saying? If you don't have a really good hook, you'll be the one yanked off the stage.
So is there a way to Compete on Service, Not Price?
I say yes!
Selling by service alone is hard work. What do you or what can you lead in with that everyone else is not saying? Can you pass the "So What?" test?
Before you ever give your pitch or fancy Power Point presentation ask yourself So What? If it was me I and I were to tell you: I've been in business for 44 years. You would say So what? I have helped thousands of people succeed. So what? We have great team of people working here. So what? Get the point?
Now ask yourself what you want to be doing. Maybe you are happy selling for pennies on the dollar just to stay busy. If your a printer do you sell at cost just to keep the presses rolling? The problem is when you get busy they still want your low pricing and if you don't the next very hungry salesperson or company will undercut you. That is unless you are THE GUY! When you are THE GUY they will not move your competition on price alone because you are part of their team. They will stay for your knowledge. They will stay for your service. They will stay to keep you part of their team. Are you competing by selling at a lower price or are you getting deserved high profit margins?
That's a tough assignment. My answer is to ask you: What if you mixed in diagnosing and then solving customer problems as an advisor as a way to earn more sales and to differentiate yourself? And what if you grew long-term high profit sales by translating customers' needs to fulfillment from you as an advisor first and a sales person second?
Imagine educating customers to make the right decision. Can't you see yourself as the resource guy. Transforming yourself into the person they turn when they need advice. Sure you can. The hard thing is to BE that person all the time. You have to actually put the customer 1st , all the time, every time. Do you think that might just create even more demand for your products and services? Can you imagine helping customers improve their outcomes because of you? Coming up with solutions to the problems that keep them up at night. Think of the gratitude. Think of what they will do when you say, “Yes that I can do for you!” You think they will believe you? Do you think they will need "3 quotes"? Do you think they will ask you to sharpen the pencil? No because you have become THE GUY or do you say THE GAL?
They might just start to discover new reasons to do more business with you? Are you now better than your competitors? I think you know the answer.
For instance, let's say you sell marketing services. Think about having classes to teach customers how to improve their marketing focus and in doing so makes them better and more profitable. Who do you think is the person they are going to reach out to when the hard lifting in marketing starts? You guessed it. In this case me.
You design the curriculum to teach your methods to passionate buyers everything from how to redesign their content strategy using email blasting to direct mail, to helping companies to build a multi-targeted multi-channel plan built for growth, created to get over a 38% better ROI. Consider your own business and how powerful it would be to define what your customers should know, at what pace, and why. Imagine being that close to the person who makes the decisions, and if they are already hungry to get better at what they need to do in your area of expertise? OMG! Think of the power but remember with power comes responsibility. Responsibility to do what is right for the customer even when they would or might follow you blindly.
Do you sell insurance? Is your opening line to a prospect that you to a FREE analysis of there current policy. Really? Can you get much more lame that that? You and a thousand other agents in the city want to do that. Say that and you will never be THE GUY.
Let’s pretend you sell automated CRM software. You are up there doing your thing teaching customers all about the ins and outs of how to organize and run an effective sales program with CRM software. Your curriculum includes teaching customers how to write good sales letters then work the calendar for scheduled call backs. Even if you're selling products like painted canvas for needle pointing or replacement batteries for sump pumps, think about how you can bring out the educational aspects of your product, and think about how you can do this as a long term (marketing) project. Clients need continued advice and education and how they could benefit from continuous informational interactions with you. Remember education is good but don’t waste their time.
So sit down with a cup of coffee (or do you do tea) and think in terms of your business. What are the little-known facts, tricks and tips of information that you may take for granted but customers might find empowering and use? Write them down and ask yourself, "What are the three major obstacles preventing our customers from selling more to their customers? This question works for my company, you have to think of a specific question for your industry. How can you be helping them address the challenges that from your expertise day in and day out are able to educate, help and when necessary put into action.