If you are in sales, you can’t avoid price competition altogether, but you can take steps to reduce the focus on price. You need to behave in such a way that you are working with the prospect to create specific value, using your product or service as part of the solution. The alternative is that you present general value by pitching your product or service as the solution—inviting the type of product comparisons that lead to price negotiation.
Creating specific value for each customer BEATS presenting general product value to every prospect.
We all have products and services we buy where our decision to buy is motivated by something other than the lowest price. If you go to Starbucks instead of getting cheaper coffee, there is a reason you pay more. If you own any car other than a Kia, you value something more than lowest price. We all know this as buyers—don’t forget it as a seller. Your job is to find out what a prospect will value beyond the lowest price and make that part of your solution.
Here are some examples of actions you can take that will help you add or create specific value:
- Do a complete needs analysis to uncover important business issues and get a clear assignment that you can build a solution to address.
- Offer fresh insights on their business category that expand the conversation beyond your product or service.
- Develop a small list of possible solutions and invite the prospect to tell you which one they like the most and then ask them to help you refine and improve the concept.
- Remove all surprises before you present your final proposal.
- When the price discussion comes up, look for creative ways that help the prospect get what they want without making you compromise price (push the start date back a month, agree to a longer term contract, etc.).
When you work with the prospect to create specific value, using your product or service as part of the solution, it's harder for the prospect to compare pricing—because you're coming up with ideas and using processes that other salespeople aren't.