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Pricing: The Inner Game

Pricing: The Inner GamePricing has an inner game you as the salesperson are playing and frequently losing.

Two sales pros, Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale, bring their sales expertise on pricing to the fore with their weekly Advanced Selling Podcast. We've seen Caskey's contrarian approach to selling before, and Neale proved the depth of his knowledge to me this week in their episode on the inner game of Pricing: Part 1. This excellent discussion is less than 15 minutes and yet delves well into the head trash salespeople have about price.

Caskey begins with a powerful quote from writer DH Lawrence:

Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled,
made nothing?
Are you willing to be made nothing?
dipped into oblivion?
If not, you will never really change.

Pricing Is About Our Mental Chatter

The two then have an excellent back-and-forth discussion about the mental game of pricing. Beginning with how nearly all salespeople enter sales conversations anxious about pricing, money, and the scripts in our heads of how it will turn out, Neale cautions you to take notice of this. These mental plays are not reality! They are our fears and concerns. How the conversation will really turn out is something else entirely...but it is heavily affected by the chatter going on inside our salesperson skulls.

Caskey answers by recommending you really detach: not just from getting the sale or not, but from what you've always thought about money.

Position yourself mentally, Neale rejoins--if allowed, you would charge more than you would normally charge. Begin with the belief that your offer is already worth more than you are charging.

At this point I was agreeing with most of what Neale had to say. However, I do not agree with the "discounting mindset" he mentioned. In my opinion, this is training your prospects to expect discounts. Consciously or unconsciously, you are telling them to demand the discount from you. If something really is worth $X, that's what it is worth! Why would you discount it?

From Caskey came a list of three simultaneous sales needing to be made. These oddly reminded me of the three impacts that occur in a car crash (I chose this link because it has the best pictures).

Pricing: The Inner Game and The Three Sales

These three sales are:

1 - to yourself (in your mind; do you believe this is a value and you would pay for it yourself?)

2 - to customer (standard selling)

3 - after the customer buys (fulfillment and upsells)

Caskey says #1 is the most important. If you don't have a philosophy about money, and how it exchanges for value, you are in trouble when it comes to pricing. And if you aren't conscious of what that philosophy is, it will lead you like a noose around your neck.

Listeners familiar with my training will notice Monetizing the Problem snuck in there: a $100K investment to fix a $1Million problem was a sensible sale.

Neale offers an Inner game philosophy for pricing:

Your involvement in this process is worth something--your expertise, value, experience. The value is not just in the Thing or the It or the specifications. YOU have a fee that comes along with the stuff you sell.

Your Personal Pricing Philosophy

Both pros ask: How does one get there if one doesn't already feel that way? The answer is mindset, not product knowledge. This is something sales training needs to focus more upon. Again, those familiar with my training know this is the first thing we work on. Selling is a conceptual, not technical, process.

Caskey adds that you can bring it up in a blatant way up front with your prospect. "I bring my value to these conversations; it's my purpose to make sure you make the right choice and get the right solution...it's up to you to figure out if you that value is worth it." I will add that the right solution for a prospect may be to do nothing...or get a competitor's offering because it truly is a better fit.

How other people buy is not how you buy. What they value is not what you value. What they think of as "a little bit of money" may be "a lot of money" to you. Yet these beliefs are either standing in the way of or helping you make the sale. If you are not conscious of them, they will hurt your results more often than not.

So when Caskey and Neale went into the idea of your personal money range for a specific product or service, which is head trash on money, it definitely caught my attention. If I offer you an Apple computer for $100, you are going to think something is off, aren't you. And if I say it's $10,000, you will probably say that's too much. There's the goalposts of your money range for that product. Neale invites you to check in with your own money range for the product or service you are offering, and notice those goalposts...and then inch up the top goalpost. "When I sell you a Mac, it IS worth $10K."

Will you have an answer to how the prospect should be thinking about value? You should have that answer ready...and that requires the philosophy behind it. What Caskey and Neale are saying here, essentially, is Know Your Own Game. Then you can tell prospects how other people in a similar situation think about the money part of this.

Oh, the phoenix? That's the title of the DH Lawrence book the quote is from.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. If you want help with Pricing, click here. Was this helpful to you? Please Like or Share to let others know! And if you have a question about the internal game of Pricing, please comment below to let us know! <<

Jason Kanigan

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