The most common complaint we get today as Business Coaches to small-to-medium sized business owners is that, “We can’t compete with the big guys on price.”
The perception in the market place is that people are shopping based on price alone. The only reason your customer asks for the price upfront, is because, that is what we, as business owners, have trained them to do.
More often than not, people go into a business not really knowing what model, style, color or features they are looking for and purely ask for the price? At this point should the salesperson come back with the direct response, “That is $29.95”” or should he ask the customer some questions about what they are looking to use the product/service for? This can be further explained by using the example of a kettle.
Now in most people’s eyes a kettle is a kettle, but it can have many different features and offer many different benefits. So what if the sales person simply tells the customer, “Just so I can help you better, is it okay if I ask you a couple of questions about the kettle you are looking for?” This is a better response than simply telling the customer how much the kettle costs.
Most certainly, the customer would give an affirmative response as he would like to find the kettle that best suits his needs.
The sales person may then ask questions like:
“Are you looking to replace an existing kettle or is it a gift for someone?” “Do you regularly use your kettle or is it rarely used?”
“Would you like a kettle with a quick boiling time?”
“Have you seen the cordless options that are available?”
“Are you looking for something to match your kitchen?”
“So what color are you looking for?”
“Is it important that it have an automatic cut-off when the kettle is boiled?”
“Are you after a stove-top option, or an electric kettle?”
“Kettles come in different cup capacity; do you require 10-cup capacity or is five a better size for you?”
From these questions, the customer gets the idea that the sales person is genuinely interested in his needs, and that the salesperson is able to offer options in the most suitable kettles based on his needs. The price, is therefore, negated. It is just a matter of now asking the customer to buy the kettle and close the sale.
A good salesperson would then ask, “Well, based on what we have just spoken about, there are two options to choose from, model x and model y; which one suits you best?” Finally, he can ask, “Great, I can either put that away for now or I can process it on a credit card for you and have it delivered to you tomorrow – which do you prefer?”
If the preferred payment option for the customer is by credit card, it is a good idea to ask, “Which credit card is it easiest to process that on?”
It is important to make sure that the prospect is aware there will be a delivery charge of xyz amount. If the option they choose is to have it put away, this gives the salesperson an opportunity to get the customer’s name and contact details. If the customer chooses this option, the salesperson should have a time-frame within which the customer picks up the item.
It is crucial to be definite with the infinite. If the customer is a regular, the sales person can simply take him to the point-of-sale terminal and transact the sale.
This example was based on a kettle- a relatively small dollar item. How does this apply to other businesses? This process works equally well on cars, houses, furniture, service-based businesses and any other product there is, including funeral homes.
Every business owner needs to work out what his customers are actually looking for when they ask for the price, and what’s most important to them in their buying decision.
Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog!