Price is important—of course—but sometimes I think we, as sales people, make it more important than it really is to the customer. Too often, pricing—moreover, our willingness to discount—is the centerpiece of our sales strategies.
First, the customer will always say that price is important. It is; customers want to pay a fair price and they want to make sure they are getting the best pricing they can. They want to make sure what they are buying is affordable.
With that said, there is a lot of “open space” in those statements. First, price is meaningless unless the customer solves their problem and achieves what they are expecting to achieve. Sadly, too many sales people lose track of this. The customer is interested in our solutions to solve a problem, yet too often, in our urgency to “close,” we shift the discussion from the customer and what they are trying to achieve to, “our pricing is better than the alternatives.”
Second, price is probably the smallest element of the return the customer gets as a result of achieving their goal. There are all sorts of things that impact this, the biggest of which is probably the value they get as a result of implementing the solution. How is it increasing revenue? How is it decreasing costs? How is it improving their ability to respond to and serve their customers? How is it improving their ability to out-compete their competitors? How does it enhance their ability to reduce or more effectively manage risk?
Focus on Customer Issues
We spend little time talking about these issues with the customer and what they mean. Yet these are the issues most critical to the customer.
Often, we have so conditioned the customer to focus on price, they fail to spend the time on these critical issue, focusing, with us, on price. We need to refocus them on why they are buying and what they are trying to achieve.
Or in responding to competition, we focus on their price versus ours, yet what is more important is the customer experience and decision confidence we create in how we work with the customer.
Price is important, but it is never “the issue,” unless we make it the issue or have trained the customer to make it the issue.
Sadly, we spend way too much time obsessing on price, and failing to look at all the other issues that are so much more important to the customer.