If you have ever bought a new house or made any big purchase decisions, you likely did some comparisons. Most of us do that even when we think we know what “we want.” We are looking for that tie breaker. What will help me make my choice? Which stands out and why? Is there anything I am willing to pay more for? What most of us are looking for in big buying decisions is something that gives us confidence that we are making the right choice.
Your customers are looking for the same thing. The “thing” that gives them confidence in choosing you over other vendors/suppliers/retailers/contractors, etc. that makes them know that they have made the right choice. They want you to minimize their risk.
When your salespeople cannot differentiate or operationally distinguish you from your competitors in the sales encounter, then you are putting buyers in the position of accepting a crap shoot decision. When buyers are backed into a crap shoot decision, they feel a strong need to, at least, get the lowest price.
Giving a lower price to make a sale is easy. But for big purchases, there are usually many buyers who want to know, “what kind of service will they provide if something goes wrong?” Or, “what is the level of quality or reliability, with this company?” Sales must be prepared to answer those concerns with measurable past performance.
As consumers, we often buy an extended warranty because we want to minimize our risk if something goes wrong. Are businesses different? Consumer warranties are a way of conveying “you will experience less risk in your choice.” What evidence does your business offer to convey there is less risk in choosing you?
When did you last audit your sales message? What efforts do you make to ensure salespeople have what they need to distinguish themselves from the competition that may justify a higher price. For example, a message might include operational excellence in order accuracy and response time. If you hold people accountable, and have a good track record in those areas, most customers will pay more for the assurance they will not run into issues later. You might need to talk about the consulting or training you give to customers at no charge, so that choosing you is clearly a good bet.
Our experience has revealed that nearly every company has scores of confidence-building advantages but neglect to use them consistently in sales. Show your customers how choosing you will pay off over the term of your relationship, and not just be a crap shoot.