Aug 152011

If I were to ask you, as an enterprise salesperson, what the biggest headache or obstacle in your sales process would be, what would you say?
My guess would be that ‘price’ and ‘the competition’ or ‘discounting by the other guys’ are prime issues on, or near the, top of most salespeople’s list. Stating the obvious, it is a competitive environment out there. The advent of communication and the Internet has made matters worse. Customers are knowledgeable and informed. It is a toxic environment for sales and margins and an optimal situation for buyers.
Solution? You have to show value above and beyond the competition and you have to do it proactively and on your terms.

Your statements, presentations and discussions with your potential customers need to convey what you offer above those contending for the business. Reality is that often you will not be the cheapest offering. To stay in business one cannot consistently offer the cheapest price or show the lowest dollars figure to a prospect – that would be a recipe for bankruptcy, which does not serve either party. Most customers do not want to bankrupt a supplier. Find out (ask or anticipate if you must!) who the competition is. Include your value against theirs to your customer. Be positive and honest in disclosing their value. However, present your added value and why you are a better bargain. Why are you superior and where do you perform better than they do? Perhaps, your presentation can feature a check list depicting you versus the competition? Rationalize your higher price point positively. This also acts as a competitive trap for the competition. They will have to navigate through the landmines you left in their way.

Oh #1: you are up-to-date and an expert on your competition, right?
Oh #2: if you cannot show better value than whoever else is vying for the business then it is time to go back to the drawing board, isn’t it?


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  One Response to “Of haggling, discounting and price pressures”

  1. […] Several months ago I wrote about a pre-emptive approach to selling one’s value, as well as justifying one’s price. […]

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