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Tips on Selling

Discuss price at the right time
Discuss price at the right time

How to overcome common sales obstacles

In any approach to sales, there are two inevitable hurdles: the price conversation and customer rejection. The way to deal with both these challenges is with timing, confidence and resilience, writes JEREMY MILLER.

Premature price conversation is a problem afflicting thousands of salespeople every year. Like the more well-known premature affliction, premature price conversations can leave both parties feeling underwhelmed, disappointed and maybe even a little embarrassed. This doesn’t need to happen.

Premature price conversations are preventable. With a little self-awareness and some training, any salesperson – or anyone responsible for selling anything – can kick this dreadful habit.

The first thing to acknowledge is that price is not a feature. Unless you’re selling a commodity, price is not the reason why consumers buy products.

Price may be a factor for helping consumers select one brand over another but it’s rarely the reason why that consumer sought to buy that product in the first place. Selling on price should therefore be avoided.

When you focus on what makes your services unique and how your service or product solves a problem for consumers, you automatically rise above premature price conversations.

If you can explain what makes your products and services special, clearly and concisely, customers will not only welcome having the price conversation with you but also want to know how to get started.

Price is not a dirty word

We’ve clarified that price should never come first in any sales conversation; however, talking about price remains a fact of sales.

"Price may be a factor for helping consumers select one brand over another but it’s rarely the reason why that consumer sought to buy that product in the first place"

You shouldn’t avoid price conversations because customers will eventually want to know what products and services cost. Avoiding price conversations altogether is as bad as having them too soon.

When a customer asks for the price, be direct and specific. Don’t be shy about it – your products cost what they cost. Salespeople establish credibility by talking about price with authority. Customers don’t want to dance around and play games; they want the facts.

Learn to love ‘No’

In sales, as in life, rejection is inevitable. Fortunately, rejection can also be the key that unlocks remarkable opportunities – Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for his Walt Disney World theme park; JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury took a chance on Harry Potter; Colonel Sanders pitched his secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken 1,009 times before he got his first “yes”.

“No” is not a bad word but unfortunately we’re taught that it is!

In his well-known sales book How to Master the Art of Selling, Tom Hopkins takes a contrarian stance, teaching the reader to “learn to love no”.

Equally philosophical is author Jack Canfield, whose best-selling self-help book Chicken Soup for the Soul was originally rejected by 144 publishers.

“If we had given up after 100 publishers, I likely would not be where I am now,” Canfield writes. “I encourage you to reject rejection. If someone says no, just say next!”

It’s how you respond to rejection that matters, as every “no” you receive is a valuable opportunity for input.

Listen to it, understand the fears and doubts you’re hearing from your customers or clients and learn from the experience.

The next time you pitch, you can adapt your message and get better. More importantly, keep moving forward. Every time you hear no, you’re one step closer to yes.

More challenging than an external “no” is internal rejection. You know that voice inside your head, the one that only talks about worst-case scenarios and what-ifs? Tell that voice to back off.

Steven Pressfield describes this type of internal rejection as ‘resistance’ in his book The War of Art.

“Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled but it can be felt,” Pressfield explains. “We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

Resist the “no” inside your head with all your might. It is the hardest to overcome but resistance is essential because you can’t get anyone else to say yes until you believe in what you’re doing.

Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

Every time you hear a “no”, smile a little. You’ve just passed another milestone and it’s time to try again.

Jeremy Miller

Contributor • Sticky Branding

Jeremy Miller is a brand builder, keynote speaker and bestselling author of Sticky Branding. Learn more:

Pink Kimberley Australia

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