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|How Effectively Are You "Negotiating the Sale"?
By Harvy Simkovits, CMC, Mr. Business Wisdom
Is a fence only a fence? What if it can make you wealthy?
After a period of soul searching and marketplace research, one fence manufacturer realized that its best marketplace value proposition was to help its customers (independent business dealers) to become wealthy. So it developed a campaign and program that would assist its dealers to "become successful millionaires" via selling and installing that manufacturer's fences. That company also effectively trained its sales force to introduce that program to those dealer owners.
At its next industry trade show, a long-time customer came into the manufacturer's booth and asked for the company's price list. The retrained sales person said that they no longer give out price lists but that the dealer could sign up for a one-hour presentation on how to become a millionaire by selling this manufacturer's fence program and system. The dealer then said that they had no time for that, and just wanted the company's price list. The sales man tried again to interest the dealer in the manufacturer's program, yet to no avail. The dealer again requested a price list so that they could move on. The sales person then respectfully turned the dealer around and said that fence price lists could be obtained from the adjacent competitors, but that his company no longer worked that way.
Becoming miffed, the dealer grumbled goodbye and walked away towards the edge of the company's booth, heading for the competition. Then, suddenly sensing that he was not going to be stopped from leaving, he abruptly froze at the booth's edge. Now, truly knowing that the sales person was serious about the manufacturer's position, the dealer slowly turned around and said, "Okay, okay. Where do I sign up for your presentation?" It was a successful "moment of truth" for this manufacturer and its sales force.
Businesses are constantly fighting the forces of commoditization that naturally exist in the marketplace. Even if your company designs custom- engineered solutions for your customer's specific needs, as time passes, your customer will be exposed to competing vendors that try to take that business away from you. The customer invariably will come back to you saying he can get similar services elsewhere for a cheaper price, or they will just ask you to lower your price because of competitive pressures. This often leads to a no-win game for your business where you are forced either to cut your price or to provide more services for the same price, thus risking your profitability.
Methods by which you can deal effectively with this "commoditization game" are:
If you do need to go along with the commoditization game, here are tricks for you to minimize its impact on your business:
By more effectively "negotiating the sale" with your customers, you can work to generate better results for your customer and increased profitability for your business.