What's the Problem?
What's the Problem?
I received an email containing an interesting question from an old colleague: I have a client who is presently winning about 40% of their quotes and they wanted to know what the industry average was.
Honestly, I have no idea.
If I had to guess, I would estimate it to be about 10%. But the question got me thinking… What could be done to increase the chances?
One thought is that managers push back a bit on the salespeople who are bringing these bid opportunities in the door by insisting that they answer one question: What's the problem?
That is, what problem does the client have other than the sales rep's perception that they are overpaying for their print (or labels or packaging or signage or wide format or...)?
No answer, no quote.
Recently, my brother told me a story of a failed sales rep who was let go at the company he works for. On his way out the door, he said, “I have brought this company $52 million worth of quotes. It's not my fault that our prices are too high."
He's right, of course. He does not set the pricing and therefore he has no control over the outcome. So long as he continues to seek out situations where price is King, he can hide behind that excuse and consider himself a victim.
The sales motto from my first employer says it all, even after all these years. You can continue to seek out bidding opportunities and hope for a better than 90% failure rate or you can learn the story behind the quote and come up with a better solution.
In other words: Solve the Problem, Earn the Order.
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