Friday, May 17, 2013

How Much Does It Cost?

Customers want to know what it costs.  "It" is the product or service you're selling.  And since the beginning of time, people hate to part with their money.  Ideally, the customers would see the value in your product and do everything in their power to pay whatever you ask.  So how do we make the world a little more perfect?  You need to plan your work and work your plan. 

Build Value
Educating customers on the value of your product is going to make or break your sale, and it's one of the main reasons you draw a paycheck.  You need to present the features and benefits to the prospect in a specific order to build the customer's understanding of the value.  Build a foundation: present the main need the product exists to meet.  Show how the product meets it.  Make it sexy, or at least visceral.  Use words that engage people at a gut level.  If you're talking about a powerful car engine, "thrust," "power," "masters the road."  If you're talking about banking, "relax", "strength," "security", and "knowledge."  Discuss the product as if the customer already owns it.  "Now you'll have the security you deserve."

After the foundation?  Ask a probing question or two and keep the customer engaged.  Respond to their answers by working in some personalized features and benefits.  Ask how your customer is meeting their needs right now.  It's important that when the customer is focusing on price, the sales professional is directing their attention to the value instead.  Be clear in your own mind exactly what information you want your customer to have before they try to make a decision. 

People are more inclined to believe and remember information that they receive in multiple  ways, so make sure that while you're speaking you show, demonstrate or point out the aspects and details that paint the picture you want them to have.  The more the customer can picture themselves using the product or service, the more they will treat you as the expert to help build their vision.  This keeps you in control of the sales process.  Is the picture you want the customer to have complete?  If not, keep building - presenting - the features and benefits that will create a complete understanding of your product.

When it's time to present the price, stack the benefits up like pancakes.  "For the hand-built mahogany frame, the wool/linen blend upholstery, the door-to-door delivery service, and the 5 year warranty, it's only $549."  Stacking reminds the customer of all the details you've presented or discussed, and emphasizes value over price. Without waiting for the customer to interject, move directly to an assumptive closing question: "Would you like us to deliver on Friday or Saturday?"  Once again, you are controlling the conversation, and directing the customer's focus to picturing themselves owning the product.  The satisfaction of owning/using the product will outweigh their attachment to their money.  That's when they buy.  Just keep moving through the closing process as if they've already committed.  You'll be amazed how often your confidence that the customer wants the product will lead to the customer owning the product.


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