I can name that tune in…
Some of you may recall a game show called Name That Tune, where contestants won points for being first to name a song after hearing an orchestra begin to play it. I was always amazed how quickly some people could recognize a song and guess its name. As the final game on each show the host would provide a clue to a song and the contestants would then bid on how few notes they needed to identify the song. It was crazy to watch as contestants continually bid a lower and lower number of notes. I remember once watching when a fellow correctly guessed a song with the clue and only one note! This final round was the last game of the day and determined the winner of that show’s match. That’s why the selling profession reminds me of this gameshow as reps and consultants try to go lower and get cheaper in order to win new customers.
Have you ever wondered how loyal your customers are to you personally? Why not survey them to determine if they would move their business with you if you were to change companies and go to work for a solid competitor? If that customer survey only nets a small percentage of folks willing to look to you as their “pied piper,” it reveals that you must not be providing as much value as you thought you were. The problem relates to the fact that both you and your competitors give good service, have been in business a long time, and have competitive prices. So the thing is when companies are similar in all areas of the package they offer, the real variable is YOU, the salesperson.
Recently a survey was conducted among the customers of two Fortune 500 companies where they were asked how much value their sales reps brought to the dance. When tabulated it was discovered that more than one third (35%) of the value these customers received came from the sales folks they did business with. That’s a pretty healthy number and one that salespeople might want to reflect on to see if they are delivering at this level. So assuming that you can’t argue that your service or product differentiation is superior, and you can’t sell at a lower price; how do you answer the prospect’s question concerning why he or she should buy from you?
The answer to that one can only be found by looking in the mirror and reflecting on your performance. Here are three things you can do in order to make your stock go up in value in the eyes of your buyers:
Explore – Become a lifelong student in your profession. Learn everything possible about your services and products, your company and marketplace, your customers and their customers. You will become so valuable that buyers MUST have you and your expertise working for them.
Follow-up – Buyers of every ilk continually complain about “hit and run sellers,” so build into your presentation your commitment to answer questions, demonstrate and confirm, hand-hold where needed in order to earn the sale. At the same time reassure them of your ongoing support and schedule for QA follow-up visits along with your accessibility and response promise, accompanied by testimonials from other existing customers who have already experienced your support.
Continually Prove Your Worth – Go out of your way to show again and again that you are worth more than you cost, and re-create value in everything you touch. Work as hard to keep them as you did to initially earn them.
If your head is screwed on right, you now get it that YOU are the secret weapon and are worth more to customers, even though your price probably isn’t the cheapest.
Zig Ziglar often said, “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.” My FREE SHIPPING will start you on a new path and help your kids get back to their fighting weight.
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