Selling Value To Avoid
The Fatal Flaw In Selling
Selling value is easy to say and
hard to do until you learn exactly how to do it.
The secret is in the preparation.
How would you like to win every sales
opportunity that you work on? It would be nice work if you could arrange it.
How would you like to lose every
sales opportunity that you work on? No doubt, you’d like to take a pass
on that one.
While neither scenario is likely,
there is one quality that separates the two extremes. It’s the quality
of preparation. Let me give you an example.
Eight years ago I stayed at the Vancouver
Hyatt for four days. I was there for a Canadian Management Seminar on sales
management. Most of my trips are shorter ones and when I’m scheduled to
be away that long I’ll often try to buy a small gift for Bernadette, my
There was an underground mall beneath
the Hyatt. On the evening of the second day of the seminar, I decided to go
for a walk and while stretching my legs, see if I could find an appropriate
gift for Bernadette. For a lucky store owner this would be a selling opportunity,
where the emphasis should be on selling value.
One small shop caught my eye. It
was a specialty shop that sold jewelry made from a variety of gems and minerals.
Naturally I was more interested in the minerals.
I walked into the store and did my
ninety second browse and search tour. The shop seemed to have a number of nice
and reasonably priced pieces that I was looking for. The shopkeeper saw me and
said, “hello.” I returned the greeting and left soon after.
The next night I returned. I had
a buying plan. And of course I couldn't help wondering if the seller had a selling
I had identified two pieces of jewelry
that I thought Bernadette would like. Before entering the store, I thought about
my approach and the amount of money I wanted to spend. I also thought about
the specific words I'd use.
I walked directly over to the shopkeeper.
I said, “I need to get my wife a gift tonight.”
He told me to look around and call
him if I needed assistance. I spotted the necklace and earrings I wanted. They
were malachite, a green marble like mineral. The price was $125 Canadian. I
waved for the shopkeeper. He came right over.
I asked him, “How much better
can you do on the price?”
He reached for his calculator, punched
in a few numbers and said he could give me a 14% discount.
Looking straight down at the jewelry,
I sighed, “That's more than I wanted to spend.” I remained silent,
and once again he punched more numbers into his calculator.
Finally he looked up and said, “I'll
give you 20% off.” I bought the necklace and earrings and got the discount
as a bonus.
I was ready to pay list price. He
didn't ask, so he didn’t know.
His strategy was to talk price. It
should have been selling value.
It doesn't take brains to give a
discount. It does take preparation
to start selling value.
I was prepared and he wasn't - the fatal flaw in selling.
It pays to be prepared - in fact
it pays very well!
- This is chapter 29 in my book titled - How To Double Your Sales Without
Quadrupling Your Effort. If you like this chapter - you'll love the
rest of the book.
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