Salespeople tell me that these days “price” is all that matters. What do you think?
Me? I think price doesn’t matter, if value and relationship are solid.
Ask yourself this: When price becomes the focus, do you find your sales presentation turns into wallet wrestling? Who is your opponent in this match? Are you getting strong-armed by your customer? Is that dreaded statement, “Your price is too high,” the force you’re wrestling against? Or could all of this resistance be your own fear of rejection? Let’s face it — you are afraid of losing the deal to price.
Yes, you want to win the deal. And closing a deal does bring in the money that feeds your family and supports your lifestyle. But the key is a profitable sale, and making a deal that creates a repeat customer. Which deal do you want? A price deal, or a profit deal? Which deal do you want? A one time deal, or a relationship deal?
You must be prepared to defend your price in a way that you don’t have to drop your price. That does not mean fighting with it. That means negotiating the value of it. You get rid of your fear of rejection by deepening your belief and creating tangible value. It is time to turn the price struggle into a win for both you and your customer. Stop the price wrestling, and turn the match into negotiating the value. When you do it right, you both reach a new level of agreement that translates into a better deal for everyone.
Negotiation means a suggested meeting of the minds. But it begins with your own mind. It doesn’t mean lowering your price. It doesn’t mean beating the customer. It means raising your customer’s awareness of the value in your product or your service, and YOU.
Do you believe? Do you?
Here’s a deep question for you: Do you believe in the value of what you’re selling? If you don’t, no one will.
So, here’s the secret: Believe in yourself first. Believe in your company second. And then you can have total belief in your product or service. Knowing the value is one thing, believing in it is quite another. And if you want to win price, they have to perceive value.
P. T. Barnum never said, “There’s a sucker born every minute!” But you think he did. The reality is — you don’t want suckers and neither did he. You want loyal customers. Loyal customers aren’t guaranteed. You create them. You nurture them. You respect them. You honor them. You give value to them. And, if you’re lucky, you make friends with them.
Your customers will accept and respect you, if you accept and respect them first. Yes, they expect your honesty. Yes, they expect great service. But they will be loyal to you if you enhance their profit margin and deliver the value you promised. If you do that consistently, they’ll become loyal, and ignore your price.
At the core: self-confidence, self-belief
Your self-confidence and your self-belief are at the core of your ability to create loyalty. This belief will become transferable. One great way is to tell them how thankful you are for their business and what a great choice they made in selecting the right product or service.
The object of negotiation is: only have to do it once. The more you eliminate the negotiation process, the more you will realize the presence and the value of loyalty.
The final power to win the order rests with the quality of your relationship with the customer. Are they satisfied, or are they loyal? Satisfied customers negotiate price. Loyal customers pay the price because they understand and appreciate the value.
Loyalty is not only the highest level of customer relationship; it’s also the highest level of profit. And if you learn how to master negotiation one time, you will never have to do it twice.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible,” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail