For sales leaders I love Marcus Lemonis (of The Profit) and the simplicity that he brings to evaluating a successful business and the necessary components: Product, Process, People. Do you have products that people want to buy, versus products that … Continue reading
I received an email from a client with a dilemma that she and her teams are struggling with, and she thought it might be a good idea for a blog (which it is!). Here’s her situation, which might be familiar to you:
“With pricing being such an issue these days and so many of us knowing it, what is your suggestion for keeping conversations open ended with customers so they will give you another shot to match or beat a competitors quote? I understand that there is much salesmanship behind this question as far as having a relationship with a client that would easily encourage them to come back, but these days pricing is cut throat.” – Lauren Cherkas, Artistic Tile
I wish there was a simple, one step answer, but there isn’t. And where an inability to close a sale shows up is not likely to be where the breakdown originally occurred. It probably occurred much earlier in the sales process. Questions to consider:
– How much of a connection have you created with this prospect? How much do you know about them and their project? How much time have you already invested in them?
– How well have you qualified them in the beginning of the connection/relationship to find out what their buying/decision making process is and how and with whom they expect to buy?
– Have you determined their budget so that the solution you present (for the requested items) falls within that number? You can always add more products that are optional, but if you ask for a budget and then don’t stay within it, well……..
– Have you asked them where they have been and where they intend to go to source this project? Have you gone to a deeper level and asked more about those other sources to see what they have found that they liked, what has them keep looking if they’ve found the right product at a good price?
– Have you asked them how committed they are to a particular solution or if they can explore some other options if the price gets too high? You might have options to offer them (reduced shipping and delivery, savings on building materials, etc.) that would reduce the overall price if you can’t match the singular product price. Or you might have other design options that provide a similar aesthetic at a lower price to them.
– Have you made an appointment for the next step so that you can meet with them again?
– Have you asked them if they like working with you and you are too expensive, how close you have to get to be able to do the project together?
– Have you asked them to meet with you again before they decide? Have you asked them to give you another chance?
So much of it gets back to building a relationship and having a good product at a price within their range and within their time frame. If it’s only money that’s driving their purchase, find that out as soon as possible and find out how true that really is.
This inquiry gave me an idea to open to all of you – is there a particular issue that challenges you that you would like some help with? I like to address issues that are pressing and relevant to you, and I have been inspired by Lauren’s request so that I am going to feature a blog the second week every month that answers a request from you. All you have to do is send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a situation that you request help with and I will take care of the rest!
Thanks for your partnership and participation.
Sorry, I’ve been out of touch for the last few weeks.
I had the good fortune to spend the day in Las Vegas last week at the Flexsteel Sales Meeting with 65 salespeople who were gathered there to learn more about the product and to improve their selling skills.
My topic was “How to Connect with Anybody!” and the follow up calls with the salespeople over the last couple of days have been inspiring and downright amazing. This is one of my favorite programs because the results are strong and quick and for most of the participants there is an internal shift that happens and impacts personal and professional interactions that is very moving.
Since the program is all about that those critical first few minutes of connecting, it’s heartwarming to hear how the participants clearly get that what happens with the customer when they walk in the showroom has SO much to do with how they are received and greeted. A lot of it is non-verbal, under-the-radar communication that has the customer feel welcomed (or not), feel comfortable (or not) and feel accepted (or not). Hmmmm, a lot of feelings there…..
One of the salespeople told me that her close ratio over the weekend was 100% – she connected with and closed every up she got. EVERY ONE. Another said that he ‘got to neutral’ when he caught himself judging the customer and stopped it, replacing it with ‘happy to see you’ that he really meant and got a sale that he never would have gotten before. And another said that she’s just happier – at work, at home, with herself – since she stopped being frustrated with people who weren’t doing what she wanted them to do and just accepted them (and herself) just the way they are…and her sales have dramatically improved. In just one week.
I am so blessed to do what I do and to bring this kind of opportunity to salespeople and their managers and to the customers they wait on around the country. And I get to repeat this program in a couple of weeks in Chicago with Walter E Smithe designer / sales team. Can’t wait.