By Gary Walker, EVP of Channel Sales & Operations, CustomerCentric Selling®
“I could have won that business. If only I had a lower price.”
Pricing that was too high and/or lack of some particular feature or function are often the reasons given by prospects to salespeople after having competed for and lost a potential piece of business. That information is then relayed back to sales management either via a formal Loss Report or through a post sales ‘autopsy’ discussion. After hearing this common theme a number of times, a responsive product development staff may decide that the ‘missing feature’ that was being blamed for the loss will be placed on a list of ‘required enhancements’ for inclusion in the next product release. Sales and marketing management, in an attempt to be responsive, may change its pricing or give their salespeople more pricing flexibility when competing for new business. And what happens?
Salespeople continue to compete and lose at the same rate. Why?
Because, in the final analysis: It was never price or feature/function. The salesperson was simply outsold.
In an attempt to make my point, let me ask you two (2) questions:
1. How many times have you competed for a piece of business and lost that business to a more expensive product? That’s right, they could have bought your product for less money, but opted for a more expensive product.
2. How many times have you lost a piece of business to a competitor’s inferior offering? Yours was better in almost every respect, but the prospect chose your competitor’s offering.
If you answered those two questions honestly, what conclusion did you reach?
Reality: Prospects don’t buy the cheapest and they don’t buy the best. They buy what best meets their particular needs and requirements. That is the essence of CustomerCentric Selling®.
Now the question becomes, do you want your salespeople to function at a superior level and win more business? Or if you’re a salesperson reading this, do you want to arm yourself with the sales skills, strategies, and tactics to become better, more successful, and a more valuable salesperson to your employer? If you do, then I’d like to invite you to join me in one of my upcoming workshops in Denver this year that are open to everyone. Hope to see you there.