“Once I’m fully embedded within that organization and have a few services added into the company, price no longer becomes a concern with the buying team.” – AJ Brasel in today’s Tip 150
How do you overcome the price objection?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Last October we published a book called Sales Success Stories – 60 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. Over on the Sales Success Stories podcast I usually share sample chapters from that book between my interview episodes and I thought I’d do the same thing here today since this particular story is just 5 minutes long. This is AJ Brasel who when I originally interviewed him in episode 45 of the Sales Success Stories podcast was selling over $10M a year in his channel sales role, and has since been promoted to VP of Sales at Clover Imaging. Here’s his story on Overcoming the Price Objection:
AJ Basel: Overcoming the Price Objection. It doesn’t matter what product or service is being sold, the price is always the most common objection for all sales professionals. At some point in everyone’s sales career, there will be a desire to lower a price point to razor-thin margins in order to get a deal done. So many prospective customers will attempt to drive down the cost of a product or service and push back on a rep to get “the best deal.” The easy way out is to give in, get the quick sale, and move on to the next prospect. While taking the easy way out is obviously very appealing and the fastest way to get the commission – lowering your price is a horrible tactic for long-term success. The low-price tactic devalues your product and gives the customer all the control. The next sales rep to walk into their door with a product that is a penny lower is going to steal that business. By selling on the price, you are essentially removing all the value from the sale and, if you don’t lose that business on price, down the line you can rest assured that your customer will come back for reductions in the future. The only way to overcome the pricing objection is to add value to the sale that cannot be measured financially. By doing this, the price objection becomes null and void. Your customer will thus not be able to compare you to a price-driven sales rep in the future because you are bringing additional value to the business. This keeps the control in your hands and gives you the opportunity to cultivate a long-lasting, mutually-beneficial relationship. How do you add value? It is obviously going to be determined by what you sell and who you sell to. In my personal experience, I sell through the channel, meaning my customers resell my product. I’ll outline my tactics below…
Have a full understanding of your customer’s business
Whenever I take over an account or win a new business, I make sure that I identify all the key decision-makers throughout the organization. Typically, it takes more than one individual to decide on which vendor to do business with. I make sure that I have a very detailed conversation with each of those individuals to discover what their job entails and what value I can bring to their daily activities. I only pitch solutions that would directly impact that individual. Once the business has been on-boarded, I continue to work my way through the business and create relationships with any individual that interacts with my company. The goal is to be a reliable point of contact for all individuals in that organization, so whenever they look at other options, the prospect of change creates pain throughout the company. All of my customers are extremely different in their background, focus, and approach. I take time to fully understand the sales strategy of the organization, which includes how they go to market, what their annual goals are, and how they compensate their sales team. From there, I can advise my customer on what I’ve seen from other similar organizations that have had success. I bring an outsider’s insight into their business and add value through being an advisor. Whenever my company brings new products or services to market, I know which of my customers these would apply to and who to approach in those organizations to sell them to. Having this full understanding allows me to be efficient and concise in my sales approach.
Work Directly with the Sales Team
The customers I work with that have a sales team have typically been trained on my offering. Most of them have so many different products, they focus on making sure I stay in front of them; winning their mind-share is extremely important. I have worked with most of the sales reps individually on different opportunities that have required some creativity on my company’s part in order to win. Whenever some of those reps have complex opportunities, they typically call me to sort through the nuances and plug in where necessary. The sales team typically sees me as a resource to help them in their success and the leadership team sees me as an asset because I am helping to drive profitability into their organization.
Add Only Services that Fit that Organization
This goes hand in hand with my first point. So many sales reps try to throw as much at their accounts as possible and hope that something sticks. Whenever I have that full understanding of the customer’s organization, I know what services fit that specific organization. I can fully pitch my services to the right people within their company and help them implement efficiently. This allows me to add a massive amount of value-added services on top of my product throughout an account that ties me in as the vendor. The services that my company adds create efficiency and enhance profitability in that organization. Additionally, I have introduced different subject matter experts to the account and created bonds with my company that extend beyond me.
Once I’m fully embedded within that organization and have a few services added into the company, price no longer becomes a concern with the buying team. This is because the process of another company coming in and starting fresh becomes very painful at that point. My close relationship allows customers to share challenges and areas for improvement more openly with me, which allows me to tackle their issues quickly and efficiently. I have added services throughout the organization that are tied to my company and have embedded myself into their infrastructure. My top customers look to me and my company to help them formulate their annual goals and strategy. This value of the services provided to their organizations outweighs the lower pricing that someone else can offer them.
Scott Ingram: For links to AJ’s profile, various places you can get your own copy of the Sales Success Stories book, my original interview with AJ and whatever else I can think to throw in there. Click over to DailySales.Tips/150
Then come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!