Chris is concerned about his sales team. They are active, they are selling, and sales are up but margins are way down. The business model allows reps to be flexible in the field and sell at the prices they feel appropriate. But something is missing, and Chris is unsure how to help his field reps get more margin. He doesn't want to kill the ability of his reps to set pricing in the field, but doesn't know what information they need in order to be better at the task.
Margins are grown or lost through the effectiveness of the selling process. Too many salespeople are dealing with the demon in their head that whispers "you can't charge that much or you'll lose the business" or "that's gouging the customer and they'll be angry." Price is not an issue when the salesperson gets to the buyer's real emotional issues behind doing business. The real emotional buying issues are the personal frustration, worry, fear, discomfort and concern over all the business issues like missed deadlines, late deliveries, returns, performance bonus', angry customers or professional ego.
When salespeople get caught reacting to the intellectual issues, then margin becomes more difficult to maintain. Buying is an emotional decision that is only justified by the exchange of intellectual information. Price becomes less of an issue when there is more of an emotional connection to their need to relieve pain, avoid problems or meet a priority. No one asks an ambulance driver for a quote before getting a ride to the hospital!
Develop the practice of allowing a prospect to discover what the true emotional cost is for not changing or acting. Only then will a sales professional find that the margin grows and that the prospect better understands why they are willing to accept that price. When a sales amateur can only get as far as discussing the intellectual issues, the prospect will always ask for more of the salesperson's margin. Price is always the most powerful intellectual item that most buyers talk about when they are unwilling or unable to talk about the other business issues of the sale. Price is also the "easy out" that most sellers will default to when they are unable to deal with their own emotions.
Low margins more often than not are a symptom of an incomplete selling process. Get those dollars back on your side of the equation by taking the prospect all the way from the intellectual business issues to a personal, emotional connection. Why are they even talking to you in the first place?
Do you have a sale that the only way to get it would have been to sacrifice margin? What did you do?
Final Thought for the Morning:
"Your business is never really good or bad "out there." Your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears." ~ Zig Ziglar
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
THIS WEEK: Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.
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