CJNg _ 2.jpgHi!

 

    My name is c.j., and here's the April 2008 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter.      

 

    First things first, if you receive this newsletter by accident and would like to unsubscribe, please proceed right down to the very bottom of this e-mail.  I had a deranged and over-stressed guy from PwC Beijing calling me in the middle of the night, threatening to kill my entire family if I don't take him off my list.  I'm sure there are more peaceful ways to it, and it has always been made available right at the bottom.

 

    Not decided to opt out yet?  Here are this month's topics:

  1. ... So They Want It Cheap?; and

  2. You Know Your Sales Process Is Outdated When . . .

    This issue's main article is on  "... So They Want It Cheap?", and it shows you how you and your team can deal with price pressures at its very core. 

 

    In brief:

  • Price objections are probably most common and sometimes, the most difficult kind of challenges faced by sales teams;

  • Even when you don't have the best product or after-sales service, you can still get your customers to buy at higher prices;

  • The key to handle price issues is to get customers focus on issues besides price.

    To read the rest of this newsletter, pls. click here (http://www.psycheselling.com/page4.html).



... So They Want It Cheap?

by c.j. Ng

 

        Recently, the creators of SPIN Selling® have published a new book entitled "Escaping the Price-Driven Sale", and it just shows how much suffering the price issue has been inflicting on the majority of sales people that the authors have to contribute some ideas to alleviate part of the pain.
       
        By the way, it is also perfect marketing sense to write a book where there will be billions of potential readers buying it.

         In any case, what I would like to do in the following paragraphs is to provide some concise and street smart outlines that you can read in the next 5 minutes and get to the core on how you can deal with price issues effectively.


"How can I Make a Difference when I'm Only the Sales Guy?"

         If we were to pick sales people at random, and ask them what they feel needs to be done so that they can get more sales, the most common answer will be, "if we can just lower our prices"

     
  If you were to ask the same people what needs to be done for customers to buy at higher prices, you'll get responses such as:

  • "But price is the ONLY thing they care!"

  • "But we don't have the best quality/ technology/ product!"

  • "But we can't provide guarantees!"

  • "But we can't provide those high service standards"

  • "But we don't have that kind of relationship yet"

  • "But if we increase prices, they will just buy from our competitors!"

  • "But this how sales is done here!"

        Somehow, the responses you get tend to start with "but..." most of the times.


       
However, studies conducted by HR Chally Group shows a completely different picture.  In fact, in its  World Class Sales Excellence Research published in 2007, it is reported that "39% of a customer¨s decision to buy from your company is based on the effectiveness of your sales representative"

       
Even when selling low-value and non-strategic products such as photocopy paper, sales people can make a difference by finding out:

  • If the customer would like to have different types of paper for daily printing and those needed to print formal proposals

  • If the customer would like to have optimal re-ordering schedules to maintain constant supplies of paper, without committing too much valuable office spaces for paper storage;

  • If the customer would like to have the sales person personally accountable to deliver any urgent requests to replenish paper supplies

         And the list goes on.  The point is buyers have a lot more to consider when making buying decisions besides price, while most sellers just assume that price is their greatest concerns.  Having the above understanding of customers' needs may be the difference between a deal and a no-deal, or a no-sell to an up-sell.

Are There Any Concerns Besides Price?

        While price is still important, it is still one of the many considerations a customer have when making buying decisions.  If those other concerns are not addressed, then customers may not buy, even when you have the lowest price.

         Effective sales people will be those whom can find out what these other concerns are, and usually through asking customers some critical questions.  While there are many questioning techniques and frameworks suggested by sales experts and consultants around the world, here's one that is meant for sales people to ask themselves while they proceed along their sales pipelines.  It has an appropriate acronym too: C.H.E.A.P.  

  • "C" stands for "Current-Future State".  That means as a sales person, do you know where the customer is currently, and what will be their desired situation in the near-future?

  • "H" stands for "Highlighting Their Pain and Implications".  What will be the customers' "pain" if they don't take actions now?  Will there be further implications as such?

  • "E" stands for "Expected Outcomes".  That means, on the brighter side, how much can the customer gain if they were to heed your advice and take the actions to buy from you?

  • "A" stands for "Associated Risks".  How can customers be so sure that your products and solution will work as promised?  What other alternatives or recourse do they have if things don't work out as planned?

  • "P" stands for "Providing Assurance".  Sometimes, customers feel very uncomfortable, and even paranoid about buying high value items from a new vendor, or for new products and solutions.  Hence, what is it that you have been doing to soothe their fears, instill confidence unto them, and make them trust you?

        These are some of the questions that you may not have all the answers to in the initial stage of customer meetings.  However, these are useful guidelines to remind you what are those key issues that customers want besides price.

Price is What You Pay, Value is What You Get

        Ultimately, the uninformed customer will just ask for the lowest prices if she does not see the value in your offering.  As sales people, your greatest value may just to become your customers' trusted advisor, more so than any product features and quality.

 

        No, customers generally don't want it cheap... ....Rather, what they demand from you is to get more value for the money they pay.  As an effective sales person, you can make all the difference.


        In any case, if you would like to me to provide you with specific insights on how to provide unique value to your customers and be their trusted advisors, simply e-mail info@psycheselling.com or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.

 


 

Practical Tips for Managers:
You Know Your Sales Process Is Outdated When . . .
 

Adapted from SellingPower.com
 

How do you know when it's time to overhaul your sales process? It's a question with implications for everything from hiring and training to costs, both in dollars and time, as you research and implement the changes. That's why many companies put off updating their sales process even when they suspect their old process may no longer be working in today's market. So how do you know definitively if yours is one that needs attention? Ram Charan, advisor to companies such as General Electric, DuPont, and The Home Depot, and author of What the Customer Wants You to Know (Portfolio, 2007), says there are nine indicators that your sales process is out of date and must be fixed:

  1. Your reps interact mostly with customers' purchasing departments. That's the way it used to be. Today, decision makers reside in functions such as sales and marketing, engineering and manufacturing C and the purchasing department simply executes the orders for them.  

  2. The entire sales discussion revolves around price. Sure, your reps are going to talk about your great technology and your company's reputation, but if the basis of the discussion is price C if customers keep pushing for more discounts and reps aren't countering with a reduction in value to match the reduced price C you've got a problem.  

  3. Sales training is mostly exercise-based training that shows reps how not to take no for an answer. This kind of training, which often includes role-playing exercises and inspiring videos, can boost spirits in the short-term but doesn't get to the real problem between supplier and customer.  

  4. Management is constantly adjusting the incentive schemes. Manipulating incentives to force the sales team to get better pricing and margins simply gets reps figuring out how to close deals without price reductions. But it doesn't create value for the customer.  

  5. The sales force that is spread too thin is reorganized to focus more intensely on customers. While this allows reps to spend more time with customers, it doesn't solve the fundamental problems afflicting the sales process. "It results in more man hours to achieve approximately the same return," says Charan. "This is sometimes a necessary move, but it is seldom a sufficient move."  

  6. Salespeople are not included in the design of the company's offering. By excluding them, you lose the insights of those who best know your customers and best know what they need to present your product competently.  

  7. There is little thought of or interaction with your customers' customers. Sales is a chain reaction. If your customers' customers are happy, your customer will be happy. Do you know how your product fits into the overall package your customer offers to his customers? And does your sales process address this critical link?  

  8. Your salespeople are internally focused. How much of your salespeople's time is spent in internal meetings and doing administrative tasks? In most companies, it's a lot. How can you reduce this burden to give your reps more time with customers?  

  9. Sales management is convinced it is doing a good job. They're making their numbers and doing what they've been asked to do. "But the whole DNA of the sales force is focused on chasing orders, booking the revenue, being accessible to the customers, and doing the necessary follow through on their post-sale requests," says Charan. "Neither the sales force nor sales management has the business acumen or skills to intelligently analyze how the customer makes money, what the customer's financial and other priorities are, and how they relate to the seller¨s organization and offerings."

If these symptoms sound familiar, it's time to update your sales process. Need help? Visit www.ram-charan.com.

Alternatively, you can also e-mail info@psycheselling.com or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence


About PsycheSelling.com

As you might have heard of them, the most common challenges faced by sales people in any country, and across nearly every industry, are as follow:

  • Unable to resist price pressures;
  • Unable to qualify for the right customers;
  • Unable to generate interest at initial contact;
  • Unable to get to the right people (who may or may not be whom you think);
  • Unable to define the decision making structure of customers;
  • Unable to get customers interested and excited about what you have to offer;
  • Unable to sustain customers¨ interest through the sales cycle; 
  • Unable to get past clients¨ objections and close the sale
  • Spending too much time with proposals that seem to go nowhere
  • Unable to sell deeper to the same customers

Having these concerns in mind, the Psyche-Selling TM is created as a result of 1-to-1 coaching with sales people from a variety of industries across 13 cities in Asia.

Psyche-Selling TM is currently a co-affiliate of the  HR Chally Group, together with  Shi Bisset & Associates, to help you identify gaps in your current sales force, and then formulate ways to help you get better results.

The HR Chally Group is a talent management, leadership development, and sales improvement corporation providing personnel assessment and research services for over 33 years.  Chally is recognised as an international technology leader in scientific assessment and prediction for selection, job alignment and leadership development, and for management assessment.  For more information about implementing Total Quality Sales Management in your company, pls. log on to http://www.psycheselling.com/TQSM-ExecBrief_email.pdf to get more insights.

Enquiries and suggestions, pls. e-mail info@psycheselling.com or visit www.psycheselling.com

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