In selling, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming you know what your clients will find valuable and be willing to pay for.
Just because you wouldn’t pay for it doesn’t mean they won’t.
Here are a couple of stories I heard recently that illustrate the point.
Mathew wanted a new fridge for his staff room. One that had a water cooler built in – so they could get cold water and ice on tap.
He walked into a major department store and said, “I want one of those fridges that have the water cooler built in…”
“No, no, you don’t want one of those”, said the salesman. “Well, actually I do”. “No, they’re too expensive”.
At what point in the conversation had Mathew mentioned price? He just wanted the fridge. So eventually he got shown a fridge with the cooler built in. Opening the door Mathew couldn’t see the plumbing. “Oh no, you’ve got to take it out to the tap and fill it up!”
“No, I want one that’s got the plumbing built in.” “Oh – they’re too big”
At what point did Mathew talk about size?
The salesman was putting his own values onto the fridge and what he would have bought rather than simply giving Mathew what he wanted. By putting his ideas onto the client rather than listening, he lost the sale!
Mathew walked into the next big retailer – told him what he wanted, was shown the fridges without fuss and bought one.
A horse had a problem with an eye. The vet the owner had used for 20 years said the eye would need to be removed. After the operation, he said, “You know, we could have saved the eye, but it would have been $18,000 in chemo and other medication and I didn’t do that.”
The owner of the horse was furious. It was her decision whether she spent the money or not. She not only dumped the vet, but bad mouthed him around town for making an emotional decision without consulting her first.
Just because most people may not spend that sort of money, didn’t mean she wouldn’t. People spend fortunes on their pets or anything else they truly value. And it’s not up to us to judge or decide on their behalf.
Your job as a service provider is to offer the range of services and prices and let the client decide what they want and what they think is important.
And my final example is about how Greg decided to buy a new TV.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to know…” but bear with me – there are some valuable sales lessons here which you could apply to your business.
This is how he recounted the story…
Greg walked into his local large retailer and was met by a salesperson who asked what sort of TV’s Greg was interested in.
Greg told him he watched a lot of movies and wanted something that was good technology that would last for a few years. (He told me he wanted to keep it about 10 years or so).
So the salesperson showed him a bunch of plasma and LCD TVs on the shop floor. None of them took his fancy. They just didn’t do it for him.
Frustrated he said “Don’t you have anything better? What’s the top of the line TV you’ve got?”
That’s when the salesman twigged. He took Greg into a “hidden” lounge where you could sit in comfort and experience the really good stuff.
This was more like it!
The top of the line 3D TV had a picture quality twice as good as the cheaper versions, even when just displaying a “normal” picture. The build quality was excellent – and the price reflected it.
So Greg became the proud owner of a new $11,000 TV – and yes, he’s very happy with the purchase. No buyer’s remorse here!
And in case you’re thinking, “Greg is a rarity” – no he’s not!
No matter what the state of the economy. No matter that the “average” person appears not to be spending. There will always be people who will pay top dollar because they want something.
Your job is to not pre judge. Your job is to show them what you have, explain the value, and help them experience the emotional desire of owning it. Do it right and they’ll happily part with their money!
Maybe a lesson our friends in Harvey Norman, David Jones and Colorado should learn rather than complaining that people aren’t buying and in the case of Colorado – going out of business.
How much money are you missing out on because your staff aren’t properly trained and coached?
When times are tough, training is often the first thing to get junked, when the opposite should be happening. This is when you need every advantage in the book to extract every dollar you can from a discerning prospect. A results driven sales training and coaching program will pay itself back many times over.
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