The cannibalization of commoditization

Selling on price is not the answer

 

If your sales-force is selling primarily on price, it is devaluing your offering and doing a disservice to your clientele.  However, ignoring price altogether is ignorant.  While the offering/product price point will need to be in the vicinity of competitive, it will never and should never be the driving factor.  Price selling is laziness and is a result of poor preparation which conditions a buyer to improperly make short-term buying decisions.

Every offering, whether it be service or product based, has an element of professional service deliverable.  Removing the emphasis on these intangibles negates the entirety of the offering and by extension devalues the total deliverable.

Relational selling should be secondary to a consultative knowledge based approach.  While the presence and likability of your sales-force is important, it should never be a substitute for your workforce’s due diligence to thoroughly understand your company offering and capabilities.

I’ve heard the quote many times, “people buy from who they like”.  While this is true to an extent, people don’t buy from who they like in lieu of buying from someone who knows inside and out what they are able to offer. Combining the two, likability and superior knowledge, allows for consistency with consultative closing and will beat competition who only have one or the other.

Many industries have trained buyers to buy on price over the years and as a result, a sales-force may feel they need to subscribe to this approach in order to close deals.  While it may be a challenge upfront to get a poorly conditioned buyer to see beyond price, it is also an opportunity to set yourself apart from an industry that has cannibalized itself through commodity based selling.

The takeaways to buck the trend are simple.  Know your product/service inside and out.  Know what the marketplace trends are so that you may educate your client.  Be prepared prior to a meeting and ask appropriate questions and then listen.  Facilitate the appropriate solution for your prospective client or point them in the right direction and set up your service team for success.

Most sales professionals will not put in the work to be great.  Most of them, if they see results through an easier path, will be satisfied with not putting in the time on research and study. This majority will lose to the elite that put in the work.   If you are one of the select few that has the drive, competitiveness and are naturally inquisitive to know the “why” behind the answer, you can position yourself and your company to succeed at a higher level.

Something that I have always subscribed to is one simple statement: “sell like I would want to be sold to”.  At the end of the day, a sales professional should review this statement and ask what that means to them.  For me, it means that I know more about my topic than anyone in the room, I understand what my client needs are and outline areas they should consider and ultimately get them to see the value of the solution.

Finally, having a high business acumen is also essential.  It allows a sales professional to view their clientele as a whole and not get myopically focused on their offering.  Knowing how their clients run their business is essential to weave your solution into the fabric of their organizational structure and future success.  The above outlined approach coupled with honesty and integrity will drive greater production consistently.