It seems the world is filled with unscrupulous competitors.
Last week, during my Sales
Training Boot Camp, someone asked this question.
"The products we sell are made from petroleum
based raw materials and our material costs have skyrocketed 40%
this year - how do we pass this on to our customers?"
And then there was a part B. to this question. "How
do we pass this on to our customers when our major competitor is
holding steady with their prices?"
Well there are all kinds of possibilities to consider.
The competitor may be selling from excess inventory and can afford
to hold prices steady for a while.
They can be deliberately low-balling their prices
to gain market share.
They could be doing a sales-a-ma-dazzle -
I made that up - keeping prices low for the short term and then
raising them, once they have the business, for the long term.
Have you been to a gas station lately?
Have you been to a supermarket lately.
Have you received your homeowners insurance
Have you looked at the interest rates on
your credit cards lately?
What they all have in common are rising prices.
These higher prices are being passed on to you because the seller's
costs are going up.
There are no quick
and easy ways for salespeople to pass price increases to customers.
But you have to make a profit and companies who don't make a profit
can go out of business - have you been reading the newspapers lately?
Check out my Sales Manual "No-brainer
Ways To Beat Your Competition At The pricing Game." You'll
get some very clever ideas you can use with your most demanding
So one option is to build a case for your customers.
Offer evidence showing how much your raw material costs are going
up. Offer more proof about how your company is decreasing and even
eliminating some costs of manufacturing.
Your customers won't like it but you'll be in a
much better position if your customers understand the reasons why.
What if you're dealing with unscrupulous competitors?
These unscrupulous competitors are telling your customers they will
not pass their higher cost of raw materials to their customers.
What are these unscrupulous competitors really saying?
Are they saying they won't be raising prices today?
Are they saying they won't be raising prices tomorrow?
Are they saying they won't be raising prices ever?
Your competitors aren't magicians. They can't keep
swallowing rapidly rising raw material costs.
Sooner or later and it's probably closer to sooner
than later - they'll have to raise their prices.
Let your customers know you're put in a Catch 22
position. If you raise your prices you may lose the business.
If you don't raise your prices your company becomes unprofitable
and could go out of business.
If you're competing against an unscrupulous competitor,
it's possible they'll take your business and then raise their prices.
Ask your customer if he's getting a written
commitment and a specific time frame for the lower pricing.
Ask your customer if he has included penalty
clauses if terms of the contract are broken or changed.
Ask your customer how he will feel if he
switched the business to your competitor and soon after the competitor
raised his prices? Your customer will not be very happy. Get him
to admit that.
You can also ask, "What happens when
that happens?" Getting your customer thinking about this before
it happens is a good sales tactic to employ.
There's another seed you can plant. You can
ask a question that sticks and lingers if your competitor gets your
business by not raising his prices.
How will your customer respond when your competitor
does raise prices because of the increasing raw material costs?
When you expect your competitor to change his tune
about not raising prices, try playing hardball with your customer
by asking this question.
"When they call you, will you call me?"
Most customers realize it's in their own best interests
to work with profitable suppliers.
And in fact, "Profitability is the applause
of a happy customer."
Keep your customers happy and they'll keep giving
you the business - even when you're raw materials costs are going
It All Begins With The Telephone
During last week's Sales Training Boot Camp there
were a lot of questions about Telephone
Skills. You know, things like, calling for appointments, getting
past the gatekeeper, your elevator speech and of course your opening
Well my good friend Art Sobczak is the expert on
and you should really check out his selling resources. Go
here to see what the Master of the telephone has to offer you.
This just might be the last day you'll ever have to struggle on
The Price Objection
If you are still struggling with the
price objection, you should grab a copy of my Sales Manual "No-brainer
Ways To Beat Your Competition At The Pricing Game."
It's available as a digital
eBook or a spiral
bound print version.