Here’s one thing that nearly all small businesses need to stay alive and grow – more business. But not all business owners and entrepreneurs have optimized their approach to a sales pitch. It takes more – in some cases much more – than simply laying out features and benefits, and then talking price. This applies to both B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) selling.
The words you use; and the order in which you use them are just one thing that can make a huge difference. The same thing applies to price. For example, studies have shown that a restaurant sells more wine when the wine list shows the more expensive wines first. Why? Because the other wines appear more reasonably priced by comparison.
The same reasoning applies to all kinds of other products and services. Showing the top-of-the line first gets customers longing for the best, and makes lower price points seem more affordable.
Martin Limbeck, an expert on selling strategies and author of “No is Short for Next Opportunity: How Top Sales Professionals Think” offers these tips on how to boost revenue by rethinking your approach to selling.
1. Avoid the negotiation trap: Many business owners or sales people are constantly negotiating price because when price first comes up, they make it sound as if there is room for negotiation. But even if that’s the case, you should let the customer bring up the word “discount”. All too often business owners are making concessions before the price has even sunk in. Suggesting the price is negotiable makes you sound desperate. You put the ball in the customer’s court and you play catchup the rest of the way.
2. Have prepared answers to any and all possible objections. Keep detailed notes on every objection you get from a potential customer and know exactly how you will counter each one of them. When the price objection comes up, for example, you could point out that while thrift is good, quality is better. You might add that cutting price would mean cutting quality and that’s just not an option for you.
3. Make the conversation about value rather than price. Customers are willing to pay more if they perceive they are getting a good value. And value includes much more than just price. Elaborating on benefits will keep the conversation focused on the value the customer is receiving.
4. Tie price concessions to additional orders. If pressed on price, offer a small concession but only in return for something else such as more orders, advance payments or other things that benefit your business. Remember that if the customer is asking for a discount, that’s a good thing because it means they are interested in buying. Now you just need to help them understand what they get out of it.
5. Know the psychology of numbers. The way you talk about numbers can make a big difference. “Saying ‘the quad bike is going for three’ sounds less than $3,000,” says Limbeck. On the other hand, if you are pointing out what the customer stands to gain, use full numbers. “In the end you will save yourself $544.”
6. Learn how to properly present price inside a proposal. “The price should be folded into the description of benefits like meat in a sandwich,” says Limbeck. ere’s Here’s an example from an office furniture proposal: “You will receive a new writing desk with two drawers, as requested, a hanging file folder and two cable connectors, for $2,942. Of course, this will include the adjustable legs designed for ergonomic positions and the power strip attachment.”
7. Have a prepared “close.” When it comes down to it, closing a sale is the most important part of the process. This is where you get the customer’s final agreement to make the purchase. Prepare some closing questions where “no” answers are not an option. For example, mention a key benefit you know the customer would like to have, and ask if this is indeed something of value to them. When you do get a “yes” it’s time to stop selling. Don’t try to add something else that gives the customer a second chance to challenge.
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