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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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Getting Real Or Not Playing

Getting real involves challenging lazy thinking and penetrating façades, games, defenses, fears, and illusions." ~Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play by Mahan Khalsa

let's get real or let's not play sales book mahan khalsa

Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play is one of my favorite sales books: I've been referring to it since first discovering it in 2010. The premise is that buyer and seller need to cut past the baloney and posturing, and get down to a real, emotional, in-depth discussion of what's truly going on and how help may (or may not) be available.

As the salesperson, you have to be completely willing to walk away. If the prospect won't admit to having a serious problem that you can fix, you politely end the conversation. If they won't open up and let you into their world, at least a little, you don't continue.

By the same token, you as the salesperson are not walking around with a hammer looking at everything as a nail. If your solution isn't the right fit for this prospect, YOU TELL THEM SO.

Yes, it takes bravery to sell this way. And getting real is totally worth it. The price of honesty and open discussions will give you much better client relationships.

The Power of Getting Real

"As trust goes up, speed goes up and costs go down. As trust decreases, everything slows and costs rise." ~Mahan Khalsa, Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play

Speed may not be a shocker here, but costs?

It's worth thinking about, isn't it: that when trust is low, costs go up. Think about implementation alone. People drag their heels. They spend time looking for other options, or trying to shoehorn their own pet solution into place in direct competition. Nobody tells anyone else what's going on, so things break. And of course there's the opportunity cost of dilly-dallying when you could go ahead and get the problem corrected.

Effective ways of gaining trust are to ask a lot of questions, and not push your solution a The One And Only. At The Closing Engine, we ask the people who'd like to work with us a lot of questions. We're not sure, at the start, whether we're a fit for one another just yet. We don't want anyone and everyone to sign up.

How has trust been impacting speed and costs in your projects? Have you been getting real?

>> Jason Kanigan is a conversion expert and sales trainer. To book an appointment to speak with Jason, 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. <<