2010 m. birželio 27 d., sekmadienis
2010 m. birželio 21 d., pirmadienis
2010 m. birželio 9 d., trečiadienis
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Price Objection - What Price Objection?
By Dr. Rick Johnson
Wednesday, 9th June 2010
A major reality during tough economic times is the simple fact that customers ask for lower prices.
Sales people often encourage this mindset themselves simply by listening to the doom and gloom that the media frenzy promotes on a daily basis. Sales people that don’t understand their value propositions resort to old school training and begin focusing on features and benefits which has a tendency to commoditize their product line.
Effective sales managers understand this phenomenon and help the sales force recognize that it is especially critical in tough economic times to help customers visualize the difference between price and cost. They direct the sales force to focus on value.
Price must not become the major issue and it should be the last issue on the table and not the first. If sales people understand their value propositions and can communicate that value while providing real solutions then price does not become the deciding factor.
- Price isn’t part of your value proposition
- The art of selling has nothing to do with price
- Value trumps price
- Value is determined by the customer --- not you
Value is defined as the dominant benefit you provide that helps your customer produce more, benefit from, and/or profit from or satisfy a need. This is a selling approach that focuses on helping the customer solve their problems without regard to making a sale. That means everyone must be part of the sale!
The Value Proposition if used properly can:
- ELIMINATE or reduce competition.
- Set forth things that make you the only choice.
- Create competitive advantage
The quickest way accelerate decline is to remain excessively concerned with how much can be sold to the customer. The issue is not about any of that nor is it about what products the customer uses; rather, it is about what the customer is buying, then and only then does "share of spend“ become the objective. The focus must be on your Value Propositions that solve a customer's problem.
The Emerging Specialized Role for Professional Sales People today IS NOT TO INCREASE SALES, BUT to systematically and consistently increase the number of customers who choose you to be their #1 supplier........
Effective sales people minimize price significance by:
- Separating selling from problem solving
- Taking all of their industry experience and knowledge to understand the customers needs
- Presenting alternative solutions—defining the value propositions and letting the customer decide
- Applying their knowledge and experience to the customers pain as if it was their company to solve the problem.
People come to conclusions by making comparisons. If you don't let customers and prospects know why it is in their best interests to do business with you or buy your product, they won't. Market driven companies spend time and effort consciously influencing the way they are perceived by customers, prospects, and other stakeholders.
Remember this; price is not a benefit. Selling is not determined by the cost of your product. If you truly "sell" your customers and prospects, they will purchase your products/services no matter what price you determine. By the time your customer wants to discuss price they should be determined to purchase no matter what the cost.
So, find "real" benefits (value) to sell to your customers and prospects. Help them to see how great their life is with your product, and you've got a customer. Point out their current pain, and offer solutions to take the pain away. Discipline yourself to become a total solution provider.
2010 m. birželio 6 d., sekmadienis
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Being a Sales Superstar in Today’s Environment.
Dr. Rick Johnson
Monday, 7th June 2010
The 'Sales Superstar' in today’s economic environment understands that everyday is a new learning experience.
In the old days when I was a salesman, sales success had a simple formula: It was called “Relationship Selling”. A mentor of mine drilled that formula into my head.
Formula of Past Success: Develop a strong relationship with your customer, make friends with him, and he will find a way to buy from you.
That’s all it took – great relationships. Today, especially during tough economic times, relationships alone will not get you the sale. Of course, relationships are still very important. But, relationships alone just won’t cut it. The relationship is simply a foundation. Today’s formula is just as simple as in the past, but it goes beyond the relationship.
Today it’s about providing solutions. Figure out what solution the customer needs to solve their problems; address their challenges; create their growth.
Formula of the “Sales Force Superstar:” Figure out what the customer’s needs really are and provide solutions. Become a total solution provider by finding the pain and taking it away.
Find the pain and make it go away, even if it has nothing to do with your product. It’s about being a total solution provider. Today’s formula works because it creates competitive advantage. It is the secret to success for the “Sales Superstar.
In times past, salespeople were trained to focus on their product. They knew everything about it – what features it had, the benefits, how long it could last and what the red button did when pressed. Salespeople talked about the product until they were blue in the face. Armed with brochures and warranties, they were ready to attack.
But, in today’s environment, customers want more; not just the latest technology and the best “widget” a person can buy. They want complete solutions to all their problems. Suddenly, the brochure and other marketing materials are simply support functions. Buyers are more educated, more professional and seek more than just products. They want efficiencies, market share and profit generation.
“You cannot puke all over your customers with features and benefits.” (J. Gittomer)
In the old days, we were taught to spray the purchasing agent’s office with talk about these features and benefits; When they asked questions we were trained to watch their lips, and when they took a breath, that was our sign to talk some more.
In contrast, to be a superstar we need to LISTEN more than 80% of the time. We must UNDERSTAND the customer’s behavior, goals, industry, problems, and their way of thinking, how they make money, their customer’s customers, and ultimately, their problems.
Caution: The Solution May Not Be What it Seems
To become a sales superstar you need to understand the customer’s customer and the customer’s industry. Sometimes a solution that seems obvious is obviously wrong. My ten-year-old grandson, Zayne, drove that point home to me not too long ago. We got in the car to go down to the store. Being a responsible grandfather, I put him in the back seat and told him to buckle his seat belt. “Gee, Grandpa we’re only going down to the store on the corner. Do I have to?”
“Zayne,” I replied, “It’s a proven fact that more than 75% of accidents happen within 20 miles of your home.” With the seriousness and pure innocence of a ten year old, Zayne looked at me puzzled and said, “Then why don’t we just move?”
Finding the Pain
Be more knowledgeable and conscious of your customer’s problem. You’re no longer selling a product, you’re selling a solution to make their life easier, happier, better, less complicated, or more fun.
By understanding the customer’s business and his customers, you help them make a profit through cost reductions, improved efficiencies, increased value and increased sales. Those solutions come in many forms and may have nothing to do with your product. That’s okay. Look for the pain regardless of what it is and focus on the solution.
Customers Look for Value
Customers don’t want products; they want profits – or ways to make profits. They want satisfaction, feelings of comfort, pride, praise and self-esteem. They are people just like us. Well, maybe they don’t have the same crazy genetics that we have as salespeople, but they are just as smart, just as caring and have the same personal needs and feelings.
So, how do salespeople find the customer’s pain and identify the problem? How do we figure out what they recognize as value? You gain much of this knowledge by listening. I mean really listening. You don’t focus on pushing product. You focus on the customer and what he is telling you. You research his industry. You talk to his customers and even his competitors, but carefully.
Once you have this knowledge and understand your customer completely, you can provide intelligent solutions to almost any challenge. You have raised your customer’s expectations of you and your company, which creates competitive advantage. It’s all about value – not the value-added built into your product or your service, but it’s about adding value to a situation, to your relationship. Do this and you create a real partnership with your customer and his company.
It’s Not Rocket Science
Steps to follow:
1. Relationships are still very important – Build them.
2. Analyze the situation – Understand the customer’s problem before you talk about the solution. Listen, listen, listen.
3. Be familiar with the customer’s past, present and future goals and adjust accordingly.
4. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to hear? What would you do?
5. Talk to the “head man” – the hub – the one who makes the decisions and knows the company inside and out.
6. Know the industry – Talk to your customer’s customers.
7. Do your homework – Surf the net and do research. Learn your customer’s business, his market, his competition, how he makes a profit, his customer and, most importantly, his personal pain in doing business.
As stated earlier, relationships are still important. In fact, there should be multiple layers of relationships between your customer’s firm and yours, not just one. What’s the difference today? The relationship is just the ante to play in the world of professional sales. Once we’ve established those relationships, we must manage them well to provide maximum value to our customers.