I had a crazy pricing conversation a couple of weeks ago – a real nail-biter!
I have been selling to a Fortune 500 company. On a larger deal than I have closed in quite some time.
We were in legal, negotiating the contract.
They had seen our price list. They had picked their products, we had an order form.
Then, came the price conversation. They asked for a separate conversation to “iron out the details of the order form.”
Sure, no problem.
We get on the phone and they start laying out their problem. They think our service is awesome and they cannot wait to get started, but they absolutely MUST start the program as a PILOT and ramp up into an Enterprise solution.
So, the way they had figured it, the first year should cost about 25% of our quoted price. Then, they could ramp up to full capacity.
They complained that if they couldn’t get this 75% discount, the person running point on the project would probably lose his job because the executives were counting on him to get the right deal at the appropriate price.
SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT DISCOUNT? NOW? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I am starting a new sales job and really want to be successful. I am starting with a company who has an exciting product, a primed marketplace, and a culture of team-play. Tons of management support and excellent compensation models.
Sounds good so far, but here’s the problem.
I’m a competitive person. I’m an ambitious person. I like to win. I like the thrill of the hunt and I like to be acclaimed for my victories.
Which can be great – for me – when I’m winning.
Not so great for the people around me – I’m a bit arrogant when I’m #1.
And terrible for everyone when I’m NOT winning. (And by winning, I mean blowing my quota out of the water and being #1 in the company – no matter what!)
I tend to be a front-runner. I’m fired up when I’m number one, but easily discouraged when I fall to second place or below.
I sabotage my sales managers when I’m not winning – they can’t figure out what is going on – I was doing so well. It is frustrating for them and I don’t clue them in on what I need. I stop working at full-speed-ahead. I get resigned.
What can I do to ensure that I set myself up for a long and happy run with this company, while honoring the “we’re a team” culture, and feeling like I am succeeding?
Every real estate professional knows that a property is much more likely to sell if it is “staged” – all set up with sofas, pictures, flowers, accessories – like someone really cool already lives there. Somebody THEY want to be.
It makes their buyer RELATE emotionally to the house.
You can do the exact same thing! In every presentation, meeting, proposal, bring the magic of “THIS is who you want to be”.
Salespeople (and great people) almost ONLY perform when someone is WATCHING!
If you have a sales manager who is “hands off” - to them, it doesn’t matter how you perform – you aren’t asked to account for how many meetings you are setting or how you are doing on those meetings… then you may be in BIG TROUBLE!
Scientists have even seen the phenomenon that all particles and organisms behave differently when THEY ARE BEING WATCHED!
I was speaking with a completely lovely salesperson the other day. She is awesome. Self-aware, hungry, dedicated. Ready to be a true pro.
She is smart, loves her product, KNOWS her product, but seems to have trouble when it comes to making the final close. In a short conversation, we revealed 3 of the top reasons that she may be stumbling over making the close with clients who should buy.
Her issues are not unusual… perhaps the conversation will sound familiar to you, too.
First obstacle to making the close: Feeling defensive.
When a customer comes in who is wary of her, and tells my salesperson that she is “just there to make a sale” or “just there for the money”, she wants to set them straight, defend herself. It is true that our dear salesperson is interested in her own success, but it is even clearer to me that she is interested in people understanding that she is there for THEM. So, when a person accuses her of being out to take advantage of them, she backs off and wants to defend.
Possible way to overcome the first obstacle: When we explored ways that she might behave – other than being defensive – we discovered that a simple question like “Has that happened to you before? Someone has taken advantage of you?” gave her a TON more confidence and made her feel like she could get on her customer’s side – rather than trying to prove that she was a nice girl! Great move in the right direction.
Second obstacle to making the close: The Price is Too High…
in HER mind! It’s no wonder she is having a hard time closing…she doesn’t understand why or how people pay so much for her product. When we dug into this, she realized ways that she could find out from current customers (and salespeople) why people pay what they pay for their product. Just because it seems like a lot to her, doesn’t mean that it seems like a lot to the customer.
Possible way to overcome the second obstacle: She started walking around her house saying the price to herself out loud – over and over. Just practicing getting the price out of your mouth will make a big difference. Also, asking around to find out from other salespeople or happy customers why and how they paid so much will make you convinced that you are creating a great value.
Third obstacle to closing: I Don’t Want to be Pushy Other successful colleagues seem to guide a conversation, but she feels uncomfortable with controlling or exerting authority. Conversations tend to get uncomfortable and she is reluctant to look too manipulative or pushy.
Possible way to overcome the third obstacle: When I asked her what her colleagues were doing that she wasn’t – she saw it right away. They talk straight to their customers. They answer questions directly. They make recommendations succinctly. They ask questions and wait patiently for answers. They are powerful and deliberate when they speak – which instills confidence and more often leads to a sale! She is practicing these ways of speaking and already called a prospect back and made a sale!
Of course, these aren’t the only three things that can keep a person from closing! What are your obstacles? Let’s talk!
What a great holiday season it has been. The most holidayed year of any I can remember. With Christmas Eve falling on a Wednesday – and New Year’s Eve doing the same?
Kudos to all of you who worked like banshees throughout these lazy weeks, but most of us have probably really enjoyed relaxing, solving jigsaw puzzles, watching endless TV marathons or all the movies we could stand.
Good cooking. Great leftovers. Good times with family and friends.
Me, personally. I got married and honeymooned last month! I have been absent, but I am back! In your pocket. Ready to rock what is possible.
Now, we are armed and ready with plenty of rest. Plenty of new ideas! Ready to get started and hungry all over again.
For those about to make 2015 your BEST YEAR EVER, I salute you!
We will be in this shoulder-to-shoulder, day-to-day! I can’t imagine a better group to share this with. Let’s make this a year to remember!
Here’s your chance to share what you want this year or what you want me to write more about. Please don’t share New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in them.
The song says “Breaking up is hard to do!” And, it certainly can be.
But, here is how breaking up will free you up!
A very dear friend of mine. A tippy-top producer who has earned a penthouse overlooking one of the most famous (and expensive) avenues in America, shared this recent story with me.
Her pipeline has been a teensy bit stagnant of late. So, she took a BOLD ACTION. She carefully crafted a gracious break-up script and shared it with her prospects who were just not getting back to her.
Generously, she has agreed to let me share her message and her results. Here is the message she left for her prospects with whom she had met, but received no activity: Wanna see the script?