Everyone is price conscious. Everyone wants the “Best price.” They want pricing so low that if it takes you going out of business to acquire it – so be it. After all, “It’s just business.” Right?
Talking price in today’s environment is a fool’s errand yet, it seems all the rage. In truth – it’s always been in vogue. Rather than being the second or third thing a potential client will ask you in negotiations, it’s now not only the first – it seems the only thing.
From companies to individual sales people think “this time it’s different.” It’s not. It actually never changed. The only thing that’s changed is how hard one has to initially defend the race to the bottom commodity pricing game. Nothing more.
If you think I’m off base let me express it using this example:
Is it easier to get in and try to switch or start selling a company a product or service in the best of times when business is good and everyone is happy, and their current supplier is their “In-Law?” Or: Is it easier to try the same when business is horrible and you’re the 27th person to call on them this week telling them “You’re cheaper and better – than their In-Law?”
In reality, only your perception of the economy at hand is the driving influence on whether they should hang up – or invite you in. Nothing more.
Price is meaningless today. Price is all about “total delivered value.” The world is littered with pricing gimmicks where the product is free “Just pay additional handling charges.” If you’re immediately spitting out prices every time you’re asked in a Pavlovian fashion. You too might only get as far as the salivation point.
It takes more work to prove value. It’s also where most won’t put the effort. Effort which can leapfrog you ahead of your competition when they least expect it. Yes, believe it or not.
So important is making your case based through value if for no other reason than when a competitor calls on that very customer. (and you know they will) It can be your first line of defense where your customer wont be so ready to throw you to the curb when they state a price lower than yours.
Your customer will immediately think, “Yeah, but what’s the catch?” Because if you’ve spoken and shown your value proposition properly. That’s all you can ask for. In business and in sales, you really can’t ask for any more. Customers have every right 24/7/365 to make sure you’re not taking advantage of them.
We don’t like when our customers shop us against the competition. That’s normal. What’s not normal is running around scared to death they might. Your customers are going to shop. You shop. Don’t you? So stop acting like your customers shouldn’t either.
If you’re delivering value as well as explained your value proposition in clear understandable terms to your customer that’s all you can do. Period.
You should not be uneasy if you’re alerted by your customer to a competitors sale and more. You should be explaining to them why this looks like a good value – but isn’t. Of course being truthful using real examples they understand. Not some spiel that leaves your customer wondering if they should check to see if they still have their watch.
Remember customers hate paying higher prices however, they detest giving up value even more. In a world where most are fixated on price alone. You can separate yourself from the crowd if you forget about talking price, and start showing clients you’re a screaming value at current levels. And, should probably be charging even more.
After all what’s more interesting? A load of junk at a discount? Or an opportunity to get a real deal on value?
Before you raise your prices.
© 2013 Mark St.Cyr