If I were to ask a room full of 1000 salespeople (I have done it) what is the number one thing consumers want today, what do you think their answer would be? You guessed it – Lower Price. And second? Quality? Right again, and third? Service. Bingo. Now, let’s switch scenes for a moment. I now have a thousand consumers or business buyers in my audience, and I ask them the same question. What do you think my answers would be?
Let me give you the most frequent answers I get from this group. 1- Service 2- Quality 3- Lower Price. Well, folks, we seem to have a perceptual difference in what people want and what they tell salespeople they want. How can you account for that difference?
I believe it is for the following reason. It is a matter of definition.
Price is defined as what we pay for something. We write a check, use cash or a credit card, and our account is debited.
Cost is what we pay for what we have bought over time. In other words, buy a cheap car and you will have bigger service bills and inconvenience. You have a higher cost over time than the lower price you paid.
What do most consumers say they want – in your opinion? Yes, low price. But, what do you think they really want? Yes again, low cost. Therefore, it seems to me, we only need to question prospects better on what they really want and define for them in terms of our product or service the difference. What we are talking about here is value to the customer. And value is always ‘perceived’ value. Every prospect interprets value in his own terms. Our job in selling is not to always lower the price (when that is often not the real issue), but try to better understand what the perceived value is for each prospect.
The only way to accomplish this is through constant and professional probing questions and then positioning your product or service appropriately in the mind of the prospect.
People don’t want cheap. They want value. People don’t really want things that rust, break, are inconvenient or difficult to understand. They want life to be easier, less complicated, less stressful, happier and more fun. Show them how your product or service can do all of these, and I guarantee price will never be an issue.
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