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Features and Price

Features and price have a weird sales connection:

When you start talking about features, your prospect starts thinking about price.

If all you talk about is features, you sound like every other seller in your marketplace.

So if you want to stand out in a crowded market, here's how to do it:

Talk about something else.

features and price

A decade ago I was business development manager for a full service IT firm back in Vancouver. The copy for our website talked about how we "understood your business" if you were a client and didn't "just talk techie jargon." I was real happy with it until I saw a few competitor sites.

Darn it.

We were all saying the same things. Nothing was there that helped us stand out. Back to the drawing board.

Move the Sales Conversation Off Features and Price

If you're in web design, don't talk about web design.

If you're in car sales, don't talk about cars.

If you're in marketing consulting, don't talk about marketing.

Chiropractors who aren't making any money talk about cracking backs at chiropractor conferences.

Poor web designers talk about web design when they get together.

People who aren't making money at the thing talk about the thing.

Don't talk about features. You won't stand out.

Don't talk about features. You'll induce your prospect to start thinking about price.

When a prospect has nothing to compare you to others on than technical features, all their decision comes down to is price.

They don't have anything else to make that decision on, do they. They don't know about anything else.

Do you want gearheads as clients?

Maybe you do. You know, the person who always has to be right about this or that technicality. The one who will question your every move. The one you have to keep making the sale to as you go, because they know better than you despite you being the expert they hired.

That's who you'll attract if all you talk about is features.

Stop Making Your Prospect Think About Features and Price

Stand Out by taking about something else. Something different than what every boring, cookie cutter version of you is talking about in the industry.

Talk about your branding. Talk about your experiences. Talk about who you've helped.

Talk about pain points. Talk about success stories. Talk about results.

Talk about anything else than the dull, unexciting pabulum everyone else in your field is tone-deafly reciting.

In my case with the IT firm, I went back to the drawing board and started talking about client success stories instead. This filtered for the right kind of managed services and custom programming clients.

>> Jason Kanigan is a conversion expert and business strategist. To book a call with Jason to discuss your business, click here.

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Tell Me Your Price: How To Stop People from Asking and Disappearing

Tell me your price! Perhaps the most common question salespeople get from prospects. And why? The answer is simple: the prospect does not know what else to ask.

What often happens in the real world is this: people ask, "So, what's your price?" If you tell them, the conversation is frequently over, isn't it. They disappear. They got what they thought they were looking for, and went away with your information. You never hear from them again.

Afraid to raise prices tell me your price

What were they doing? Every buyer, whether they consciously, deliberately do this or not, is making a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is to compare the various options and see what the buyer can get for the lowest price.

Sounds okay, doesn't it? Where's the problem?

Tell Me Your Price and the Vanishing Prospect

In this video, I explain what the critical problem is with the all-too-common "Tell me your price" buying method:

 

Especially in RFP (Request for Proposal) situations, where there's zero dialogue between buyer and seller, and the seller has to respond to RFP documents with bid documents of their own, there's a lot of guessing going on.

Early in my career I worked for a firm in the power generation field that made control panels. RFPs would arrive and I, in my sales engineer role, would respond by preparing a bid document. The RFP would say something like, "The panel shall measure voltage." Okay. I can do that in several ways, each with its own plusses and minuses. An analog dial will do the job: it's cheap, but it is not incredibly accurate. A digital readout on a PLC unit (kind of a precursor to the computers we're familiar with today) could also do the job: more expensive, but more accurate. Those are just two of the options, and it's up to me as the salesperson to figure out which is best for that client. And maybe best for my bid! Maybe I want to position us as the lowest cost provider, and to accomplish that I pick all the cheapest ways to meet the feature requirements.

Sounds good, right up to the point where the buyer engineer reads my bid documents and says to themselves, "Aww what a bunch of junk! I don't want analog gauges! I want a high level of accuracy in our readouts."

But that is something I will never hear.

The RFP process is the same thing as a caller asking, "So, what's your price?" and then vanishing.

Without dialogue between buyer and seller you never get a clear idea of what everyone wants out of the transaction. You never hear preferences. You never get the chance to discover how you as the seller could really delight the buyer, with some feature they didn't know you had and you didn't think was important enough to mention.

>> To book a call with Jason Kanigan and change your sales process to give you the edge in price-sensitive situations, click here. <<

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My Business Is Different

Behind Dan Kennedy in videos of past group training events he has posted a sign. That puts the sign at the front of the room, where everybody can see it. Black text on a bright yellow background proclaims:

"But Dan...

...my business is different!"

We hear this in a really whiny tone..."But DAAAA-AAAAN..."

And I personally have heard this excuse for making positive changes by many business owners over the years.

People always have well thought-out reasons for why things are the way they are.

But the fact is these are just excuses.

They demonstrated the hemmed-in thinking resulting from that person's limiting beliefs.

but dan my business is different

"But Daaa-aaan...My Business Is Different!

And don't get me wrong: I have them as well. My first instinct when challenged about an idea is to resist change. It's only natural. I don't blame you for having that defensive feeling. I do, too.

However, I get over it as fast as I can. I know I'm just making an excuse.

See, the thing is that I don't really know what's "true." I only know what has been "true" for me up this point.

And as we discussed yesterday, most facts actually only opinions.

What Dan is getting at with his sign is reminding us of this. He's reminding his paying, already bought-in group of clients, too!--that if we're not careful, we'll be zombie slaves to our unacknowledged limiting beliefs.

We ACT in accordance with what we believe to be true.

We SEE only what we believe to be true.

Is it possible you might be failing to act on something because of a belief about what's true? That you're not seeing something because of what you believe to be true?

Dan is pointing out that the pricing, marketing, and sales processes of businesses are the same regardless of what field you're in.

Significant price elasticity still exists. Whether you believe it or not.

You still have to develop authority if you want to charge higher prices. Whether you believe it or not.

A consistent sales process is still required. Whether you believe it or not.

If you believe "my business is different" because of market conditions, past behavior of prospects, the way things have historically been done around here, and so on, you'll fight tooth and nail to defend the excuse of why you can't make the changes to improve. And you won't improve.

Your business is NOT different. And neither is mine.

I think I'll post a sign like Dan's above my desk, so that I can be reminded to challenge my own limiting beliefs even more frequently.