The most commonly asked question by business owners and sales people is “How can I remove price as an objection?”
I was standing in the supermarket aisle last week and noticed a young man lingering in the laundry power section. Being a naturally curious person, I walked up and asked: “What a range – how can you ever select the right product?”
“I am trying to decide which of these laundry powders is the cheapest. Which one do you use?” he asked.
My brain went into overdrive: What an opportunity to test my price theory.
I looked straight into his eyes and asked, “If they were all the same price, what would be important for you?”
“My girlfriend has an allergy – so I need to be sure that the powder washes out completely,” he said.
I turned and pulled the most expensive item off the shelf. “If you want your girlfriend to keep healthy and kissing you, you need to use this brand in warm water as it completely washes out.”
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“Thanks,” he said, and immediately placed it into his shopping trolley and wandered off.
It was amazing. He had gone from buying on price to buying the most expensive brand in just 30 seconds.
Why do people buy from you?
This is the most important question you will ever ask. When I challenge people with this question almost every time they will answer without thinking with stock answers like:
- I have a relationship with them
- We have the best price
- Because I am a great salesperson
- Quality of our product
- Our service
Some even look at me like I have two heads. Why would I bother to ask this question? We all know why our clients buy?
This is dangerous thinking. Notice all the personal pronouns: ‘I’, ‘Our’ and ‘We’. Customers crave for your attention and they can’t get the attention of someone focused on themselves.
When I started my sales training business I did what all good business people do – I looked at my strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. I quickly picked up my first client and assumed, of course, that they had purchased my program for one of the reasons I put forward.
After the last session I sat down with the director of sales and asked this simple question: “John, why did you buy my program?”
I was not prepared for the answer.
“Greg, when you were selling to us we were concerned that you were new to the business. What we noticed, however, was you were the only person who used the sales techniques you proposed to teach our team and these were the same techniques we wanted them to use.”
Wow – all the hot air I had come up with to sell my programs had made no impact on this sale – it was something I had not even considered.
With every sale I make now, I ask: Why did you buy this product or service from me?
I am continually amazed at the feedback I get and use this feedback to build stories to use in new sales campaigns.
Talk with your best clients to find out why they are really doing business with you. They will provide you with your best stories and help you develop powerful, open and probing questions to ask your prospects.
What is more important than price to your client?
Price only becomes an issue if you make it an issue. If you make a business outcome the issue then price becomes secondary. Even if two products are identical, your client will always buy on perceived outcome.
Today’s question and actions
Go to your best clients, look them straight in the eye and ask, “Why do you buy from me?”
You can phrase this in any way you feel comfortable, so here are some variations:
- Other than price, where specifically do our products/services add value to your business?
- Why do you continue to do business with us year after year?
- Where in your business could we offer more value?
- What is it that makes our products/services stand out?
- What makes us different from every other company that calls on you?
Then shut up and listen. You will learn more about your sales strengths from this exercise than weeks of sitting in your office with your marketing gurus making up a story.
If price is an issue – guess who made it an issue. Stop selling price and ask great questions about business value.
Have a great week!