Ever get this one? Sure you have. You’ve gotten it from one of your good customers who seem always to be willing to “give you a shot”. Sometimes you’ll get the business and sometimes not, the problem is “not”.
These requests can waste a lot of time, predominantly when you don’t win! Let’s talk about the request and see if you can win more of these opportunities as well as get a little more margin too!
Let’s reflect why good customers are willing to give you a shot on additional products. Sometimes it’s just from the good will you have built up; they want to “throw you a bone”. Other times, there are issues with their current supplier, and if you were aware of the problem, you could provide products that would work better (add value), as well as build some leverage that would allow you to charge more and get better margins.
So, to improve our percentages and get better results let’s look at some strategies that will help us get more of what we want. First, we’ll need to change the way we think about these opportunities in order to sell more of them and get higher prices. Most of us come to these situations with the belief that unless we can beat the price, we won’t get the business. This is called a “non-supportive belief” and in order to be successful, we need to change it.
If you think about it, why would they come to you to replace a product they use and are happy with? Usually, they won’t, and often when they ask you for the “can you beat my price offer”, there’s usually a problem with what they’re currently using that they don’t want to tell you about. In reality, if you knew about the problem you might actually be able to get more money.
So, instead of jumping at the request and immediately getting them the information they’ve asked for, consider responding by asking “Thanks for the opportunity. Is there a reason you asked about that product?” or “Is there anything about what you have now that you don’t like?”
Now, if there’s a problem, you might be able to get them a product that better suits their needs. Or because you know they’re presently unhappy with what they have now you might be willing to go in at a little higher-margin (price). Alternatively, if they are just giving you an opportunity, tell them you might not be able to beat the price, but you could be within one percent of where they are now. If they’re not willing to accept a one percent increase, suggest that you can’t beat the price but that you could match it. Going in with an “exceed or meet price mentality” is much better than starting at a “beat price mentality” (in negotiations always start high).
If they still insist that you must beat the price you are at an advantage by having started with an exceed price or match price strategy/mentality. Now, you can more easily suggest that you would be willing to beat the price if they can give you one or two more items to quote. Remember, when you are negotiating, never give up anything without getting something in return! Getting a little more for what you sell over the long run could put a lot of money in your pocket as well as the company. By changing your selling beliefs or thought process you’ll set new behaviors that will help you be more successful in sales!
About the Author:
John Hirth is President of Selling Dynamics, a professional Sales Force Development firm with both national and international experience. They work with companies and provide strategies and tactics to increase revenue, improve profits and lower cost of sales. John is also a well known thought leader and writer.