In a crowded marketplace, it may seem that price wars are inevitable. But slashing prices to beat the competition will hurt your credibility, brand image, and margin more than it helps.

We get what we pay for. Even if your buyers try to convince you otherwise, they understand this principle. So instead of racing your price-cutting competitors to the bottom, leverage your product’s strongest assets to create value that outweighs a lower price. Using the following four factors, you can build a strong competitive advantage.

1) Stand by your premium pricing.
It may seem contradictory, but charging a premium price — and sticking to it — can actually be used as a competitive advantage. It’s common to assume that all buyers will be making a purchasing decision based largely on cost, but it’s rarely the primary reason a person buys.

A prospect may lead you to believe price is the deciding factor, but buyers actually tend to be leery of prices that seem too low — it sends a message about your product’s quality. Instead, standing by your premium pricing and acknowledge that your product is more expensive — it makes a strong statement about your credibility as a solutions provider.

2) Sell value, not price.
Value, not price, is almost always the most critical factor in a purchasing decision. Having a valuable product is one thing, but having the ability to sell value is what will set you apart in a sea of cheaper competitors.

In order to create value for your buyers, you must understand the unique standards and expectations of your prospect. For example, what makes a valuable tire? To determine that, you’d have to answer these questions:

What are you going to use the car for?
Does the tire need to get the driver through the Indy 500?
Do you need a racing slick? An off-road tire?

Using value as a competitive advantage requires customizing your solution to best meet your buyers’ needs.

3) Master product delivery.
Delivery is a part of your business you absolutely must excel at if you want to sell at a higher price than your competitor. In competitive industries, a company’s ability (or failure) to deliver a product or service in a timely, agreed-upon manner can make or break a customer relationship.

When prospects tell you they can “get the same thing somewhere else for less money,” silently ask yourself this essential question: “Then why are they even talking to me?” Because if they really can get the same thing down the street, right now, for less money, why are they still engaging with you? Whether it’s implementation support or superior customer service, delivering a timely and better onboarding experience than your competitors will help you justify a higher price point.

4) Practice helpful selling.
The ability to reach out to prospects in a professional way, on their own terms, is the currency of sales success in today’s competitive marketplace. Today’s buyers are more in control of the sale than ever before, and with that added control comes a decreased willingness to talk with salespeople who only care about getting the deal.

Elevating your product or service from an interchangeable, turnkey fix to a solution to critical business pain means you’ll have to add value in a way that goes beyond price. And focusing on value over price is better for you, too. Buyers who understand value, and the higher price tag that accompanies it, will be better long-term customers than those with a transactional mindset.

Happy Monday and Happy Selling!

Kevin

How to Win Against Price-Cutting Competitors

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What does the term cognitive fluency mean to you? If you’re in sales, it should mean a lot.

Cognitive fluency describes how simple it is to think about something. There have been several studies and they’ve all determined the same thing: People like things that are easy to think about. In other words, humans want to make an easy decision, not a hard one.

If you’re in sales, this is the angle you need to work in order to be successful.

But this raises a question: How do you make a decision easy for someone?

We’ll make it easy for you. Here are five quick tips to help a prospect make the “easy” decision.

1) Pare your presentation down to the essentials.

Customers don’t like to be overwhelmed with a ton of information, but they do like to hear about the specifics that pertain to their situation.

This means that sales reps need to know the ins and the outs of their prospect’s business to deliver the most mentally palatable presentation. By spending a few extra minutes researching your customer, you’ll be much better informed about who they are and what they want. Check all the usual places, including LinkedIn, company blogs, and social media, as well as any industry-specific forums.

2) Ask questions.

Instead of you trying to convince your prospect that they need your product, asking questions prompts them to reflect on their circumstances and come to their own purchase conclusion. And a decision a person comes to on their own always seems easier than one forced upon them by a third party.

Asking open ended, simple questions is key here.

3) Help rally the troops.

An average of 5.4 decision makers are involved in every B2B purchase. That’s a lot of people. As a sales rep, it’s not only your job to convince the person you’re speaking with that your service offers value, but also the other people who get a say in the decision.

The easiest way to do this is to offer your assistance. Once you “sell” the first decision maker, it’s time to start a conversation with the others. That could be as easy as asking for their phone number or email and setting up individual calls, or one large presentation. Either way, helping your champion convince the rest of their team makes the decision much easier to sign off on.

4) Respond as quickly as possible.

Keeping it simple also means that you’re quick to respond so your prospect doesn’t have to wait around all day for answers to their questions. One study conducted by Heinz Marketing found that the average response time is 61 hours. Yep, 61 hours. If you’re able to do better than that, not only will you beat the average, but you’ll also make a tremendous impression on the prospect. Getting an answer to a pressing question from you will seem as simple as pressing an “easy” button.

The best way to improve your response time is to set up an email system. When you receive a message from a prospect, give it a quick read and decide if you need to respond at this moment or not. Remember, great sales reps go the extra mile for their customers and prospects. Commit to answering all customer emails within a certain timeframe, and stick to it.

5) Answer questions before they are asked.

According to CEB, most B2B prospects go through the majority of the buying process before they even talk to a sales rep. They’re conducting independent research to assess the options and seek answers to their questions.

You know what buyers are after in these early stages: Information. So instead of sitting back and waiting until they come to you, why not proactively offer your assistance?
When you do your introductory outreach, include an informative piece of content that can help the prospect better understand your product. By sending along blog posts, case studies, and testimonials, you’ll be able to answer a majority of questions before they are asked.

Happy Monday and Happy Selling!

Kevin

5 Simple Tips to Get Them to Say YES!

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