The ‘Price Objection’ App –Farquharson/Tedesco
Technology is amazing. You can buy an app (Star Walk) that allows you to hold an iPhone to the night sky and, in real time, move it around to identify stars, planets and constellations. You can use Skype and have face-to-face conversations from the palm of your hand. You can play long-distance cribbage with your daughter while she is traveling in Paris (btw, she's no better there than she is at home). Need a restaurant fast? Try "AroundMe." Want an opinion on, well, anything? Go with "Yelp." Want to avoid constantly arriving at the "Your price is too high" objection? You can use the PriceObjection App.
What? There's an app for that?
Yup. Technology is revolutionizing everything, and every part of our lives and careers. We're better shoppers. We're becoming QR code-dependents. And now, we salespeople can even chart a course whose destination is a profitable sale instead of a dead end.
For most salespeople, it has become as routine as a daily commute to arrive at the "Your price is too high" objection. What starts out as a normal sales call with all good intentions ends at a closed road again and again. We blame traffic (competition). We blame construction (the economy). We blame our vehicles ("if only I had better prices…"). But the real villain here is a failure to use the right approach to the call.
This new app solves that. But, before we get to that, let's figure out how we constantly get to "You're price is too high" and then we'll try a different route:
From: "I'd like to speak with you about your print needs"
To: "Your price is too high"
Typical Route: Meet with Buyer. Talk printing: "We are a full-service print shop. Our equipment is big, noisy, beige and uses lots of electricity. Our differentiator is our great service. You're gonna love us. Give me a shot."
Buyer gives you something to price.
Ask specification questions:
"How many do you want me to quote?"
"When do you need them?"
Return to office. Meet with Management.
Beg for best price. Sharpen pencil.
Return to customer's office and deliver the quote.
Arrive at destination: "Your price is too high!"
What happened? It would appear that you took the same path you always take. You talked print. Your sales call was as "me-too" as it gets.
It should be of no surprise that the destination is the same every time. Let's try a different approach. Recalculating…
From: "I'd like to learn about your business needs"
To: "When can we get this going?"
New Route: Meet with Buyer. Talk business: "I went on your Website and requested information. Two weeks passed before I received anything. When it finally came, it was generic and incomplete. I have an idea for better qualifying your leads while improving the quality of the information sent out and getting it in customers' hands faster."
Buyer gives you access to Marketing and a Product Manager to learn more.
You ask qualifying questions:
"Who is your target market, your ideal customer?"
"How do people find you now?"
"What information would you like to know about them?"
"What is the value of a better qualified customer?"
Armed with the answers to these and other questions, you return to the office.
At a second meeting, you deliver your solution: A "Contact Us" page that asks specific questions and collects data from the inquirer. Customized information based on those questions is sent out and received within 48 hours, and a duplicate copy goes out to a sales rep for follow-up."
Arrive at destination: "When can we get this going?"
Two things happened that resulted in a different outcome. First, you planned the trip better. Research was done prior to picking up the phone. The customer's Website was reviewed. Information was requested. An idea was formulated. That idea became the centerpiece for the sales call. Second, you talked business. Their business.
As a result, the sales call wasn't about the fascinating world of printing. It was about their needs and how you can help them to grow their business. That differentiated you from the rabble and earned you a seat at a different table, one next to Power (Marketing and a Product Manager) and not just the Buyer of the document. Better prep. Better questions. Different outcome. And, most importantly, no price objection.
The best news of all is that it doesn't take an app to reach this new destination. It takes a new approach, new skills and new thinking. Different results are achieved by thinking in business terms and not printing terms. By recalculating your sales call, you get more and better appointments. You build a brand of being a problem-solver and a solutions provider. You reintroduce customer loyalty. It is the road less traveled, and it makes all the difference. PI
—Bill Farquharson, T.J. Tedesco
About the Authors
Bill Farquharson is the president of Aspire For (www.AspireFor.com). His Sales Challenge can help drive your sales momentum. Contact him at (781) 934-7036 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. T.J. Tedesco is team leader of Grow Sales, a 15-year-old marketing and PR services company. He is author of "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry" and five other books. Contact Tedesco at (301) 294-9900 or e-mail email@example.com.