Mark Trinkle coaches on selling value.. and why it doesn’t happen. Watch below to learn more about an important Core Sales Competency.
Hello everyone! My name is Mark Trinkle, the Chief Growth Officer of Anthony Cole Training Group. And welcome to our most current edition of our Sales Brew- video style.
We as a training firm are constantly working with our clients on mastering Sales Competencies. And those of you who know us well are not surprised. There are 21 Core Competencies that a sales person needs to master, or at least be mindful of, in order to be effective in their career of sales. One of the 21 Core Competencies is called the “selling value” competency.
Can the salesperson sell based upon value?
Can they defend margin?
Can they protect margin, or do they have to cave in?
And always have the lowest price in order to win new business?
You know, I think there are three main reasons why salespeople struggle so much with that “selling value” competency. One of them is their belief system, and there’s a couple pieces to that one. Maybe that salesperson, at the end of the day, (and I’m going to be quiet here, just to make certain nobody hears me) Maybe they don’t believe in the value that they are talking about. They haven’t had a drink of the Kool-Aid. So they’re somewhat reluctant to plant their feet and sell on value. Maybe it’s not something they don’t believe in, maybe it’s something they do believe in. Maybe they are wired and born to haggle and born to negotiate, maybe that’s how they buy things in their personal life.
Maybe another reason why so many salespeople struggle with value is what we call the “weak pipeline effect.” What we know is that weak pipelines make cowards out of all of us, and if your pipeline is weak, you’re probably not all that crazy about the thought of walking away from a deal, or maybe losing a deal. And so, because you haven’t been prospecting, you haven’t been working with COIs, you haven’t been building your network. You haven’t been receiving your fair share of referrals. Your pipeline is a little dry. It’s running a little low. And if it’s low, you are generally going to be very reluctant to do anything to lose one of the few opportunities that you have.
And then the third reason, maybe they just don’t know how to do it. Maybe salespeople don’t know how to position value. They don’t know how to actually do it. And of course, the doing of it, the selling value, means you position it properly in the sales process. It means you’re asking questions to pull the prospect into a conversation. It means you’re not teaching the prospect what to think, you’re teaching that prospect how to think and you’re asking questions that position you as a consultative sales professional, as a trusted advisor, and someone who is already adding value, even though they don’t currently work with you.
I love this quote by John Ruskin and I’m going to read it. Let me be very clear that it’s a lengthy quote, but it comes from John Ruskin, and it goes like this. “There’s hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper. And the people who consider price alone, are that person’s lawful prey. It’s un-wise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money. That’s all. But when you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, It is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you’ll probably have enough to pay for something better. So for you, the next time you feel that urge to want to cut, cave, and negotiate, maybe you pivot instead, and you have a conversation. And when your prospect tells you that they can get what you’re offering for less, you simply ask them, I’m curious. Why do you think it’s so much less? And how important is it to you? And if you’re really courageous, you encourage them to add a little bit of a surcharge to that lower quote, that lower bid, just in case the thing they want, or need it to do, that thing can’t be capable of doing it.
Have a great day. Take care.
From Chief Growth Officer, Mark Trinkle