Warning: If You Compete Based on Price, Don’t Read This Blog

Posted by Tim Mullane on Jan 10, 2019 10:41:11 AM
Tim Mullane
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If you made it past the headline, you are likely not an importer of knock-off goods or the Walmart-wannabe of your industry. You hopefully compete on something other than price, which means you have superior products, services, quality, coverage or something else unique. Simply said, you offer something of business value to your target customers.

dynamic-price-warningMy questions to you are:

  1. How do you prepare sales to defend value?
  2. What if a customer doesn't care about value?
  3. Should you target a price buyer?
  4. What if a price buyer is willing to pay?
  5. Can you be sure your customers are truthful?
  6. Do customers always disclose the value they receive? 

 Just because you believe in your value doesn’t mean that your customers will acknowledge, respect, accept or pay for that value: this is a salesperson’s reality – day-in and day-out.

Often, we see companies that claim to not compete on price, yet when the negotiation comes, they do just that – use price to close the deal. Why? Because these companies have not given their salespeople any knowledge or tools other than price to defend value.

To arm salespeople, we suggest two approaches to avoid using price to close deals:

  1. Let sales accommodate the inevitable discount request by providing Give-GetsSM, value choices that align value to the price paid. Easier said than done, Give-Gets are a powerful tool to shift the dialog from “Okay, I can give you that 5% discount” to “I can get you that price; now which part of our offer doesn't interest you?” Using Give-Gets is a strategic and productive way to accommodate customer demands, test the veracity of their request, and defend your value and price. Simply, Get-Gets enable sales to succeed.
  2. Train sales to better identify and understand your customers’ true buying intentions. Once salespeople know what a buyer truly cares about – value, price, trust or some combination therein – they are better prepared to adapt their selling strategy and provide an offer to match.

As leaders in value-based strategy, Holden Advisors has learned that the successful execution of a non-price based commercial strategy breaks down at sales. Why? Because in most companies, Give-Gets and buyer type analysis do not exist. Most company's offering structures do not enable the trade-off of value when a salesperson gets the inevitable request for discounts. Furthermore, most sales training programs ignores the reality that not all customers care about value. Some care about price, some care about relationships and some simply want to mask their true intentions to drive a lower price. If you do these two simple things well and sustainably, your commercial strategy will be a success.

We’ve helped thousands of salespeople and dozens of companies succeed this way. If you want to learn more, send an email to: tmullane@holdenadvisors.com 

Topics: Negotiating with Backbone