I won’t suggest that a cup of Dunkin coffee will make you more alert and more effective. It’s much more helpful than that.
This is another Bob story. Bob was on a sales call and the prospect told him that they were looking for the lowest price. I hope you hate it when that happens. It’s a bad thing because while Bob was supposed to be selling value, a price-based conversation is transactional yet he’s supposed to be taking a consultative approach to support the value he provides. Would you like to guess what Bob did instead? Yup, he got them his best price. Ugh!
So what should Bob have done instead to turn this around and not waste everyone’s time?
There are four things that Bob should have done and he must do them in the proper sequence:.
- First, lower resistance – Bob needs to acknowledge that he heard them and say, “I understand.” Then he can leave it alone. He has lowered their resistance and that was the goal. He can come back to this topic later.
- Uncover their compelling reason to buy – Bob can’t sell value if he doesn’t know their compelling reason to buy, buy now, and buy from him instead of his competitor. This is the most important thing to focus on because if he doesn’t uncover that reason and create urgency, he won’t be able to provide and sell value, and neutralize their stated goal to buy at the lowest price.
- Monetize their compelling reason – problems have consequences, including operational, functional, conceptual, emotional, economic, and perceived consequences. These consequences must be monetized to include hard costs, cost of time lost, cost of not solving the problem, the gain from solving the problem, etc. This is where value actually comes from! Bob must take the time to walk his prospect through what the problem really costs.
- Sell Value – Bob must ask if, in order to solve the (cost that was calculated) problem the right way, they are willing to spend a little more with him. If yes, he can ignore their lowest price comment because he successfully sold his value. If not, he must learn whether they always buy this way or just this time. For example, if they claim to always buy this way, he can find the weak link in that behavior. Do they ever get coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts? Really? How often? Why are they paying around $2 for a medium cup of coffee from Dunkin when It costs only 88 cents to make it using a DD K Cup in a Keurig machine, and only 30 cents to make a mug yourself using DD ground coffee that you buy for between $8-$10/pound. They are paying as much as 650% more for the value of not having to make it themselves. Now Bob has precedent that they don’t always look for the lowest price. He could also use a car analogy. Most of the people you are selling to are not driving Kia’s or low-end Fords, Chevy’s and Chryslers. They paid more for a better car! Analogies are great for changing perceptions.
Selling value has nothing to do with sharing value propositions, telling people why it’s better to do business with you or trying to meet a competitors’s price. Those approaches take away from value and make you sound just like everyone else. Selling value is about being valuable to them!