I made a big mistake in my last PI World blog
Two weeks ago I wrote a piece on why social media is all about engagement
. After I wrote it, I realized that I had missed an important point.
I stand by everything I wrote. However, I did miss out an important issue. I only wrote about the online world. I had neglected to think about face-to-face or phone sales. That was an error. What I had written was just as applicable to off-line selling
I have often felt that salespeople are on a game of numbers. Many people have said to me that if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick. Equally, if you phone enough prospects, some of them will buy. However, if someone is going to buy they will need a quote.
Therefore, many salespeople rush through the phone call. Their main aim is to get me to give them a quote as quickly as possible. As soon as they give me a quote I am in a position to make a buying decision. More quotes mean more chances of a sale.
But if salespeople move so quickly, they are making a big mistake.If you ask me for a quote too quickly, I am not yet engaged with your company
That leads to three issues. Firstly, if I’m not engaged with your company my buying decision will be based solely on price. The only reason why I would consider you as a supplier is if you come in cheaper than the competition.
Secondly, if I have chosen on price I will have no loyalty towards you. If I move work to you because you are cheaper then there is little chance of a long-term relationship. That’s because I’ll be off to another supplier if they undercut you.
Finally, having the cheapest price does not guarantee the sale. I’m much more likely to take the price to my existing supplier to see if they will match it.
So what should you do instead?
Take some time to engage with me
Take your time to understand me. Take your time to tell me what’s different about you and your company. Persuade me why I really need to place my business with you.
Naturally, if we are to do business together, a quote needs to be produced at some point. But I’m going to take your pricing far more seriously if we have first had a serious conversation about how we might work successfully together.
Here’s a quick action point for you
Next time you are talking to a prospect, see if you can avoid asking for a quote. Why not wait for the prospect to suggest you do some pricing for them. Then you will know that you have someone who is really interested in you and your company.
We will probably do far more business, much more profitably, if we take our time to get to know each other. That applies to offline sales as much as social media.P.S.
Access more ideas on how to engage with customers: download Matthew’s free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” right now at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/